|Regarding bamboo as a possible material in glider
by Brett Snellgrove* April 23, 2009
One problem appears to be that fungus feeding on the starches present in the bamboo severely weakens the bamboo. Solutions tried in the past are soaking it in water to remove the starch (apparently marginally successful). Soaking in borax appears to have more success. Most successful of all seems to be heat treating to boil off the starches which has the added advantage of significantly strengthening the material in the manner of heat treating spear tips to harden. There are some extensive tests to show strength can be increased by as much as two times with such treatment; however, the heat treatment also apparently makes the bamboo more brittle and requires careful technique.
I have experimented with drilling and foam filling the bamboo chambers and encasing the pole with a layer of fiberglass to prevent splitting. In some cases--when heat treated properly, foam filled, and sheathed with epoxy glass--I have achieved strengths approaching carbon fiber, but the results are unpredictable.
|*researcher, developer, multi-wingual pilot|