SERDANG, August 14th – The demand for bamboo as a wood substitute in the wood industry has driven a group of researchers from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) develop the “V-Grooving” method for cutting bamboo.
This innovative method is the first of its kind in the world. The “V-Grooving” method flattens bamboo for use as boards, flooring and as a substitute for multi-purposes in the wood-based industry.
A researcher from UPM’s Faculty of Forestry, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Edi Suhaimi Bakar said the manufacturing of laminated bamboo PBL using the “V-Grooving” method is more practical for flattening bamboo than the current method.
“Using a specially designed machine, the “V-Grooving” method produces v-shaped grooves/beams on the outer side of a bamboo. Each groove has a 1mm grooving “cease” to sustain the bamboo segments and it doubles as hinges when flattened.
“The hinge converts the vertical function to the sides in order to ensure all beams are sealed tightly to produce a flat sheet.
“Then the final groove/beam is cut until it comes off and is glued on to the other groove/beam before it is flattened by a pressing machine,” he said at the Putra Cipta press conference held here.
Dr. Edi said the flattened bamboo can be planed on a single surface or both surfaces to be applied in PBL manufacturing or as decorative planks/boards.
“Compared to the current practice of splitting-squaring, the “V-Grooving” method is more convenient, easy and simple. The PBL creation process is reduced to half compared to current methods,” he revealed.
Apart from saving production and material costs, this method also produces a final product of better quality.
“The “V-Grooving” method can be promoted to small and medium industry entrepreneurs (IKS/SME) and it could benefit the rural community in terms of generating new income,” commented Dr Edi.
“The scarcity of wood materials is gradually affecting Malaysia’s wood industry. Bamboo is therefore seen as a viable alternative to ensure a sufficient supply of “wood” at a competitive price in the market.
Bamboo needs only four years to mature and not half a decade as is the case with wood trees.
According to research, bamboo blades are more elastic than teak and meranti and they make a good foundation for building materials.
Meanwhile, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Mohd Saleh Jaafar said the bamboo industry in Malaysia is rapidly growing and there is a bamboo surplus compared to ordinary wood.
“Bamboo has higher durability than ordinary wood and this adds to its market value. The development of such technology will certainly add value to bamboo-based production.
“UPM is currently in talks with companies involved directly with the bamboo-based industry. Some have shown interest and we plan to market the product sometime this year,” said Dr. Mohd Saleh Jaafar.
Also present at the Putra Cipta press conference was the Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Prof. Datin Dr. Faridah Hanum Ibrahim.
The concerted research of Dr. Edi and his team that was initiated in 2007 won gold medal recognition at the recent 2012 “Invention, Research and Innovation Exhibition”.
Other researchers involved in the venture are Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zaidon Ashaari, Assoc. Prof. Mohd Zin Jusoh, and Dzafarin Saharani, a postgraduate student,
News prepared by Muhamad Najkhan Mazlan, 03-8946 6011 and photo by Noor Azreen Awang, 03-89466189
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Selangor Darul Ehsan