All our products are made from strips of bamboo. Bamboo as a building material is unique in that it is actually a grass and grows as stalks known as culms. These culms are naturally hollow in the center and therefore we have only the wall thickness of the stalk to work with. The wall at the base can be more than an inch thick but will taper over the length of the stalk.
As shown in the figure to the right, the stalk is initially split lengthwise into strips. These strips are then boiled in a bath of boric acid and lime solution. The purpose of this bath is to extract the starch that attracts termites and powder post beetles. Boric acid and lime are a natural non-toxic repellent, used to insure that our products will come to you pest free and will continue to be so throughout the duration of their product life.
The strips are kiln dried and sanded to a smooth surface for laminating. They are then laminated edge to edge to create a single-ply panel. These panels are then laminated again to each other to create multi-ply bamboo plywood. Or they may be face glued to make vertical grain panels. With modern glues, laminated bamboo is extremely strong and durable and can replace any of the functions of wood laminates. It is important to note that our bamboo paneling and plywood, and thus all our actual products, are made with European standard (known as E1) glue. This glue has very low free phenol-formaldehyde content and will not be a significant source of this chemical. EcoDesignz does not use volatile organic compounds (VOC) or urea based formaldehyde glues.
Our products come in two colors, natural and amber. The natural color is the color of the bamboo untreated. Natural bamboo is best characterized by its light shade, similar to that of maple. The color reflects the “natural” appearance of the bamboo once its skin is removed. It is often used as a designing element to lighten an existing dark room.
Carbonized bamboo, on the other hand, is a light brown, amber shade, similar to a “creamed coffee” stain. This soothing and warm light brown color is achieved through a steaming process.
The picture to the right shows a steam chamber used for this carbonization process. After 4-5 hours in this chamber a permanent color change occurs throughout the bamboo which will not fade and cannot be sanded out.