Bamboo is a variety of grass. A giant grass.
As such, it doesn’t require re-planting after harvesting, since the root system remains in place and new growth occurs with each new growing season. Bamboo has been known to grow at the rate of 1m per day in suitable conditions.
The species of bamboo used for making board and veneer products (of the 1500 different bamboo species) is called Moso bamboo, also known by its botanical name Phyllostachys pubescens. A plantation of Moso bamboo can absorb up to three times more carbon from the atmosphere than a similarly sized plantation of softwood.
Because bamboo is considered a grass, it need not come under the scrutiny of organisations such as the FSC, as these organisations are exclusively concerned with the regulation and management of trees. A tree takes a lot longer to grow and mature, and as such, requires protection.
Bamboo ply isn't made of crushed pieces glued and pressed together like particle board. It's a solid core panel made by alternating the grain direction over three layers, creating one of the hardest wood panels available. The hardness scale shown below rates it as stronger than most Australian hardwoods.
The bamboo panels we use are manufactured by LETO Bamboo.
Janka Hardness Scale
The Janka Hardness Scale measures the hardness of wood. The Janka test assesses the amount of force required to push a steel ball that is .444 inches in diameter (11.28 millimetres) halfway into the surface of a particular wood. Most woods fall between 0 and 20 kN, 0 kN being the softest wood and 20 kN being the hardest.
In Australia, Janka ratings are given in kiloNewtons (kN).
While the Janka Hardness Scale classifies woods based upon hardness and density, it can also be a good indication of how much wear and tear a particular wood can withstand. The woods in the upper portion of the Janka Scale, such as Strand Woven bamboo (16.1 kN) resist scratches and denting more than softer woods like Baltic Pine at 2.9 kN. The Janka rating can also help determine how difficult a particular wood will be to saw or nail.
High Ranking (>10 kN)
Harder wood and bamboo types can be found in the upper portion of the Janka Scale. Woods that have a high ranking include strand woven bamboo (16.1 kN), Ironbark (14 kN), or Spotted Gum (11.0 kN)
Medium Ranking (5 - 10kN)
Medium density woods are good for most home applications. Some common types are Brushbox (9.5 kN), Sydney Bluegum (9 kN), or narrow grain bamboo (6.6 kN), or wide grain bamboo (5.9 kN).
Low Ranking (0 - 5 kN)
Wood and bamboo types on the lower end of the Janka Scale. Softer wood types include Baltic Pine (2.9 kN) or Victorian Ash (4.5 kN).