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Researchers Collaborate to Test Bamboo Frames for Multi-Storey Housing in India

Posted on 23 January 2014

Engineers from Trinity and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi have joined forces to develop bamboo frames for multi-story housing in India.  The research aims to establish whether a bamboo composite could work in high rise housing in earthquake zones in India.

During the five week testing project the team worked with Professor Roger West and Professor Ravindra Dhir from Trinity’s Department of Civil Engineering.  Using static and cyclic loading, the durability of the frames was measured to establish their collapse strength and stiffness.  Bamboo is well known for its tensile strength and flexibility.  A special composite of bamboo and epoxy could provide an answer to the chronic shortage of low cost renewable medium density housing.  It may also satisfy the need for ductility and durability for its use as the primary structural material in earthquake zones for housing of up to four storeys.  The frames, which are heavily instrumented to monitor behaviour over time, were  tested in the highly specialised internal reaction rigs in Trinity’s structural test hall.

The three Indian researchers, Kapildeo Bhagat, Diwakar Bhagat and Mukul Gupta, brought with them 1.8 tonnes of bamboo test materials, including three portal frames and two beams, for testing.  The project forms part of an ongoing research collaboration between Professor Suresh Bhalla of IIT Delhi and Trinity College Dublin on testing bamboo columns.  Trinity signed a Memorandum of Understanding with IIT Delhi in 2011 and actively participates on collaborative research projects.