Is Bamboo stronger than Steel?

Is Bamboo stronger than Steel? This question has many answers depending upon the quality, usage and availability of Bamboo. Let’s discuss according to various aspects.

Aspect : 1


Bamboo is not stronger than steel, however it is sustainable; i.e steel is limited in quantity on earth plus has big carbon footprint and environmental hazards of mining. While it grows and absorbs carbon dioxide, it also rots and degrades.

But same when you have to decrease the weight of whole structure mainly in roof that time we can go for bamboo. When you have to decrease the dead load of the structure that time you should use bamboo. In other case when it is in use of for support of form-work that time it is more durable. And quality of it is good than it can beat steel reinforcement.

There is one another wood, which is also more durable than bamboo. That is Sag wood. Sag wood is more durable and has anti-corrosive property.

Aspect : 2


Bamboo is stronger than steel only in tension. Steel has a tensile strength of 23,000 pounds per square inch. But it surpasses steel with a noticeable lead at 28,000 pounds per square inch. In compression, it is weaker than steel. But it withstands better in compression than concrete. Therefore, it is mostly used as reinforcement. It has impermeable layer outside it which protects it from moisture.

Let’s discuss some of merits and demerits while using bamboo as reinforcement.

Merits of Bamboo in reinforcement

  1. It is extremely strong natural fiber.
  2. Has high tensile strength.
  3. It is highly flexible due to its hollow interior.
  4. Light in weight as comparatively to steel. So it is used to construct light weight structures. Also easy to transport and carry.
  5. It is available at very low price and easily available.
  6. It is environmental friendly also.
  7. And has great shock absorbing capacity.

Demerits of Bamboo in reinforcement

  1. It is less durable as it rots and degrades. So cannot be used in permanent structures.
  2. More prone to insects attack.
  3. Thus it has less life span as compared to steel.
  4. It has shrinking problem.
  5. Also can’t be used in cold climatic region.
  6. It has low adherence with concrete mix, thus difficult to maintain bond between concrete and Bamboo.
  7. Due to its low modulus of elasticity, it gets cracks and deflects more than steel reinforcement.

Read more about – Is top to down construction possible ?