Anatomical, physical and mechanical properties variability of bamboos in Togo

Adzo Dzifa Kokutse, Wiyaou Gnama, Kouami Kokou


Togo has important bamboo resources used as building, handicraft and furnishing materials. This study is carried out on four species for their industrial promotion: Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. ex J.C. Wendl., Bambusa vulgaris var. striata Lodd. ex Lindl., Oxytenanthera abyssinica (A.Rich.) Munro and a species until now confused with B. vulgaris. Anatomical characteristics (fibre length, fibre thickness and diameter, fibre, conducting tissues and parenchyma proportion), physical and mechanical properties (density, modulus of elasticity MOE) were analyzed. Results give a progress report on the taxonomy of the fourth bamboo (Bambusa sp.). Bambusa sp., presents the longest fibres, B. vulgaris and B. vulgaris var. striata have very close fibres length, and O. abyssinica the shortest fibres. Walls fibre thickness is similar for the four species. B. vulgaris var. striata presents higher fibres diameter (16.17 µm on average) whereas Bambusa sp. the lowest. Fibres proportion for the four species is significantly higher in the external areas of the culms. O. abyssinica is the species of which the radial position of fibres inside culms influences little the length. Ecological factors don’t influence significantly the average length of fibres. Physical and mechanical properties (density, MOE) have a great variability between different bamboos species and also inside each species. The density varies from 510 to 600 kg/m3 for B. vulgaris and from 640 to 788 kg/m3 for B. vulgaris var. striata. Bambusa sp. presents the highest density. In each species, there is a good correlation between the MOE and the density. This relation is stronger for Bambusa sp. and weaker for B. vulgaris and Bambusa vulgaris var. striata. Anatomical, physical and mechanical performances indicate that Bambusa sp. is the best bamboo to be promoted for industrial uses in Togo.


Key words: Fibre proportion – density -modulus of elasticity - industrial uses

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