Comparative Studies of Steel, Bamboo and Rattan as Reinforcing Bars in Concrete: Tensile and Flexural Characteristics


This study comparatively evaluated the flexural performance and deformation characteristics of concrete elements reinforced with bamboo (Bambusa vulgaris), rattan (Calamuc deerratus) and the twisted steel rebars. The yield strength (YS), ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and the elongation of 50 specimens of the three materials were determined using a universal testing machine. Three beams of concrete strength 20 N/mm2 at age 28 days were separately reinforced with bamboo, rattan and steel bars of same percentage, while the stirrups were essentially mild steel bars. The beams were subjected to centre-point flexural loading according to BS 1881 to evaluate the flexural behaviour. The YS of bamboo and rattan bars were 13% and 45% of that of steel respectively, while their UTS were 16% and 62% of that of steel in the same order. The elongation of bamboo, rattan and steel were 7.42%, 10% and 14.7% respectively. The natural rebars were less than the 12% minimum requirement of BS 4449. The load-deflection plots of bamboo and steel RC beams were quadratic, while rattan RC beams had curvilinear trend. The stiffness of bamboo RC beams (BB) and rattan RC beams (RB) were 32% and 13.5% of the stiffness of steel RC beams (SB). The post-first crack residual flexural strength was 41% for BB and SB, while RB was 25%. Moreover, the moment capacities of BB and RB corresponded to 51% and 21% respectively of the capacity of steel RC beams. The remarkable gap between the flexural capacities of the natural rebars and that of steel can be traced not only to the tensile strength but also the weak bonding at the bar-concrete interface. It can be concluded that the bamboo bars are suitable rebars for non-load bearing and lightweight RC flexural structures, while more pre-strengthening treatment is required more importantly for rattan for improved interfacial bonding and load-carrying capacity.

Share and Cite:

Adewuyi, A. , Otukoya, A. , Olaniyi, O. and Olafusi, O. (2015) Comparative Studies of Steel, Bamboo and Rattan as Reinforcing Bars in Concrete: Tensile and Flexural Characteristics. Open Journal of Civil Engineering, 5, 228-238. doi: 10.4236/ojce.2015.52023.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Adewuyi, A.P., Wu, Z.S. and Serker, N.H.M.K. (2009) Assessment of Vibration Based Damage Identification Methods Using Displacement and Distributed Strain Measurements. International Journal of Structural Health Monitoring, 8, 443-461.
[2] Adewuyi, A.P., Wu, Z.S. and Raheem, A.A. (2010) Adaptation of Vibration-Based SHM for Condition Assessment and Damage Detection of Civil Infrastructure Systems. LAUTECH Journal of Engineering & Technology, 6, 1-11.
[3] Adewuyi, A.P. and Wu, Z.S. (2011) Vibration-Based Damage Localization in Flexural Structures Using Normalized Modal Macrostrain Techniques from Limited Measurements. Computer-Aided Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, 26, 154-172.
[4] Neville, A.M. (2004) Properties of Concrete. 4th Edition, Addision Wesley Longman, Edinburgh.
[5] Kosmatka, S.H., Kerkhoff, B. and Panarese, W.C. (2003) Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures. 14th Edition. Portland Cement Association, Skokie.
[6] Mehta, P.K. and Monteiro, P.J.M. (2006) Concrete: Microstructure, Properties, and Materials. 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill, New York.
[7] Mosley, W.H., Bungey, J.H. and Hulse, R. (1999) Reinforced Concrete Design. 5th Edition, Macmillan Education Limited, Houndmills, Basingstoke.
[8] Adewuyi, A.P. and Ola, B.F. (2005) Application of Waterworks Sludge as Partial Replacement for Cement in Concrete Production. Science Focus Journal, 10, 123-130.
[9] Adewuyi, A.P. and Adegoke, T. (2008) Exploratory Study of Periwinkle Shells as Coarse Aggregates in Concrete Works. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 3, 1-5.
[10] Basu, P.C., Shylamoni P. and Roshan A.D. (2004) Characterization of Steel Reinforcement for RC Structures: An Overview and Related Issues. Indian Concrete Journal, 78, 19-30.
[11] Olaniyi, O.A. (2013) Performance Assessment of Typical Steel Rebars for Practical Reinforced Concrete Structures. An Unpublished Master of Technology Dissertation, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso.
[12] Kolade, O.O. (2015) Characterization of Steel Reinforcing Bars in the Nigerian Market and Performance Evaluation in Concrete Structures. An Unpublished Master of Engineering Dissertation, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
[13] Nawy, E.G., Neuwerth, G.E. and Phillips, C.J. (1971) Behavior of Fiber Glass Reinforced Concrete Beams. Journal of the Structural Division, 97, 2203-2215.
[14] Nawy, E.G. and Neuwerth, G.E. (1977) Fiberglass Reinforced Concrete Slabs and Beams. Journal of the Structural Division, 103, 421-440.
[15] Yamasaki, Y., Masuda, Y., Tanano, H. and Shimizu, A. (1993) Fundamental Properties of Continuous Fiber Bars. In: Nanni, A. and Dolan, C.W., Eds., Proceedings of the Symposium on Fiber Reinforced Polymer Reinforcement for Concrete Structures, American Concrete Institute, Detroit, 715-730.
[16] Faza, S.S. and GangaRao, H.V.S. (1991) Bending Response of Beams Reinforced with FRP Rebars for Varying Concrete Strengths. In: Iyer, S. and Sen, R., Eds. Proceedings of the ASCE Specialty Conference on Advanced Composites in Civil Engineering Structures, American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, 262-270.
[17] Bakis, C.E., Bank, L.C., Brown, V.L., Cosenza, E., Davalos, J.F., Lesko, J.J., Machida, A., Rizkalla, S.H. and Triantafillou, T.C. (2002) Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites for Construction—State-of-the-Art Review. Journal of Composites for Construction, 6, 73-87.
[18] Andonian, P., Mai, Y.M. and Cotterell, B. (1979) Strength and Fracture Properties of Cellulose Fibre Reinforced Cement Composites. International Journal of Cement Composite Lightweight Concrete, 1, 151-158.
[19] Manzur, M.A. and Aziz, M.A. (1982) A Study of Jute Fibre Reinforced Cement Composites. International Journal of Cement Composite Lightweight Concrete, 4, 75-82.
[20] Kankam, J.A., Ben-George, M. and Perry, S.H. (1988) Bamboo-Reinforced Beams Subjected to Third-Point Loading. ACI Structural Journal, 85, 61-67.
[21] Kankam, C.K. (1997) Raffia Palm-Reinforced Concrete Beams. Materials and Structures, 30, 313-316.
[22] Kankam, C.K. (1994) The Influence Of Palm Stalk Fibre Reinforcement on the Shrinkage Stresses in Concrete. Journal of Ferrocement, 24, 3-12.
[23] Schreckenbach, H. and Abenkwa, J.G.K. (1982) Construction Technology for a Tropical Developing Country. German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) for the Department of Architecture, University of Science and Technology, Kumasi.
[24] McClure, F.A. (1966) The Bamboos. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
[25] Austin, R. and Ueda, K. (1972) Bamboo. Weather Hill Publishing, New York.
[26] Falade, F.A. and Akeju, T.A.I. (2002) The Behaviour and Analysis of Bamboo Reinforced Concrete under Flexural Loading. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Structural Engineering Analysis and Modeling, Accra, 26-28 March 2002, 277-288.
[27] Falade, F.A. and Akeju, T.A.I. (2002) Structural Design and Economy of Bamboo Reinforced Concrete Beams. Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Structural Engineering Analysis and Modeling, Accra, 26-28 February 2002, 215-228.
[28] Chembi, A. and Nimityongskul, P. (1989) A Bamboo Reinforced Cement Water Tank. Journal of Ferrocement, 19, 1-17.
[29] Winarto, Y.T. (1989) Rainwater Collection Tanks Constructed on Self Help Basis. Journal of Ferrocement, 19, 247-254.
[30] Ghavami, K. (1995) Ultimate Load Behaviour of Bamboo-Reinforced Lightweight Concrete Beams. Cement and Concrete Composite, 17, 281-288.
[31] Venkateshwarlu, D. and Raj, V. (1989) Development of Bamboo Based Ferrocement Roofing Elements for Low Cost Housing. Journal of Ferrocement, 19, 331-337.
[32] Raj, V. (1990) Large Span Bamboo Ferrocement Elements for Flooring and Roofing Purposes. Journal of Ferrocement, 20, 367-375.
[33] Kankam, J.A., Ben-George, M. and Perry, S.H. (1986) Bamboo-Reinforced Concrete Two-Way Slabs Subjected to Concentrated Loading. Structural Engineering, 64, 85-92.
[34] Alade, G.A., Olutoge, F.A. and Alade, A.A. (2004) The Durability and Mechanical Strength Properties of Bamboo in Reinforced Concrete. Journal of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology, 1, 35-40.
[35] Akeju, T.A.I. and Falade, F.A. (2001) Utilization of Bamboo as Reinforcement in Concrete for Low-Cost Housing. Proceedings of the International Conference on Structural Engineering, Mechanics and Computation, Cape Town, 2-4 April 2001, 1463-1470.
[36] Mahzuz, H.M.A., Ahmed, M., Uddin, M.K., Hossain, M.M. and Saquib, N. (2013) Determination of Tensile Stress and Bond Stress with Concrete of a Rattan (Calamus guruba). Scholars Journal of Engineering and Technology, 1, 39-43.
[37] Ghavami, K. (2005) Bamboo as Reinforcement in Structural Concrete Elements. Cement & Concrete Composites, 27, 637-649.
[38] Baba, M. (2009) Mini Project Report on Shed Type Structures-Steel vs. Bamboo. Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
[39] Mahzuz, H.M.A., Ahmed, M., Ashrafuzzaman, M., Karim, R. and Ahmed, R. (2011) Performance Evaluation of Bamboo with Mortar and Concrete. Journal of Engineering and Technology Research, 3, 342-350.
[40] Chowdhury, M.Q. (2004) Assessment of Some Physical and Mechanical Properties of Golla Bet (Daemonorops jenkinsiana) from North-Eastern Region of Bangladesh. Bamboo and Rattan, 3, 195-201.
[41] Mahzuz, H.M.A., Ahmed, M., Uddin, M.K., Hossain, M.M. and Saquib, N. (2014) Effectiveness Evaluation of Zali Bet as Reinforcement in Concrete Beam. Civil Engineering and Architecture, 2, 269-279.
[42] Lucas, E.B. and Dahunsi, B.I.O. (2004) Bond Strength in Concrete of Canes from Three Rattans Species. Journal of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology, 4, 1-5.
[43] Cox, F.B. and Geymayer, H.G. (1969) Expedient Reinforcement for Concrete for Use in South East Asia: Report 1— Preliminary Test for Bamboo Technical Report No. C-69-3, US Army Corps of Engineers.
[44] Youssef, M.A.R. (1976) Bamboo as a Substitute for Steel Reinforcement in Structural Concrete. In: Fang, H.Y., Ed., New Horizons in Construction Materials, Envo Publishing Co., Leligh Valley, 525-554.
[45] Neville, A.M. and Brook, J.J. (1987) Concrete Technology. Longman Group, London.
[46] Lucas, E.B. and Dahunsi, B.I.O. (2004) Characteristics of Three Western Nigerian Rattan Species in Relation to Their Utilization as Construction Material. Journal of Bamboo and Rattan, 3, 45-56.
[47] Akinyele, J.O. and Olutoge, F.A. (2011) Properties of Rattan Cane Reinforced Concrete Fa?ade Subjected to Axial Loading. Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, 5, 1048-1052.
[48] BS 4449 (2001) Hot Rolled Steel Bars for Reinforcement of Concrete, Part 2. British Standards Institution, London.
[49] ASTM (2003) Standard Test Methods and Definitions for Mechanical Testing of Steel Products—ASTM A 370. West Conshohocken.
[50] BS 882 (1992) Specification for Aggregates from Natural Sources for Concrete. British Standards Institution, London.
[51] BS 1881 (2013) Testing Concrete. Methods for Mixing and Sampling Fresh Concrete in the Laboratory, Part 125. British Standards Institution, London.
[52] BS 8110 (2004) Code of Practice for Structural Use of Concrete, Part 1. British Standards Institution, London.
[53] Obilade, I.O. and Olutoge, F.A. (2014) Flexural Characteristics of Rattan Cane Reinforced Concrete Beams. International Journal of Engineering and Science, 3, 38-42.

Copyright © 2023 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.