Modeling bamboo as a functionally graded material

Emílio Carlos Nelli Silva, Matthew C. Walters, Glaucio H. Paulino

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations


Natural fibers are promising for engineering applications due to their low cost. They are abundantly available in tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and they can be employed as construction materials. Among natural fibers, bamboo has been widely used for housing construction around the world. Bamboo is an optimized composite material which exploits the concept of Functionally Graded Material (FGM). Biological structures, such as bamboo, are composite materials that have complicated shapes and material distribution inside their domain, and thus the use of numerical methods such as the finite element method and multiscale methods such as homogenization, can help to further understanding of the mechanical behavior of these materials. The objective of this work is to explore techniques such as the finite element method and homogenization to investigate the structural behavior of bamboo. The finite element formulation uses graded finite elements to capture the varying material distribution through the bamboo wall. To observe bamboo behavior under applied loads, simulations are conducted considering a spatially-varying Young's modulus, an averaged Young's modulus, and orthotropic constitutive properties obtained from homogenization theory. The homogenization procedure uses effective, axisymmetric properties estimated from the spatially-varying bamboo composite. Three-dimensional models of bamboo cells were built and simulated under tension, torsion, and bending load cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMultiscale and Functionally Graded Materials - Proceedings of the International Conference, FGM IX
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event9th International Conference on Multiscale and Functionally Graded Materials, FGM IX - Oahu Island, HI, United States
Duration: Oct 15 2006Oct 18 2006

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference9th International Conference on Multiscale and Functionally Graded Materials, FGM IX
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOahu Island, HI

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Bamboo
  • Finite element analysis
  • Functionally graded material
  • Graded elements
  • Homogenization


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