24 November 2014 (Wednesday) – Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) researcher, Dr Mohd Khairun Anwar Uyup, won a gold medal at the BioInnovation Awards 2014, held in conjunction with Biotechnology Asia at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) from 19-21 November.
Mohd Khairun, whose research team comprised Dr Hamdan Husain, Prof Dr Paridah Md Tahir, Siti Rafidah Mahmud, Mat Yaacob Che Wan and Mohd Faizul Mohd Shukari, received the medal at the awards ceremony on 20 November for the project entitled, “Exterior Grade Plybamboo”.
The BioInnovation Awards and Biotechnology Asia were co-organised by the Malaysian Association of Research Science (MARS) and PROTEMP Exhibitions Sdn. Bhd. to promote the latest research findings, creative ideas and designs for commercialisation in the biotechnology industry.
While bamboo is stronger than some timber, the high hygroscopicity of its splits and strip forms affect its potential for structural applications. This research project aimed to enhance the properties of plybamboo through impregnation modification using phenolic resin; and to simplify the manufacturing process of plybamboo.
Efforts to enhance the dimensional stability and mechanical properties of plybamboo for outdoor applications were undertaken by treating bamboo strips with phenolic resin before the plybamboo manufacturing, including evaluating resin impregnation; establishing suitable drying and curing techniques; and pressing phenolic-treated bamboo strips.
Strips of Gigantochloa scortechinii (buluh semantan) were used and the study showed significant improvement in the mechanical and physical properties of phenolic-treated plybamboo compared to untreated plybamboo. Both treated and untreated samples were also exposed to outdoor conditions for a year and the results showed that the treated plybamboo exhibit higher bending and compression strength properties. The treated plybamboo is more durable for exterior applications; makes better end-products; and the processing method cuts down production time and cost by 15-20%; and maximizes use of bamboo culms.
Phenolic-treated plybamboo can be used as components in truck bodies, garden furniture or as building material for construction including flooring and decking. The technology has been patented (MY-147974-A) by the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) on 28 February 2013.
For more information, please contact Dr Mohd Khairun via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.