There's no question that bamboo is a strong material. Some architects have built entire homes using bamboo as the primary material.
However, Dirk Hebel, a professor from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, has created a new bamboo composite material that combines bamboo with an organic resin to create a product that can be shaped into anything and cut or sanded like wood.
In a lab in Singapore, concrete reinforced with this bamboo composite has undergone heavy testing, and the most recent prototype failed to break under machine testing.
"We can produce a material that in terms of tensile capacity is better than steel," Hebel said. "Our material is only a quarter of the weight of steel. In terms of strength to weight, it performs better than steel."
Next, Hebel says, is to find a replacement for concrete.