Steam-bending rattan poles (1)
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Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), Philippines. 2001. Steam-bending rattan poles (1). INBAR, Beijing, China
Permanent link to cite or share this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10568/64372
Steam-bending technology for rattan poles
Rattan is one of the most important non-timber forest products (NTFP) in the Philippines. It is in great demand for furniture and handicrafts for local and overseas markets. The country’s exports of rattan furniture alone averaged US$ 119 million per year from 1994- 1998. Rattan is a climbing palm with unique physical and mechanical properties. It is light and has good strength properties but the main attribute of the material that influences product designs and quality, whether in round pole or split form, is its flexibility. Round poles can be bent into various forms and shapes for the structural and decorative components of rattan furniture and handicrafts. The bending of rattan poles into the desired shape is traditionally done with a blowtorch. This process produces scorch or burn marks on the surface of the bent items and this consequently degrades product quality and value. The most efficient bending method involves plasticizing the stocks for a suitable period in a steaming chamber prior to bending to the required shape with the aid of appropriate bending jigs. After this the bent pieces are dried to the required moisture content in restrained mode before product assembly. This is referred to as “steam bending”. The main equipment for steam-bending rattan poles that served as the model for this TOTEM was located inside the plant site at the Asia Rattan Manufacturing Company (ARMC), one of the four privately owned organizations that compose the AWECA group of companies based in Angeles City, Central Luzon. The ARMC and its sister companies have been the major beneficiaries of the technology transfer program of the FPRDI on rattan processing since 1987. ARMC cooperated in the documentation of the rattan pole steam-bending technology for this TOTEM.