Dr. Timothy Ross Files Patent on Bamboo Connectors

November 2, 2015

timothy rossOn September 25, 2015, the UNM intellectual property office, STC.UNM, filed for patent pending status with the USPTO for the invention disclosure titled, Bamboo Pole Connectors for Building Construction.  The invention has been granted a patent pending status, #62/056,177.  Professor Ross disclosed the invention to STC.UNM in September 2014, and was given a provisional patent status at that time.

The STC.UNM office is now entering a marketing phase to determine if a start-up company to import bamboo poles and initiate a manufacturing facility to make the connectors for worldwide distribution.

Summary of the Invention:

The invention is for the utility of being able to use a natural resource, bamboo, as the load carrying members of 1-4 story commercial and residential buildings. Heretofore bamboo poles were connected by bolts, or simple wire/rope wrappings. These traditional connections don't resist bending moments, they cause weaknesses in the bamboo itself, and they are not useful over the lifetime of a building. With the new connector technology, it will be possible to build buildings that have superior strength and stiffness characteristics to conventional wood buildings. Use of bamboo as a green material will significantly reduce the carbon footprint, and the high expense, of conventional building materials. The invention can be extended to include connection details for components of a building other than the main-load carrying members. The main idea of the connectors is that they accept the natural geometry of a bamboo pole, cylindrical, and they provide rigidity and bending moment transfer without the need for screws, bolts, or nails. Moreover, the design allows for the use of the connectors on bamboo poles of varying diameter from one end of a pole to the other.