Bamfaux Pipe Sizes

Imitation Bamboo comes in many different sizes

Various Diameters of Bamfaux

Sizing in Imitation Bamboo (Bamfaux) is not easy. Well, it is easy to sell, but not so easy to buy. You want to buy the right size, and not re-buy it when it arrives, simply because it is the wrong size. It would have been so much easier if the size it was named, were the actual size, but no, it isn’t. Nothing could be further from the truth.

PVC pipes, and their fittings, are not the only commodity with this silly naming convention. Take metal piping for instance; both the round rod and the square rod, are not the same size as what it is called/named.

They, in this case the “historical” they, the ‘experts’: ‘They’ decided to standardize things, to supposedly make it easier for us, to make everything the same. At the time (in the past), we must have had many different sizes, but why ‘they’ chose these strange, final, sizes, only ‘they’ know. No one seems to know why only these specific sizes are so important. Except for the fact that, today, these are the sizes everyone uses and everyone makes.

All this preamble to say, I am going to make things a little easier for you, or at least try to.

First, we must choose whether the outer diameter, as opposed to the inner diameter, is the important measurement. It is this measurement that is most exact, whereas the other figure, well, that depends on the thickness of the pipe, whether it is PVC or metal, and, the tools the manufacturer uses to produce the final product. It might even pertain to other products, but all I am interested in, right now, is the PVC.

If these pipes are meant to overlap other pipes of the same type, then the outer diameter is the most important number. It must be exact, so that overlapping can be accomplished with minimal complications. Then the bell, or the section that overlaps, will be enlarged correctly to maintain the thickness of the pipe, while keeping the inside of this small section exact enough to cater to the outer dimension of the original pipe.

Allow me re-phrase that. If the outer diameter of pipe number one is supposed to be half an inch, then the inner diameter of pipe number two (the overlapping area, or bell, or coupling) must also be half an inch otherwise the overlap will not fit. Then, whatever the inner diameter of the pipe is (apart from this small overlapping, or contact, area), will be determined by the thickness of the material, and, because it is not regulated, it will vary. This will depend on the manufacturer and the different methods of achieving this measurement, or maybe some other, unknown, reason. It is not important.

Both metal and PVC have the same measurements and the same naming convention. Whatever it is named, the actual measurement is larger, but generally, not as large as the next size, well, mostly in the larger sizes. When we take a look at the smaller sizes, they vary enormously. Some of these actual measurements should have been named one, or more, sizes up.

The best way to know what the ‘actual versus named’ dimension is, is to have a chart that tells you. Find one, if possible, that gives you both the inner and outer diameter of the type of material you want to use. Put this table near to the telephone, so that you know what to order. Then, find the desired measurement on the table and work backwards and order the correct size for your project.

Or, send me an email, and I will return it with a spreadsheet table that gives you a range of what you might want, and then suggests the correct pipe to order. It works backwards from normal tables and charts. I hope it helps.

Written by Judeline Meintjes. Copyright 2016

Live Bamboo Vs Imitation Bamboo

Colors of Bamfaux

Different colors of Bamfaux

Synthetic Bamboo or Imitation Bamboo is a replica of real Bamboo, although there are other major differences. That is what we will explore here.

Both are really versatile. Live Bamboo can be used as scaffolding, food, mats, walls, and fences and has hundreds of other applications. Imitation Bamboo can almost duplicate this – except for food, of course.

Both types are measured by outside diameter. To determine what size you need, here’s how to work it out. The diameter will be the measurement across the inside from one end to the other, across the middle, in a straight line. That is the diameter.

Now the differences…

Imitation Bamboo never rots because it is not alive. Rotting live Bamboo smells bad, too.

The imitation cannot grow mold because mold doesn’t stick to plastics and it is made from PVC, which is a plastic.

Live Bamboo is seldom dead straight, although many stalks are very close to it. “Imitation” comes into play here. To imitate something you must follow closely all the flaws as well as the perfections. Luckily manufacturers do keep their pipes reasonably straight.

With live Bamboo the ends are often flared, cracked and sometimes flayed. Also, they peel, especially at the ends. With Imitation Bamboo this doesn’t happen, ever.

Long Bamboo stalks are very hard to find, as are very thick pieces. With Imitation Bamboo this is simply not the case. It can be manufactured in any diameter from ¼” to 12″ and thicker if you really want it. Their lengths can range from generally 8′ or 10′, up to and including 20′. Also they have another, fantastic, attribute. They can be joined together to make even longer lengths. You cannot do that with live Bamboo.

Living Bamboo cannot keep its color. A few months in the sun and it tends to start turning gray. Imitation Bamboo will take years before the sun wears away the coloring, turning it white.

The Bamboo plant has an internal oily chemical reaction that pushes away paint and varnish, causing it to flake and peel away. Colored PVC that imitates bamboo, painted to suit you, will not need to be re-varnished or re-painted as often.

In wet, humid, and damp areas, the live plant, once removed from the soil, simply cannot survive. It will get mold and treatment is still in its infancy. This same wetness on PVC, will simply have no effect at all.

The downside? The only real problem I can see is that Imitation Bamboo is prone to scratches and wear. Scratches take away the coloring, leaving behind a white mark. Sometimes this doesn’t matter because the area is small and easily hidden. Other times, it’s better to cut off the offending section and replace it.

Bamboo wears rather well. Some tend to think the plant wears better than the PVC. If you continually rub an area on the painted PVC then, yes, it will wear away the coloring and you’ll be left with white patches. Depending on what is causing the excessive wear, live Bamboo might wear away causing peeling layers, plus it might crack and break and will do so much easier than Imitation Bamboo.

As far as I know both Imitation Bamboo and live Bamboo are neither rigid nor pliable. They both bend to a small degree over a lengthy piece but neither can exactly be called pliable. The only real complication here is that live Bamboo needs to be wet, green, or very young to be able to bend, and as it ages its ability to bend will diminish, whereas Imitation Bamboo simply needs to be itself. Of course, the thicker it is, the less pliable it is.

Neither Imitation Bamboo nor live Bamboo is strong enough to bear any load, like holding up a roof. Maybe you can strap a few lengths together to achieve this but I would not recommend it. With the hollow PVC pipe you can install another load-bearing pole made of steel, or wood, and slip this inside. Hollow live Bamboo has nodes that touch in the middle, preventing the aforementioned load-bearing pole’s access unless you are prepared to drill right through the Bamboo, and that is very difficult if the node is hidden deep within the pipe length.

I hope this helps you determine the differences. The use of either the imitation or live plant can be mostly interchangeable. Now choose whichever suits your purpose.

PS: Imitation Bamboo is called Bamfaux.

JoeJude Enterprises calls Interlachen, Florida, USA, home. Our web page is and the actual page about Imitation Bamboo (Bamfaux) is
Bamfaux (Imitation or Synthetic Bamboo) can be used in both Commercial and Residential applications.
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Imitation Bamboo is UV Resistant

This article was written and sent to Ezine Articles somewhere around 2010/2011. Enjoy!

I was searching the Internet the other day for something to write about that might have a bearing on my business of converting PVC pipe into Imitation Bamboo and found something very interesting.

One of the PVC pipe manufacturers performed an interesting test, as part of their service and commitment to their customers. Apparently they, these and other producers, are always doing some or other test to evaluate and measure their PVC, both their specifications and the necessity for change. As needs and demands change over time, they are coping by first testing the variables the consumer is demanding.

One of these tests concerns sunlight. Long-term exposure to UV rays generally degrades anything and everything. It’s nature’s way of reclaiming life, maybe we should call it ‘natural recycling’ and, obviously, even our Imitation Bamboo will eventually need to be recycled.

Not so long ago a 2-year test was done to find out the effects of sunlight on PVC pipe, which we use as the basis for our Imitation Bamboo. Harmful UV rays, and its effect, was quantified and recorded.

PVC pipes were stacked outside on racks, fully exposed to the sun and turned periodically so that the whole pipe was open to the elements. They reclaimed a few pipes every so often and tested their integrity, strength, and whatever else they deemed necessary.

At first glance, I thought that what they found was astonishing. There seemed to be no real harm done. The pipes could still carry their load – deliver liquids – generally under pressure. After 2 years there was no degradation, no loss of physical attributes and no visible ruin.

The PVC pipe could still withstand the pressure it was designed to endure. In effect that means no leakages. Also, the sun did not eat up too much of the surface. The next test, over 15 years, proved that the UV rays scoured only 0.002 inches off the surface. I thought that was fantastic, highly minimal corrosion if you ask me, exactly what I wanted to hear.

Of course, when the time comes, recycling our Imitation Bamboo will be a very important step toward saving our planet. Plastic Recyclers will hopefully be able to reuse and maybe remake these pipes or convert them into Irrigation tubes. Nothing should go to waste.

So how does this affect our Bamfaux (Imitation Bamboo)? Well, the painting that we do on the surface of the pipe, to color it to mimic Bamboo, will obviously degrade or fade first. Then, because our method, and the paints we use, allows the coloring to further penetrate the PVC, this will afford our Synthetic/Imitation Bamboo a fraction more protection, or resistance.

Plus, some paints are better suited to the outdoors than others. The paints we use are specially mixed, more resistant to UV rays than, say, the paint you use on the exterior of your home. I have not yet found a time factor to corroborate this fact but I will tell you this. The paints we use have lasted 10 years and more in other applications, so to be conservative we’re saying our Bamfaux should last a period of 3 years and longer. Also our Imitation Bamboo has been in many areas, sunlight, shade, indoors and out, I have seen our Bamfaux at various places and they do look good.

I cannot guarantee that, of course. You know as well as I do that in some areas the sun is harsher than others. In dryer areas, like desert and semi-desert, the sun seems closer to Earth, stronger. It strips away any moisturizing properties the paint and PVC combination (which makes up our Synthetic/Imitation Bamboo) might have had, whereas others areas, colder climates that see less sun and therefore have less sunny days, this combination will last many, many, times longer even outside in the direct sunlight.

I do know that authentic, real, live, Bamboo will not last as long as our Imitation Bamboo, not in direct sunlight, not in humidity and definitely not outdoors where it is subject to both rain and shine as well as the harsh extremities of weather, specifically the UV rays of sunlight.

Written by Judeline Meintjes who is also part owner of JoeJude Enterprises. Imitation Bamboo is called Bamfaux and can be obtained from our webpage at – For themes, décor, art, as well as both commercial and residential applications, please visit our web site.

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