Innovative Steamer for Plasticizing Rattan

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Author(s) Steiner Rudolf | Padditey Eugene | Kwame Kyere
Pages 685-689
Volume 2
Issue 9
Date September, 2013
Keywords Rattan, heat retention, steaming, kiln mortar, density, craftsmen, temperature.

Rattan is an outstanding non timber forest product used for many applications in art and construction. One of the many characteristics of this outstanding forest product is its ability to be bent, curved or bowed into forms. Bending of these materials by the traditional craftsmen requires the use of blow torch, which lives burnt marks that affect the rattan and the resultant market value of its products. A high temperature steaming facility for plasticizing of local rattan varieties in Ghana was designed and constructed. Materials used include locally manufactured heat retention bricks, locally compounded refractory mortar and gas burners rated at 158 kilojoules. This innovative steamer is an answer to the blow torch method of rattan bending used by traditional craftsmen, production units and a number of institutions that work with rattans in Ghana. The fire box constituent of the steamer which ensured utmost heat preservation is specially built to keep the temperature of the steamer elevated for successful plasticizing of rattan, resulting in easy bending of rattans around jigs.

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