Axion to produce bridge composites using recycled plastics

The $957,000 contract calls for use of recycled plastics in composites to replace two bridges at Fort Eustis, Va., home of the U.S. Army Transportation Corps.

Axion International Holdings Inc. (New Providence, N.J., USA), a next-generation technology firm that uses recycled plastic in high-load industrial products, announced on Nov. 11 the completion of a milestone $957,000 contract for the construction of two railroad bridges designed from nearly 100 percent recycled plastics.

The U.S. Army has commissioned each of these bridges to be built at Fort Eustis, Va., home of the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. The main structural components of these bridges will be made entirely from recycled consumer and industrial plastics using Axion’s proprietary immiscible blending to create Recycled Structural Composites (RSC). With load rating capacities of 130 tons, these bridges will reach a new milestone in thermoplastic load-bearing capacity, surpassing the current record held by Axion’s bridges at Fort Bragg, N.C., which are able to support loads of more than 73 tons for tracked vehicles, and 88 tons for wheeled vehicles.

“This sizable contract represents the perfect marriage of two of our core infrastructure products — bridges and railroad crossties,” said James Kerstein, CEO of Axion. “Not only will the bridges be constructed using our proprietary Recycled Structural Composite technology, the railroad crossties will also be made out of virtually 100 percent recycled consumer and industrial plastics. Our innovative eco-industrial material is clearly a superior choice, considering it is non-toxic, inert and lasts significantly longer than creosote-treated wooden ties in a manner that is nearly maintenance-free and eco-friendly.”

The new RSC bridges, says Axion, will replace two wooden bridges that have been taken out of service, and do so faster and less expensively than could have been achieved using wood, steel or concrete. The new short-span bridges will extend approximately 40 ft/12.2m and 80 ft/24.4m respectively. Each of these bridges will be designed to achieve a high-load rating of 130 tons to transport locomotives and freight traffic for military movement and base exercises, achieving a Cooper E-60 Rating.