New Publication from Marine Structures Working Group Promotes Composites

 Most of the waterfront infrastructure in the world was built over the last 100 years with concrete, steel and timber. However, engineers in charge of new waterfront construction and rehabilitation of aging facilities are commonly confronted with increasing concerns about the environmental impacts at dockside and the life expectancy of these legacy materials, factors that have given composites a foothold. To assist new users, PIANC, formerly the Permanent International Assn. of Navigation Congresses- RecCom Working Group 15, is currently finalizing an international publication to introduce and clarify the subject of alternative materials related to the construction and rehabilitation works in marinas, ports and harbors. The draft document, entitled The Use of Alternative Materials in Marine Structure Construction, was to be presented to PIANC's oversight committee on Oct. 6. If approved, it will be published and distributed to hundreds of thousands of engineering professionals around the world.

PIANC's objective is to promote both inland and maritime navigation by fostering progress in the planning, design, construction, improvement, maintenance and operation of waterways and ports. In addition to an introduction and background on composites, the RecCom Working Group 15 document gives specific information on structural shapes, nonmetallic reinforcements, preservation/repair/strengthening products and hybrid structural elements/systems. A list of material suppliers and a variety of case studies also are included in the report.

PIANC, a technical and scientific organization of na-tional governments, corporations and private individuals headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, maintains national sections in 23 countries. Founded in 1885, it is the oldest international association concerned exclusively with technical aspects of navigation, ports and waterways. In the U.S., the Corps of Engineers has regulatory authority for navigation and facilitates PIANC activities. Over the past six years, Working Group 15 has interfaced with numerous individuals related to organizations, including COMPOSITESWORLD, the American Composite Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA), ACI International and ASTM International, to ensure the most comprehensive technical report. The working group anticipates developing other publications related to composites in the marine environment.

Interested parties who wish to ensure their products and activities are included in the PIANC documents can contact the PIANC Working Group 15 international chairperson, Terry Browne, P.E.,