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2/22/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Composites manufacturers and legislative leaders met to discuss composites in infrastructure

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The meetings were facilitated by ACMA and discussed legislation such as the IMAGINE Act and the former Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program. 

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More than forty composites industry leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., U.S. from Feb. 13-14, 2019, for Infrastructure Day. Hosted by American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA, Arlington, Va., U.S.), the event was intended to facilitate meetings between composites manufacturers and congressional leaders to educate them about composite infrastructure products and key issues impacting the industry.

During opening remarks, ACMA President Tom Dobbins reiterated the urgency of the composites industry to get engaged with legislators to build the case for composites and advanced materials. Over the two-day event, attendees had over 90 meetings with House and Senate offices of both parties from around the country.

ACMA says that its leadership with legislative advocacy has yielded significant gains for the composites industry, including the inclusion of composites and advanced materials in the recently introduced IMAGINE Act, which Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) says "will help identify innovative technology and advanced materials to address the nation's growing infrastructure needs."

According to ACMA, gaining support for the IMAGINE Act was one of the key priorities for this month’s congressional meetings, along with promoting authorization of a composites standards and research program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST, Gaithersburg, Md., U.S.).

Participants also received a briefing on the results of the Transportation Research Board's analysis of the former Innovative Bridge Research and Construction Program (IBRC), which featured wide use of composite infrastructure technologies. The report is said to recommend a new federal program that models the IBRC program, along with new research programs by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and state DOTs to expand data collection and better evaluate the improvement in performance and life-cycle costs of bridges using new and existing advanced materials. These elements are included in the IMAGINE Act.

According to Dobbins, "The successes we've seen over the last 12-24 months with adoption and movement of new legislation and research that promotes the use of composites to build a stronger, next-generation infrastructure in the U.S. is a direct result of the action and leadership of ACMA and our membership. From the findings from the Study on the Performance of IBRC bridges to the more recent introduction of the IMAGINE Act, the momentum for composites is growing. ACMA is committed to expanding this momentum to all industries in 2019 and beyond."

To learn more, visit www.acmanet.org/policy-agenda.

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