Episode 39: Joe Fox, FX Consulting

Consultant Joe Fox talks about the massive potential for composites use in infrastructure applications and what it will take to turn that potential into reality.
#infrastructure #787

Episode 39: Joe Fox, FX Consulting


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Joe Fox, FX Consulting.

Joe Fox, FX Consulting. Photo Credit: Joe Fox

This is episode 39 of CW Talks and CW editor-in-chief Jeff Sloan’s guest is Joe Fox. Joe is currently a consultant in the composites industry, but he has a long career that includes work at Standard Oil, BP America, Ashland Chemical and INEOS Composites. Joe is currently highly involved in an effort to expand composites use in infrastructure applications. He is working closely with the American Composites Manufacturers Assn. (ACMA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to help civil engineers to better understand what composites are and how they can be applied to bridges, marine structures, utilities, and much more. Joe will talk about is experience in this effort, how civil engineers respond to his message, the value of composites use in lifecycle analysis, and the potential for composites use in a floating city.

Joe references in this discussion the ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, which can be found here.  

Transcript of Joe Fox interview with CW Talks

Jeff Sloan (JS): Let's start with just an introduction of who you are. What's your background? And how did you come to the composites industry and composite materials?

Joe Fox (JF): I am a chemist by training. I have a PhD in chemistry from Penn State. And I have spent 40 years in the specialty chemicals and specialty materials industries. I started my career in Cleveland, with Standard Oil of Ohio, or Sohio at the time, which was acquired by British Petroleum in the mid '80s and we became BP America. I spent 13 years at Sohio and BP, working mostly on catalysts for Sohio and ceramics for British Petroleum. I then moved to Ashland and spent the next 25 years working for Ashland chemical and their performance materials division in Dublin, Ohio. And Ashland sells thermosetting resins that are used for a wide variety of applications, things like adhesives, and specific to this conversation composite resin. And I served in technical, managerial and business development roles. For the last 13 years of my career at Ashland, I was in their composite polymers division, which was actually acquired by INEOS at the end of 2019. I retired last year, I have formed my own consulting business FX Consulting because I want to stay active in the specialty chemicals and specialty materials industries. And with that in mind, I've stayed very active in two organizations focused on composites, ACMA, the American Composites Manufacturers Association, and IACMI, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation. That's a little bit about me.

JS: Before we talk about your current work, you spent a lot of years at Ashland, of course, Ashland, as you noted, no longer exists as Ashland. I'm I'm wondering if that was how you feel about that. I mean, it seems like as long as I've been in the industry Ashland has been around I'm very involved in to have it morph, the way it did is a little jarring. And maybe it's just my resistance to change. But I'm wondering how it was to you to be so long associated with Ashland and to have a have it evolve the way did?

JF: Well, the short answer is, I think it was a very good thing for the composite polymers division. Ashland really transformed itself during my career there. When I first joined it, it was Ashland Oil. But over the last 15 years, they really have transformed the company from an oil company into a specialty chemicals company. Specifically, in the last five or six years, they've really moved towards specialty chemicals for things like pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics and personal care. And so when INEOS purchased the composite polymers division, it was actually a better fit, I think, for that division.

JS: So you mentioned ACMA, and IACMI, and I know you've been working for a few years with, with both now to integrate composites into infrastructure applications. So let's talk a little bit about that. And I know ACMA relies heavily on the American Infrastructure Report Card, which of course, is getting a lot of attention these days, given some of the legislation that the federal government is contemplating for beefing up the American infrastructure, but you know, most people maybe don't know that the American Infrastructure Report Card is issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers or as see every year. I think it's every year maybe it's not. And the ACMA you know, relies on this report card to kind of guide its efforts to target composites toward infrastructure applications. Can you tell us more about the report card and why it's so important.

JF: The report card is really a major undertaking for ASC. And actually, it's issued every four years. The most recent one just came out last month. So you've got the 2021 Report Card, hot off the presses, the last one was in 2017. Unfortunately, it's not the kind of report card that you want your kids to go home with. The overall grade for our nation's infrastructure is a very disappointing C minus. The report card is an incredible resource. There's a lot of energy put into it. And there's a lot of valuable information, not only on the federal level, not only on the national level, but there's also information for each state. And if anyone is interested in learning more, I'll just mention the website. It's infrastructurereportcard.org, infrastructurereportcard, all one word,.org. And you mentioned in your question, ACMA and how it uses the report card. Every year, ACMA organizes what's called an infrastructure fly-in to Capitol Hill, where a group of ACMA members go to DC to advocate for legislation and funding that will help spur the use of composites. Now, this year's visit was a virtual visit because of COVID-19. But in those visits, ACMA uses the report card to illustrate the need for infrastructure investment. And we find out that many members of Congress are actually very familiar with the report card, and we use it to illustrate both the need and the fit. So the ASC infrastructure report card is a very valuable tool for ACMA and its advocacy efforts.

JS: It sounds like you've been a part of these visits to Capitol Hill to speak to legislators about infrastructure needs.

JF: Yes, I have, I've probably been to four of them for infrastructure. And I think there's also been some for transportation and aviation. And I've been involved in a couple of those. Just last week, we had a virtual phone call with one of Senator Portman's staffers being in Ohio, he is one of our two Ohio senators.

JS: I'm wondering what your experience is interacting with lawmakers about their views or their attitudes toward infrastructure improvement. You know, it's not inexpensive as the legislation that we're contemplating right now proves, but it's also valuable and important. You know, what kind of feedback do you get from legislators when you when you make these outreaches?

JF: So it's, it's been very positive, Jeff, I think the first year that we went, was right after President Trump had been inaugurated. And at that point, Capitol Hill was still adjusting to the fact that we had a new president. So when we went the first time, they listened, but they really weren't engaged very much. They were just preoccupied with a lot of things. That changed. That changed. The next year we went, they were listening much more. And the year after that, when we came back, some of the staffers actually recognized us. I should say that typically, when you go to Washington, DC, you have a chance to maybe meet with one senator, a couple of representatives, usually you're meeting with their staffers. And they are very, very capable people. And and they do listen, and they do remember, and when ACMA goes in, they have a list of things that they'd really like support on specific bills or specific clauses in bills. I have found that we have a receptive ear. And I think this year, even more so because it looks like 2021 could be a very important year for infrastructure, legislation and infrastructure funding if Congress can begin to cooperate.

JS: Alright, so let's talk more about how composites might be applied there. But before we do, can you tell us how the ASCE defines infrastructure because it seems like that's important to understand what the context is.

JF: They do a very good job. They divide infrastructure into 17 different categories. I won't name all of them. But those 17 categories include things like bridges and roads, water infrastructure, different types of water infrastructure for things like drinking water, and wastewater. Then you've got infrastructure for ports and inland water. waves and levees. And then you have energy infrastructure, things like the electrical grid, and pipelines. As I mentioned, this year's report card is is not that good. If there are only two Bs, five Cs, and the rest of the grades are either D, D-, or D+, if you look at the 17 categories, there's definitely a lot of room for improvement. And that's where I think FRP composites can help they can get those Cs and Ds of the As and Bs.

JS: Where do we have Bs right now?

JF: In Bs we have in rail has a B, and ports has a B-.

JS: Right. So I know I know that part of your job or your mission right now is to help civil engineers in particular understand, you know, what composites are and how they can be applied in infrastructure applications. Can you tell me more about that effort and how you go about that?

JF: Sure, there's been several ways that I and others have been trying to reach out to civil engineers. First of all, I'll talk about me personally. I have become a member of ASCE, and I am a member of their speaker's bureau. Over the last several months, I have been giving a webinar to local chapters of ASCE. The webinar is entitled connecting FRP composites to AFCE's infrastructure, report card and Future World Vision. So I try and tie FRP composites to two documents that have come out of ASCE, the 2021 report card, and another document known as future world vision, which looks at cities of the future. I begin the webinar with some background and definitions of what FRP composites are. Then I talk about the attributes and the benefits of FRP composites specifically as they relate to infrastructure. And then I give them some examples, some case studies where FRP has been used in a wide variety of applications now and potentially in the future. So that's the first one. The second approach also involves webinars. And this is where I've been working with, with ACMA because ACMA is actually planning to have a webinar series on infrastructure and construction. In June of this year, the actual dates are June 21 to the 24th. And I'm on the planning committee. And we've been putting together a very good program, about FRP composites in a lot of the categories in the report card. And I think it should definitely appeal to civil engineers. I also mentioned that I'm involved with IACMI, the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing and Innovation. And I've been involved with IACMI since its inception six years ago. But I was mostly focused when I was at Ashland, and INEOS on projects that involve automotive applications of FRP. Well, because of all the interest in infrastructure, IACMI has just formed an infrastructure and construction working group. And I'm actually the Co-facilitator of that working group. And we've already attracted several civil engineers into the working group. And we're actively looking for more civil engineers to join. So three different initiatives.

JS: I know your message to similar civil engineers typically revolves around the five attributes of composite materials that you consider a good fit with infrastructure. And I'll just list the five real quick. They're lightweight, easy to install, corrosion resistant, durable, and resilient, which are all, you know, properties we're familiar with. You also make direct comparisons to legacy materials like steel and concrete and aluminum. And I'm wondering how civil engineers and particularly those who don't know much about composites, I'm wondering how they respond to this information?

JF: Well, so far, the response has been very positive. Many of the listeners to my webinar will say to me, I didn't know all those things were made with composites. There's definitely an awareness benefit. The attributes that I highlight, and you mentioned them that I mentioned them again, lightweight, easy to install, corrosion resistant, durable, and resilient, are what these engineers are looking for. And then when I talk about the benefits that come about as a result of those attributes, things like labor savings and material savings, and equipment savings, and lower maintenance costs and lower replacement costs. That's also what they're looking for. I've talked to Jerry Buckwalter, Jerry Buckwalter is one of the senior officers of ASCE he he's really the primary person responsible for that Future World Vision. And he told me that when I was giving my webinars, I should definitely talk about resiliency, because that's a hot topic for ASCE as they look to the future, and I built that in. And he also coached me to talk about sustainability, and lifecycle analysis. So I've included information because the civil engineers are interested. And it's been interesting. When we get to the Q&A section after my webinar, there have been a lot of questions about life cycle analysis.

JS: One point I've heard made over the last few years about composites use in infrastructure revolves around cost, the unit cost of composite materials tend to be more than the unit cost of legacy materials. And you just noted that some of the advantages are of a composites over the life of a of the composite in infrastructure is, you know, reduce maintenance, easier installation, they're more durable. So you don't have to replace them as frequently. In one of the arguments I hear is, well, that may all may be true. But for the person who has to authorize that initial cost, they may or may not be around to benefit, or to receive the credit for having spent less money over the life of the structure. And so the incentives for spending more money upfront to save more money later, are a little out of balance. I'm sure you've heard that. And I'm wondering how you respond to that.

JF: And you are definitely correct. And that is a challenge. However, I've seen in my conversations with ASCE and some of the other with Jerry Buckwalter, there is getting to be more attention paid to the lifecycle costs. So that decision is not simply made based on the upfront costs, which is going to typically be higher, but when you've got the lower transportation, and installation costs, because you've got lower weight materials, when you have lower maintenance costs, because they're more corrosion resistant, and more durable. And you've got lower replacement costs, because they're more durable and more resilient. They they are listening. And and the other point that I'll make, Jeff, is when ACMA goes and advocates for legislation, and I mentioned specific clauses of bills, there really is an attempt to get built into the legislation that the decision-makers need to consider the lifecycle costs, not just the upfront costs, but it is a challenge.

JS: So, what do you think is driving that? What is driving the greater interest in understanding and accounting for the lifecycle cost?

JF: I think it's because of this big gap in infrastructure, you know, spending. If you look at the report card, there is a $2.6 trillion gap needed to fulfill our repair and replacement needs. And I think people are saying, "We can't keep doing this, we can't keep building things, and then having to repair them every two or five or 10 years." We need things that are going to last longer, and require less repair and maintenance over the lifetime of the bridge, or that gap is just going to keep increasing. That's what I think's happening.

JS: So, let's talk more about these attributes that you mentioned. And when you think about those, that you emphasize those five, when you think about how engineers respond to your message, you mentioned resiliency. But I'm wondering if there are particular applications for composites and infrastructure that you think are a particularly good fit, or that you know, when you talk about them, generate a lot of interest or have strong appeal on among the civil engineers who speak to.

JF: Since we talked about resiliency, I'll start there. You know, I think there's a lot of interest right now in resilient materials. With the frequency or the greater frequency of natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, people are interested in materials that are going to be resilient and are going to be able to withstand that. And FRP has a good story to tell there because, you know, they can be used for things like sea walls that are much more durable. They can be used for piers that can withstand the storm, storm surge, storm surge, and utility poles, which can really survive things like forest fires, and hurricanes and tornadoes. So there's a lot of interest in resilient materials and resilient  applications. I think there are real opportunities in water infrastructure. I'll give you a couple of facts from the report card. The report card says that nearly 6 billion gallons of drinking water are lost every day to leaky pipes. 6 billion gallons. That's almost 15% of the US water drinking supply.

JS: 15% per day is being lost to...

JF: Every day. 6 billion gallons every day. Yes, yes. Also, they talk about water main burst. And they say there are between 250,000 and 300,000 every year due to old pipes. The fit with FRP there, they have been used for the construction of pipes, they have been used for the repair of pipes, there's techniques for you know, fixing pipes under the ground without having to pull up the pipes.

JS: That's cured-in-place pipe, right?

JF: Right, exactly. And so you know, there's interest in that. And then, in bridge repair, several states have really kind of taken the lead with respect to using FRP. For bridge repair. The Florida Department of Transportation is probably the leader in the nation. They have used FRP composites and they have used concrete that is reinforced with FRP rebar in a lot of bridges in the state of Florida. In the Midwest, you've got the state of Michigan. Michigan has done a lot with FRP. The largest bridge in the state of Michigan, the Rouge River Bridge, has actually been repaired with carbon fiber FRP wraps, and they have put more than 200 wraps on the columns on that bridge. I'm looking at resilient materials. I'm looking at water infrastructure, and I'm looking at bridge repair. And there are other examples that I could talk about where there's a good fit too.

JS: You just mentioned Florida, and my next question is about that. And I guess you could throw Michigan in as well. Florida has always seemed to me, kind of at the forefront of leadership in terms of application of composites and infrastructure. Maybe it's driven in part by the fact that they're virtually surrounded by water and have to control that water. But you must have some observations about what drives strong composite adoption in an organization or in a state. Is it people is it legislation? You know, what, what motivates and drives that do you think?

JF: Florida has been a leader. I think you touched upon the fact that they have salt water all around them is is a big driver and they're very concerned about corrosion. They're also concerned about sea level rise, whether it be freshwater or sea water. And so I think, you know, the fact that they've got so much water, and they're concerned about, you know, sea level rise is is driving them. But I think this is a place, Jeff, where there's a real need. I think to have more adoption of composites among the civil engineering and the construction community, we need to have more education for people in school, and people out of school. I've mentioned the webinars, the ones that I've been giving the ones that ACMA is planning, and those are primarily intended for people who are already in industry. But I think we also need to expose more people while they're in school about FRP. You've got civil engineers and mechanical engineers who learn about designing with metals, designing with steel designing with aluminum designing with concrete. We need to have more college courses, graduate level courses focused on designing with FRP. And I know of a couple of universities that are doing that. University of Tennessee, which is involved in IACMI. And I also am familiar with the program at the University of Maine. And they have courses that are geared towards teaching young engineers, new engineers about FRP and making them more comfortable. That's a big need for the industry as a whole. Designing with composites is more challenging. As as you well know. There are so many combinations of resins and fibers and different fabrication methods and different fiber architectures, that you really do need to educate people about what they can and can't do. And you're also talking about anisotropic materials that have properties in different directions. So we really do need to educate these engineers about how to design with these materials.

JS: Yeah, I mean, that's always been one of my arguments about composites is that they're completely analogous to legacy materials. They're, as you said, they're anisotropic. They're the only material that's made as a part is made, which is, I think, very difficult for a lot of people to grasp, you know, mentally, and then just designing for it, as you said, the variety of fibers and resins and processing, and even tooling and finishing is just very complicated. When you when you interact with civil engineers, is it fair to say a vast majority of them, have maybe heard of composites, but really don't know what they are? And just lack the knowledge or, you know. What is your sense as you interact with these folks?

JF: I think it's more a lack of knowledge than they've experienced them and said, "No, I don't want to use them." I think it's more a lack of awareness. Because if they really do become familiar with the benefits, I think there will be greater adoption. You know, the lightweight, just just lightweight, you know, FRP composites are about one-fifth, the weight of steel, they're 40% lighter than aluminum. They're a third, the weight of concrete is very important when you're installing things.

JS: And you mentioned earlier lifecycle analysis. And I assume that even if say your run-of-the-mill civil engineer, does not fully understand what composites are, they do know what lifecycle analysis is. And you can use that as a bridge to helping them understand the value of composites and what they can do for infrastructure.

JF: Right and with with lifecycle analysis, in my webinar, I highlight one particular lifecycle cost analysis. It's an analysis of the Halls River Bridge, which is a bridge near Tampa, Florida. And the primary authors are Tony Nani, who is a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Miami, and Steve Nolan, who is with the Florida Department of Transportation. And they have done a very detailed analysis of this bridge and I, I walk people through this in my webinar, it is the most detailed lifecycle cost analysis that I've seen. And it is also the most detailed slide in my webinar, it takes me about four or five minutes to go through it. But it's important to go through it because it does show that the upfront costs are higher with FRP. But then there's less maintenance, because you're they're using corrosion-resistant, FRP rebar, and they have assumed that a steel bridge is going to last 75 years, and the FRP bridge is going to last 100 years. So at the end of the day, at the end of the day, their lifecycle cost analysis shows that FRP would be 20% lower than the steel bridge in terms of lifecycle costs. And we as an industry need more examples like that to show people. I have a couple of other examples in my webinar, which aren't quite as detailed, but still show that you can have even lower upfront costs in some cases with FRP. And then definitely lower lifecycle costs. So lower capex and lower opex is possible with FRP. But usually the case is you have higher capex and lower opex.

JS: We talked earlier a little bit already about applications that are good targets for composites, especially those in the in the report card we mentioned. I'm wondering if I could dovetail off of that a little bit and get you to think about the legislation that is pending before the US Congress right now that is being targeted toward infrastructure. Do you see anything in that legislation, are you aware of anything that maybe we as an industry should keep an eye on that you you think is critical to maybe accelerating composites use an infrastructure? Are there other aspects of this legislation that that we should focus on to help us maybe understand what the opportunities are?

JF: So as part of those ACMA advocacy efforts, there is some legislation that has been introduced separately in the House and in the Senate called the Imagine Act. And the Imagine Act doesn't just deal with composites, but it does deal with the use of innovative construction materials. And there are elements of the Imagine Act that would provide I think it's $65 million a year for bridge construction with innovative materials and for the construction of water Infrastructure using innovative materials. And I've talked about both of those categories in the report card a little bit. So we definitely want to see the Imagine Act at it either passed, or I've learned a lot over the years about how Congress works, that they cut and paste part of the Imagine Act into other bills. There's another thing that is in the Imagine Act that deals with the creation of Material Innovation Hubs. And I think that it would be very beneficial if the the composites industry could create and operate one of these material innovation hubs. And then the last thing I'll say is that there is some legislation that is trying to get some funding for NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, to do some research that would be devoted to standards and specifications for FRP composites. There already are numerous standards and specifications, but there are definitely gaps. And that's an area where I think ACMA and ASCE should cooperate to fill those gaps. So Imagine Act and NIST legislation are definitely things that the composites industry should support, because it would benefit our industry.

JS: You mentioned the materials, I think you said Advanced Materials Innovation Hub, what would that look like?

JF: So, in fact, I've been asking people what that would look like. Probably the closest thing is something that already exists in New England. It's called the TIDC, the Transportation Infrastructure Durability Center, TIDC. And it is a consortium of universities that involves the University of Maine, Rhode Island, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and it is research focused on developing more durable infrastructure solutions based on FRP. I've learned a little bit about how the DOT is organized, they divide the country into 10 different regions. And there are there could be material innovation hubs in each of the reasons. And it would be great if some of them were involved with composites. And there's one other thing I should just mention, it's being mentioned as part of President Biden's infrastructure bill, and it's not even covered in the infrastructure report card. But it is broadband, and trying to get wireless to more parts of the country, or improved 5G communication throughout our country. That's another area where I think there could be opportunity for composites going forward. Because in addition to those five attributes that we talked about earlier, FRP composites are also transparent to radio frequency waves. And and that's the wavelength that you need for 5G communication. And so you can envision it particularly in a mega city, in a in a city, you need a lot more antennas, and you need materials that are transparent to RF, so you could have FRP, for antenna shrouds, they could be parts of the building envelope could be made out of FRP. And it would make it easier for the radio frequency waves to go between buildings and through buildings. So that's another area where the government plans to spend money. And where FRP composites could have a fit. There's a there's some efforts in Europe that I'm aware of. There's a project called Luxtourem 5G where they're actually making light poles out of FRP composites, pultruded FRP composites, but they don't only serve as light poles, they also serve as, as antennas. And there's even some that have drone charging stations on top of them. So it's very clever.

JS: Yeah, back when we had trade shows, which is now what 2019, the last JEC I attended there were several exhibits of materials use composite materials to use in 5G applications. And they were advantageous because of their transmissivity properties. So I think there's definitely potential. Alright, so before we finish, I'd like to look to the future a little bit. You alluded to this earlier, you were talking about cities of the future. And specifically, I'd like you to talk to me about the floating city idea.

JF: This is the other document that I tie my webinar to, and that is the Future World Vision, and this came out in 2019. If anybody's interested in getting more information about Future World Vision, the website is futureworldvision.org again. But this is a this is a look to the future. There are five different scenarios that are described in future revision and floating cities is one of them. I won't mention them all and other one is mega cities, then I mentioned the fit there. So this is what Jeff, this is what actually convinced me to join ASCE. Because in 2019, I went to the ASCE annual conference in Miami. I went to the conference as a non-member, and quickly decided to join. And the reason I decided to join was the floating cities exhibit, the floating cities exhibit is part of future world vision, and it is a virtual reality experience. And it is, by far, the best virtual reality experience I have ever had. It is amazing. You, you put on the goggles, and you go out to a floating city, and you look all around and you can see the buildings and the infrastructure above the water. And then you can actually look below the water and see the substructure of the city. And as I'm with these goggles, as I'm looking around, all I'm thinking about are composites because you know, this is a floating city. So you want it to float above the water, you want to have lightweight materials. And if you replace steel with FRP, you're reducing the weight. If you replace concrete with FRP, you're reducing the weight. So there's all kinds of bridges and buildings that could be above the water and help this. Then you look below the water, you know, and these things are going to be in the reason it was in. Yeah, it was in Miami. Yeah, they're worried about salt water, they said Singapore might be another city that could be interested in this type of arrangement. And they're going to be in salt water. So it's corrosion resistance below the water. And then you've got things like sea walls, and piers that are more resilient, in case there ever is a hurricane. And there's such a such a good fit. The floating cities is the only virtual reality exhibit right now. And if anybody gets a chance to see it, go see it because it is truly amazing.

JS: And I assume the appeal of a floating city rests on the fact that it's impervious to sea level change. And so you can house people and have people interacting in an environment that's worry-free.

JF: Right. And when I give my webinar, I even say, you know, I'm sure that some of you are saying, "Yeah, but when are we going to see floating cities?" Well, as he has a timeline for the five different scenarios, and floating cities arrive  around 2040. So people are right, this isn't going to happen, you know, tomorrow, but at the front of the timeline, are mega cities and smart cities. And that is now. One concept that I try to tell people is a very appealing use of composites is the ability to add more space to an existing structure without adding a lot of weight. And I'll give an example that's already happening, and then maybe talk about a couple of examples for the future. One that is already happening is the big bridge in Newport, Rhode Island, the very scenic bridge. They're planning to add a pedestrian walkway to that bridge primarily for the tourists. They have picked FRP because it enables them to put the walkway onto the existing bridge without adding a lot of extra weight. You think about. Ramifications for looking at the future. In a mega city, where you're going to have urban air mobility, you're going to have vehicles transporting people around the city, you're going to need places for those things to land, you're going to need more heliports. And you're going to have to put something lightweight on top of a building. Well, FRP would be a very, very good choice. There's actually a concept where composite modules would be added to existing buildings to increase the living space or the floor space, and they would be much lighter than the alternative materials. And so when you think about adding more space without adding a lot of weight, there's bridge applications and their city applications. And that's exciting for FRP.

JS: Really interesting. I guess you also have to think about if you wanted to, say, add a heliport to the top of a building and you did not use composite materials. Would it even be possible with legacy materials or what kind of weight penalty would you pay for using legacy materials?

JF: Right, exactly, then that's that's something that I think FRP has has a very good future. And I, you know, I'll just also mention it's not infrastructure, but urban air mobility is going to be another very, very good area for composites because, you know, you're going to make those vehicles and those drones out of composites for the same reason you make the Boeing 787 out of composites.

JS: Yeah, we've, we've been covering urban air mobility quite a bit. It's very exciting and market for sure. Okay, Joe. Well, I want to thank you again for joining me here on CW talks. This has been a great discussion. I appreciate your evangelizing about composites to civil engineers. And it certainly is an exciting time, at least seems like an exciting time with huge opportunity for composites and infrastructure. So we'll we'll keep an eye on this legislation and keep our fingers crossed.

JF: Jeff, again, thank you for the invitation to be part of this. It really was a pleasure. Thank you.

JS: Again, my guest today was consultant Joe Fox. If you want to learn more about Joe's efforts to expand composites use in infrastructure applications, he can be reached at foxdublin@aol.com.