CAMX 2020 exhibit preview: Structural Composites, Compsys
Appears in Print as: 'Low-cost composite bridge decking '
Source | Structural Composites
Structural Composites and Compsys Inc. (both Melbourne, Fla., U.S.), divisions of The Composites Co. (TCC), are featuring low-cost, high-performance composite material innovations. With roots in the high-performance marine and Navy composites segments, Structural Composites has advanced its Prisma preform technology and co-cure resin and coating technology into the transportation market through a large-scale project with Wabash National (Lafayette, Ind., U.S.). Now, it says it is leveraging these technologies into the infrastructure market.
For CAMX 2020, Structural Composites is featuring its PPP Composite Bridge deck, which has been submitted for the CAMX 2020 Combined Strength Award. With the coronavirus impacting both it and its customers, Structural Composites decided to use U.S. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds to build a composite bridge deck for an impoverished area in rural Tennessee. Partners include IACMI, Composite Applications Group, the University of Tennessee, Luna Technology, Interplastic Corp., Compsys, AcraLock, Superior, Metyx and West System. The University of Tennessee and Luna will install fiberoptic sensors and conduct monitoring and testing of the installed bridge deck.
The bridge deck is the same construction that was tested and validated in a recent Missouri Department of Transportation (DOT) study, Structural Composites says. With a 100-year design life on highways, the PPP deck will see much less traffic; however, this rural community includes heavy logging trucks that will be used to study the structural response of the deck system. The deck will help provide access to a community in need and provide the field data needed to support the prior testing efforts of MODOT. This will help support the larger goal of highway bridge decks and also open a market for the many small rural bridges that are often in poor condition, the company says.
The simple construction method of this design will enable the company to deploy this technology across the composites manufacturing base, Structural Composites says. State DOTs can use local composite companies to produce the deck modules. To facilitate broad deployment, the company is specifying the material systems and allowing the DOTs to use its patents without additional cost. In partnership with IACMI, the company is also working on a training and builder certification program that will train and certify composite shops to build to this design.
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