Advanced Engineering 2019

ACMA Teaches Engineers about Composites at 2018 International Bridge Conference

19 June 2018

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) held its 18th consecutive technical workshop during the annual International Bridge Conference on 12 June in National Harbor, Maryland, to inform and educate engineers on FRP composites used in infrastructure applications.

"FRP composites are a proven innovative and durable material solution that has been used in over 500 bridges in North America over the past 20 years," explains Tom Dobbins, ACMA President and CEO. "Compared to traditional materials like steel and aluminium, composites are faster to install and require minimal disruption while in service to extend the life of bridge structures. The materials are lightweight, can be prefabricated, and can reduce assembly and installation times, which result in lower installation costs and delivery for new construction."

During the workshop, engineers had the opportunity to learn about:

  • Changes to the AASHTO bridge design specifications for GFRP rebar;
  • Recent advancements in the delivery of FRP composites infrastructure by Florida DOT and its strategy for adoption of uniform standards;
  • Design and construction of lightweight bridge wind fairings;
  • Using FRP composite systems to rehabilitate critical bridge structures;
  • Highlighting projects where FRP systems have been used to provide resiliency on bridges, allowing them to recover rapidly from disruptive events.

ACMA and members of its Transportation Structures Council and FRP Rebar Manufacturers Council were available during the event to discuss further opportunities for engineers to use composites for future projects.

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