NetComposites
Advanced Engineering 2018

Martin Marietta Materials' Composite Bridge Deck Systems

30 August 2000

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. announced that its early-stage, fiber-reinforced composite bridge deck business has been the successful bidder on new projects in Iowa, New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. The Company has an order in backlog in California and has completed installation of composite decks in Ohio and California. Martin Marietta recently created an alliance with Creative Pultrusions of Alum Bank, Pennsylvania, to manufacture the decks to Martin Marietta's specifications. Martin Marietta's composite bridge decks are about one-fifth the weight of steel or concrete, but with comparable strength and high resistance to corrosion. Structural lab tests indicate a life of greater than 75 years with nominal maintenance. Martin Marietta Materials is developing newer versions of its composite bridge deck to provide greater value to different market segments. The Company is also currently focused on new applications for its patented composite technology. Commenting on the new product area, Stephen P. Zelnak, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "In composite bridge decks we are seeing increased interest in this technologically advanced product line as we create value through design efficiencies and also by improved manufacturing techniques by our new fabricator. On a product life-cycle basis, we appear to be very competitive with many types of conventional bridges. The installation this week in Warrensburg, New York, is particularly significant as it involves the deck replacement on an old-style truss bridge. The historic nature of these bridges makes them a preservation priority. We believe that our composite deck is ideal for replacing worn decks to meet the demands of modern traffic loads while preserving the historic nature of the truss structure. Nationally, approximately 30% of our bridges, or 1 billion square feet, have some degree of deficiency, providing significant market potential for new, innovative materials. Our objective is to move this product line toward a positive contribution in 2001 after four years of development, field trials and initial marketing." Martin Marietta Materials is the nation's second largest producer of construction aggregates and a leading producer of magnesia-based chemicals and refractory products used in a wide variety of industries.