RS Technologies Composite Pole Completes Independent Tests

25 June 2004

RS Technologies (RS) has successfully completed structural testing of its segmental production distribution utility pole.

The test results are claimed to confirm that the RS designed and built structure substantially exceeded the load, deflection and destruction standards required in the United States. Actual specific test results will be included with upcoming technical data sheets provided to utility customers.

RS claim that “composite poles are the future of the power industry and will continue to replace traditional materials due to their cost effective and environmentally friendly properties.”

All test poles were manufactured at the RS Edmonton (US) plant on new technologically advanced production equipment designed by the Company’s engineering team. These independent tests were a necessary prerequisite requirement for shipments to most major power utility companies in both the USA and Canada as well as globally. All testing was performed independently by EDM International Inc. at its utility industry laboratory and test facilities in Colorado.

The Composite Utility poles are manufactured using several processes including Pultrusion, Filament Winding, Centrifugal Casting and Resin Infusion (RTM). The goal of all these processes is to place and secure a reinforcing fibre in the desired form of the pole.

RS has combined a form of filament winding with their own proprietary fibre placement technology to produce a utility pole with high strength properties. RS claim that this patented process is a cutting edge development in the composites industry and an amazing advance in power pole manufacturing.

Combining this manufacturing technique with a patented resin has resulted in a vastly increased strength-to-weight ratio for their utility poles. RS state that “Each layer of material in the RS Standard Poles is stronger than ever possible before. With this significant advantage, we have in turn been able to reduce the weight of our poles while providing all the strength required for the wide variety of pole classes on the market today.”

To produce a stable structure, an increasingly wider base is required as the length of a pole increases. This presents some unique issues for poles manufactured using filament winding technology. Much more fibre is required for the base of the pole than is used at the top, narrow end. However, this process does not allow for the removal of excess fibres during the winding of a pole. The result is a large amount of excess fibre throughout the pole’s structure, which increases the weight of these poles significantly. This weight is increased even further considering the additional resin used to hold these fibres in place.

Modular construction allows RS to minimize the amount of excess resin and fibre in a finished pole by producing longer poles in interlocking sections. The final result is a reduction in pole weight of up to 45% – depending on the product’s total length.

RS Technologies is the operating Division of Resin Systems Inc.

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