Bringing the Benefits of Composites to Structure Design

10 September 2007

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) have signed a three year agreement to develop a pre-standard for Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) for Pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composite Structures.

The LRFD standard is an important design tool that will help structural engineers and architects use FRP composites in the design of building and transportation structures, bringing the benefits of composites, such as its strength to weight ratio, resistance to corrosion, low maintenance and long life cycle, to the forefront of the nation's infrastructure.

""The LRFD standard will give composites credibility and presence, ultimately increasing market acceptance,"" said John Tickle, ACMA President. ""We are thrilled to be partnering with such a highly reputable group as the ASCE. Together we have much to be proud of, as this standard will pave the way to a very bright future.""

""ASCE has a longstanding and proven history in producing professional standards such as this; standards that advance the practice of civil engineering and allow us to better serve the public's needs ,"" said Bill Marcuson, Ph.D., P.E., Hon.M.ASCE. ""We commend the ACMA for their dedication, and look forward to the successful outcome of this new partnership.""

The preparation of a consensus pre-standard is a major undertaking that requires the expert knowledge and participation of respected members of the professional community. ASCE, with ACMA's approval, has selected Dr. Mehdi Zarghamee of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. to serve as the coordinator for the project. As the project coordinator, Dr. Zarghamee will provide leadership to ensure proper coordination and information sharing between the project team members. He will also coordinate the technical progress and authoring of the standard among the project team members according to the scope of work and schedule. At the project's completion, the pre-standard will be promulgated through the official ASCE Codes and Standards process. The expected release date of the pre-standard is September 2010.

ACMA's Pultrusion Industry Council (PIC) will be leading the new program. Since 1995, ASCE has collaborated with the PIC to collect required information and data to guide the Council toward the goal of developing a design standard.

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