ACMA Action on ANSI Standard for Pultruded FRP Structures Expands Industry Opportunities

30 August 2011

The American Composites Manufacturers Association's (ACMA) Pultrusion Industry Council (PIC) has taken a key step toward creation of a national standard for the use of pultruded fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites materials by developing the first-ever Code of Standard Practice for Fabrication and Installation of Pultruded FRP Structures. The Code details industry accepted procedures and practices for the fabrication and installation of pultruded FRP structures and provides recommendations for construction contract documents.

ACMA explain that the Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) Relevant Committee formed by their Composites Growth Initiative (CGI) have announced their intent to convert PIC's industry guidelines into an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard. To this end, it has submitted to ANSI a Project Initiation Notification System (PINS) request for Standards Action Public Review.

“Composite materials have long been recognized for the advantages they offer in terms of strength to weight ratio, resistance to corrosion, low maintenance requirements and long life cycle,” says John Busel, Director of CGI. “The establishment of an ANSI standard for performance criteria will allow structural engineers to incorporate FRP composite materials into their work with more confidence than ever. It will mean stronger, safer and better buildings.”

“ACMA is working toward the time when composite materials are integral to every building constructed in the US,” adds ACMA President Lori Luchak. “Adoption of a national standard is key to the increased use of reliable, durable composites material. And that increased use will benefit both individual members of the American public and our national economy.”

According to ACMA, PIC worked with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) to develop an LRFD Prestandard. This prestandard currently is being promulgated by the ASCE Fibre Composites and Polymer Standards Committee.

“The prestandard is divided into two components,” explains Busel. “There are standard requirements, which consists of the rules structural engineers must comply with when designing anything. Then there's the commentary, which is an expanded explanation of the requirements. It's basically background information and is not binding on users. Right now, PIC's Code of Standard Practice for Fabrication and Installation of Pultruded FRP Structures is referenced in the prestandard commentary. If it is converted to a recognized consensus standard – which would be accomplished by it becoming an ANSI standard – it can be referenced in the requirements section during the ASCE balloting process. This would give the PIC Code more practical muscle and further the expansion of composites use.”

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