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Strongwell’s Bristol Division Takes Two ACE Awards at Composites & Polycon 2006

  • Monday, 23rd October 2006
  • Reading time: about 4 minutes

Strongwell’s Bristol Division, with it’s Composolite Bascule Bridge, took the Best of Show Award for Composites Excellence (ACE) at Composites & Polycon 2006 in St. Louis, Mo.

The all-composite double leaf bascule bridge recently installed in Bridgetown, Barbados, was built using Strongwell’s Composolite building panel system, Extren structural shapes and a custom heavy-duty building panel. The bridge superstructure itself is made entirely of Composolite system components and custom building panels, while various sizes of Extren square tubes were used to create the architectural railing lining the sides. The Chamberlain Bridge measures 8.86 meters wide, 11.72 meters long and almost a meter deep. The bridge was fabricated by Strongwell and shipped in four sections that were assembled on-site using adhesive and Composolite toggles and 3-way connectors.

Strongwell also won the ACE for Infinite Possibility for the company’s Gridform FRP Bridge Deck Panels. Gridform FRP deck panels are manufactured using pultruded grating I-bars, fibreglass plate and pultruded shear connector bars. These lightweight panels replace steel rebar in a reinforced concrete bridge deck for vehicular bridges. The use of Gridform FRP panels reduced installation time 70 percent and reduced labour costs 75 percent, compared to a traditional steel and concrete bridge deck in the Greene County, Missouri bridge project, installed in November 2005.

The Houston, Texas-based Smart Pipe Company took the ACE for Process Innovation. Smart Pipe is a self-monitoring high-strength composite pipe system that is capable of restoring pipelines to their original, or higher, operating conditions while mitigating corrosion. Smart Pipe incorporates fold and form technology using a portable factory to allow installation lengths of 10 miles in a single pu8ll. Smart Pipe consists of an inner liner of extruded HDPE, reinforced with a fabric of Honeywell Performance Products Spectra 1000 material and axial pulling tapes of A&P Technology unidirectional carbon fibre flat sleeves, fibre optic monitoring cables covered with a protective layer of HDPE.

The award for Superior Quality in an Open Moulded Part went to the Fayetteville, Tenn.-based Trilogy, for the company’s Fusion Pool. Fusion is Trilogy’s new line of composite pools and spas. The company breaks several significant barriers with it’s patent-pending modular construction components, which can be assembled in the field allowing for custom installations. Part of the construction includes a patent-pending vertical line which emulates the appearance of a concrete pool. Standard in this new line of pools are water features such as tanning ledges, fountains and spillovers.

The Composite Bipolar Plate Assembly for Transportation PEM Hydrogen Fuel Cells, submitted by the Plumley Division of the Paris, Tenn.-based Dana Corporation, won the award for Most Creative Application. Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells generate electricity from hydrogen and oxygen, forming water. Dana’s bipolar plate assemblies are made from Bulk Molding Compounds, Inc.’s (BMC*’s) graphite-filled vinyl ester composite, compression moulded to form thin anode and cathode plates. The se are bonded together using BMCI’s patented, electrically conductive adhesive sealant with gas flow channels on the outside and liquid coolant channels in between. The assemblies provide support for the thin electrolyte membranes that form the cells in the stack. They distribute gasses over the membrane, conduct electric current, and remove heat. Small stack size being important to transportation applications, these thin composite assemblies compete with metal.

The ACE for Technical Innovation for Corrosion Application went to the Daniel Company of Upland, Calif., for it’s DanELAST Zero Leakage FRP Damper. Daniel’s precision-engineered fibreglass reinforced plastic zero-leakage danelast isolation dampers feature high corrosion resistant parts for air movement and controls. Dampers are fire retardant, corrosion resistant, and UV protected. All components are designed with replaceable parts that are easily disassembled for maintenance. Damper utilizes a specifically formulated elastomer with corrosion resistance equal to and/or superior to epdm, hypalon, and even viton. No circumferential blade seals are required to achieve a full shutoff of the damper thus the weakest part is eliminated resulting in greater reliability.

The final and most popular ACE, the People’s Choice Award, went to Ottawa, Ontario-based CE Composites for the Combat’s Da Bomb T-Ball Bat. Da Bomb T-Ball bat is the only all-composite bat on the market. The patented design uses A&P Technology’s braided sleevings over a foam core in a proprietary room temperature open moulding process. The all-composite T-ball bat is lighter than any other T-ball bat available, including bats made with conventional materials and those using some composite materials.

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