Posted by Scott Reeve

2/14/18 12:00 AM

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Infrastructure Days in DC and Hoping for Years

The past week has been a good week in Washington D.C. - definitely something you don’t hear people say very often. Last week was the composite industry’s annual Infrastructure Day in D.C., and the timing was perfect. After a year of planning, the Trump administration unveiled its Infrastructure Initiative on Monday, February 12.  It was the hot topic (on a cold day) as representatives from member companies of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) met with elected officials and staff members. Given the attention to infrastructure, our annual ‘day’ was actually two days - Feb 6-7.  Split into teams, we met with over 90 congressional offices and committees. I met with three Ohio offices, offices from a few states that have lots of bridges and waterfront and the Senate Public Works committee. Since Plastic News does a great job summarizing the visits, I'll focus on my personal observations.

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Topics: ACMA Infrastructure Day, Washington

Posted by Scott Reeve

2/7/18 10:05 AM

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Take Two With Cantilever Sidewalks

 

Pedestrian-friendly cities are on the rise, a trend some are calling the new urbanism. At the same time a stronger economy is driving more people to get behind the wheel. Despite technology that makes cars smarter, a report released in 2017 by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents increased 11 percent between 2015-2016. The report states that this is the “biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever, and the highest number in more than two decades.” Last month the National Safety Council substantiated the claim, stating that traffic deaths overall increased six percent in 2016. 

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Topics: cantilever sidewalks

Posted by Scott Reeve

2/1/18 10:03 PM

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FRP Cantilever Sidewalk Has Pivotal Role To Play

More people are pulling on their running shoes and hopping aboard carbon-light bicycles these days than ever before. Commuters also use pedestrian walkways to reach rail platforms and parking lots after a long day’s work.

Traditionally, cyclists and cars crossing vehicle bridges have shared lanes with pedestrians lucky to get a narrow sidewalk curb. But traffic growth, aging pedestrian walkways and the inability of conventional materials like concrete to support increasing load requirements has made “sharing” impractical.

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Topics: cantilever sidewalks

Posted by Nicholas Slagter

1/24/18 10:00 AM

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See You at Indiana and Ohio Parks Conferences

Midway through winter we here at Composite Advantage are ready to start thinking about spring time, and venturing out into the many parks here in the Midwest. It's also the time when parks and rec departments look at their budgets and think about the upcoming improvements they'll need. A great way to determine how you'll spend that budget is to head to your state parks and recreation association’s conference and trade show. The shows include vendors of everything from fitness and playground equipment to park management software, but Composite Advantage hopes to stand out with our brand-new line of FiberSPAN trail bridges.

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Topics: trail bridges, IPRA, OPRA

Posted by Nicholas Slagter

1/17/18 12:00 AM

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A Story of Three Trail Bridges

Sara Lee Arnovitz Nature Preserve is a beautiful park filled with many different types of plants and wildlife, located in Xenia, OH. This park is best known for its 42 acres of wetlands, complete with a boardwalk trail. Diverse groups, ranging from elementary school children to seniors, walk the trails to take in the beauty of the park and learn about the different creatures that call it home. However, in early 2017 a severe storm destroyed two bridges on the trail, making portions of it unusable. The old bridges were made out of a combination of wood decking and railing and steel supports, as shown below.

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Topics: trail bridges

Posted by Scott Reeve

1/12/18 12:00 AM

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Happy Trails With New Standard FRP Trail Bridge

 

It’s interesting how the same word can have different meanings. Take the word "trail" for example. According to Websters Dictionary, it could refer to "a mark, series of signs, or objects left behind by the passage of someone or something." The term can also mean a "beaten path through rough country like a forest or moor."  

We're sticking with the latter definition for this blog because the paths crisscrossing the country have become a breeding ground for Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite trail bridges. The need for a green, sustainable solution that can last nearly a century with little to no maintenance (and can be plugged into a trail with minimally invasive equipment) is growing.

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Topics: trail bridges

Posted by Scott Reeve

1/4/18 5:23 PM

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The Report Card On Rail Is In

Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite products - with their low to zero maintenance, lighter weight and superior strength - are finding their way into more markets than ever these days. One of these markets is rail. FRP is now used in rail car interiors, station platforms, access ramps, bridges and covers for electrified rails. In order to better understand why rail is such fertile ground for composites, let's look at the market and how it operates. 

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Topics: rail, infrastructure report card

Posted by Scott Reeve

12/26/17 10:00 AM

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Time to Hit Pause and Reflect

Well it’s that time again! It's the end of the year, a time when we take a short break from our frantic activities to pause and reflect. We find it's worthwhile to do this in our lives - and in business. We should all take a few minutes to look back, see what our company has achieved and look ahead to the work that is waiting. Let's get to it!

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Topics: Composite Advantage

Posted by Scott Reeve

12/21/17 10:09 AM

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CAMX 2017: An Award-Winning Conference

Last week, we attended the composite industry’s annual conference and trade show, the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo, also known as CAMX. Though it took some extra effort, the event ended up being very memorable. You see, the conference was originally scheduled for September in Orlando, but Hurricane Irma had other ideas.  Conference organizers rescheduled for the only available time slot - December, amidst the busy holiday season. However, as I said, it was a great conference and overall attendance was strong.

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Topics: CAMX, Wicket gates

Posted by Scott Reeve

12/13/17 10:55 PM

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All Aboard! Next Stop: Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Rail Platforms

 

Earlier this month, we held a webinar where I spoke for the first time about Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) rail platforms. It’s an exciting application for composite material because the industry’s aging infrastructure needs a robust, low maintenance, corrosion-resistant alternative. 

This is where FiberSPAN-R enters the picture. We've been able to replace conventional rail platforms and manufacture mini-high platforms to aid individuals with disabilities during boarding of commuter trains, all using FiberSPAN-R. During the well-attended webinar mentioned above, I was asked several questions on the product which I discuss below.

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Topics: FRP Rail Platforms