Posted by Scott Reeve

7/18/18 9:17 AM

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International Bridge Conference Commentary

I attended the International Bridge Conference in Washington DC in June to present at the fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) workshop and educate attendees on FRP for Bridges in the exhibit booth sponsored by the American Composite Manufacturers Association (ACMA).  Joint participation in a booth works well in many situations.  Since FRP is still a ‘new’ material to most of the bridge industry, our activities are focused more on education than competitive sales.  Sharing the cost among multiple companies provides a reasonable benefit/cost ratio.  The ‘educational’ tone of the booth does bring in some visitors who sometimes hesitate to stop by for hard core sales pitches.  Given the long sales cycle of bridge procurement (one to five years), this allows an easy introduction of FRP to engineers. 

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Topics: International Bridge Conference

Posted by Scott Reeve

7/11/18 9:09 AM

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The Real Cost of Using Concrete

 


American bridges are largely made of reinforced concrete, both precast and cast-in-place. Prized by engineers for its strength and low initial costs, it can be found in crossings across the country, from pedestrian overpasses in rural Montana to the George Washington Bridge in New York.

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Topics: frp bridge, FRP, FRP vs. Precast Total Time

Posted by James Gilcher

7/3/18 10:21 AM

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Bridges' Part of the Nation's Independence Day Celebration

It’s Independence Day or as most of us refer to the holiday that honors the United States’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence—the Fourth of July. Many of us will hit the roads and take advantage of our nation’s infrastructure to reach destinations that include picnics, parties, and fireworks displays. Bridges often play a special role in holiday celebrations.

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Topics: historic bridges, suspension bridge

Posted by James Gilcher

6/20/18 2:00 PM

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Santiago Calatrava: The man behind the bridges

Behind every bridge there are countless individuals who help to design, plan and build the finished product. Some of these designers have left a memorable mark on the world of architecture. Bridges serve as paths between two areas that would be otherwise difficult to reach. Although many bridges go unnoticed in our daily commutes, others define skylines and serve as tourist attractions and city trademarks.

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Topics: pedestrian bridges, cantilever sidewalks, steel bridge, vehicle bridges, historic bridges

Posted by Scott Reeve

6/13/18 2:17 PM

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Keeping the Scenic Route - National Park Financial Infusion

When we talk about our single panel fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) trail bridge we concentrate on things like zero maintenance and a life cycle of 100 years.  We focus on applications and solutions which can sometimes make it easy to “miss the forest for the trees.” In this case ‘the forest’ would be the National Park Service, what it stands for, what it means for visitors, and the preservation efforts we can contribute to with our product.

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Topics: trail bridges, national parks, Fiber-Reinforced Polymer, FRP

Posted by Scott Reeve

6/7/18 9:00 AM

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3 Reasons to use Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP)

When selecting a building material for an infrastructure project, there are a few key factors to consider before making a decision. Engineers must be sure to make selections that will benefit both the people within their agency, who will be working with the material, as well as the project’s end users.

One such material is fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP), which can be hugely beneficial for both builders and users. Read more below to find out how this unique material can work for you.

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Topics: Fiber-Reinforced Polymer, FRP, FRP vs. Precast Total Time, Production and Installation Time, Weight, Corrosion and Maintenance

Posted by Scott Reeve

5/30/18 4:17 PM

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Maintaining Balance: FRP Strikes Right Note With Old, Historic Bridges

Bridges are often the topic of noteworthy lists due to some characteristic that sets them apart. For example, the oldest surviving roadway bridge is Northeast Philadelphia’s Frankford Avenue Bridge erected in 1697. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland made Travel Guide’s 10 Most Famous Bridges in the United States. Why? Measuring 4.3 miles long and 186 ft. tall at its highest point, it is thought to be America’s scariest bridge. A Chesapeake Bay Bridge driving assistance service is available for travelers suffering from gephyrophobia [a fear of bridges]. Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge is also one of “America’s Most Famous…,” because it is considered the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere with a total length of 26,372 ft. 

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Topics: FRP Composites, vehicle bridges, frp bridge

Posted by Scott Reeve

5/23/18 2:23 PM

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A Bridge to Remember (And Last) for a Long Time

The Sarah Mildred Long Bridge opened earlier this month just in time to welcome Memorial Day traffic. Like silent film star Lon Chaney who was called the man of a thousand faces, you might say the lift-span that carries Route 1 over the Piscataqua River between Kittery, Maine and Portsmouth, New Hampshire is a "bridge with a thousand names."

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Topics: FiberSPAN, frp bridge

Posted by Scott Reeve

5/16/18 9:07 AM

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Need To Super Size An FRP Composite Part?

Composite Advantage has been fabricating and shipping large, highly loaded fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite parts for more than a decade.

 In the summer of 2013, our team supplied Haverhill, Massachusetts’ historic Rocks Village six-span steel truss with the world’s largest FRP vehicle bridge deck. Able to minimize the structure’s dead load, the 809 ft. long FRP bridge deck had a deck area of 18,776 sq. ft.  In 2010, we developed FRP camels that met and exceeded Naval Facilities Command (NAVFAC) requirements for berthing submarines. Since then we have prefabricated and installed 15 sets of universal FRP submarine camels. In 2017, we produced our first set of FRP camels for Mayport Naval Station in Jacksonville, Florida. The CVN camels took to the water to protect the station’s piers and the hulls of the nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.  Each FRP composite camel is made up of five modules that contain numerous panels bonded together. The approach makes it possible to trailer the modules to the shipyard. Once on-site, camels are assembled to their full size of 56 ft. wide and 63 ft. long. The structures weigh in at 325,000 lbs. each, but FRP gives the camel a natural buoyancy and allows it to be easily towed into place by tugboat.  The product is especially attractive because of its low maintenance costs and long life cycle in a saltwater environment.

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Topics: Infrastructure, FRP Composites, vacuum infusion

Posted by Scott Reeve

5/10/18 9:19 AM

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The Vacuum Infusion Advantage

At Composite Advantage, we’re proud to specialize in vacuum infusion, the most cost-effective method for molding large structural parts. This is a closed mold process which is more environmentally friendly than traditional composite molding processes.  It makes use of vacuum pressure to create a quality part ready for finishing.

Vacuum infusion offers a range of unique benefits, but first, let’s address what the vacuum infusion process actually is.

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Topics: vacuum infusion, vacuum infusion process