Composites and Marine Infrastructure: Protecting Our Piers

One of the most important pieces of marine infrastructure is pier protection systems. Such systems are designed to protect bridge piers, electrical tower piers and other in-water pier structures from being struck by boats or barges. Pier protection systems are essential factors in ensuring the safety and longevity of in-water pier structures, and these systems have traditionally been constructed of materials such as concrete, wood and metal. However, composite materials offer an excellent alternative to traditional materials when cities or marine industries are considering upgrading or replacing their existing pier protection system infrastructures.

The Benefits of Composite Pier Protection Systems for Marine Infrastructure

The common infrastructure of a pier protection system has two primary components: pilings and wale beams. Pilings are straight, usually round, sections of material that are driven or buried in the bottom around the in-water object. Wale beams are board-like structures that join the pilings together. Traditionally, pilings are constructed of either concrete, wood or metal, while wale beams are constructed of wood or metal. However, pilings and wale beams can now be built from fiber-reinforced plastics in order to take advantage of the benefits of composites. The benefits of using composites in these pier protection system infrastructure components are:

  • The greater strength and lower weight of composite materials
  • Lower stiffness when compared to steel or wood
  • Higher energy absorption potential due to lower stiffness
  • Better deflection recovery ability
  • Superior corrosion resistance

All of these benefits of composite materials lead to significant savings for companies looking to upgrade their marine infrastructure by replacing their pier protection systems. One way that composite usage leads to cost-savings is that the strength, deflection recovery ability and corrosion resistance of composites leads to significantly lower maintenance and component replacement costs over the lifetime of the structure. In addition, the same qualities of composites also lead to an increase in the lifespan of the pier protection system infrastructure overall. 

Composites One is the Number One Composite Supplier in North America

If your company is looking to upgrade its marine infrastructure, then you should take advantage of the benefits of composite materials. Composites One is the leading North American distributor of composite materials, such as carbon fiber, prepregs, epoxy resins, polyester resins and vinyl ester resins, and we want to help you do just that. For additional information about the composite materials and supplies you can use to update marine infrastructure, contact Composites One now.