Fiber Reinforced Polymer Builds Better Bridges and Infrastructure

With aging infrastructure at the top of political and news agendas, composites have made their way into the spotlight as a cost-efficient and overall beneficial material for constructing, repairing, and maintaining major structures. Currently, fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites are widely used to construct bridges, and they are an answer to expanding infrastructure needs with their lightweight – 30% lighter than concrete and 20% lighter than steel – as well as corrosion resistance, durability and resilience.

Composites World notes that “legislation for $4 trillion in infrastructure-related projects and programs…would result in a significant increase in spending on American Infrastructure, ranging from bridges and roads to railways and waterways.” Composites will certainly be a materials contender in the evolution and growth of infrastructure projects and applications.

FRP composites are used in the construction, repair, and strength reinforcement for many bridge applications and types, from long-span bridges to pedestrian walkways. Composites offer benefits in the forms of lighter weight and corrosion resistance, and they answer the call for sustainability through lowered emissions, reduced material weight, and extended lifecycle.

High bridges to underground water delivery

For the many benefits of composites in infrastructure and construction, including high strength and durability, composites are making increased headway in major utility infrastructure applications, including constructing and repairing utility poles and water delivery systems with underground piping in potable water infrastructure.

Utility companies have relied on FRP for decades as a solution for easily installed, durable materials with a lower total lifecycle cost and extended lifecycle performance. Now, they are turning to durable, weather- and fire-resistant composites to protect utility lines and pipes, with new commercial applications to produce fiberglass/thermoplastic composite preforms for reinforcing polymer concrete trenches.

 For government and commercial applications in the Infrastructure market, composites offer vastly improved benefits over traditional construction materials like metal, steel, and concrete.

Learn more about solutions for the Infrastructure segment from Composites One.