Corrosion is a huge challenge with which the infrastructure is facing. Maintaining, repairing, replacing, and upgrading is an increasingly heavy burden on fiscal expenditure. Governments, structure owners, designers, and users are searching for new building technologies to provide longer-lasting, more sustainable, and more economical solutions. Lightweight and corrosion-resistant composites give an answer. Compared with steel, concrete, and wood structures, the faster installation, longer lifespan, less maintenance, and lower carbon footprint make composite materials suitable for applications in harsh environments. Pultrusion composites especially have already played a role in two key areas of the infrastructure market-steel bars for reinforced concrete and bridge construction.
Composite Infrastructure Features
Pultrusion glass fiber composites provide an integrated performance almost impossible for traditional materials like steel, aluminum, concrete, and wood.
Lightweight: 80% lighter than steel, about 30% mass of aluminum, easy to carry and install;
High strength: stronger than steel and aluminum, flexible design by adding extra strength in high-stress areas, adjustable and optimizable strength in the vertical direction;
Corrosion resistance: impermeable for water and chemicals, no rust or corrosion, obvious advantages in coastal areas;
Composite Panels in City Bridges
A composite deck is a particularly cost-effective solution where corrosion resistance is a key requirement. Lightweight composite floor panels are also very suitable for hanging baskets, swings, and other movable bridges to minimize energy consumption. In renovation projects, such as replacing degraded steel or concrete panels on an aging steel truss bridge, the lightweight composite floor can minimize the stress on the supporting structure. Lightweight composite panels can be also added in newly built pedestrian or bicycle lanes.