Last week, I attended the CAMX (Composites and Advanced Materials eXpo) show in Orlando, Florida as a way to stay abreast of new materials that we might use as part of our mold shop processes, and other than great composite products, I found a surprising amount of precast concrete applications for the composite world. I’ll run down the main concrete applications I found worthy of consideration.
Halls River Bridge Precast and Composite reinforcement project
The Florida Department Of Transportation has funded the replacement of a bridge using fiberglass reinforcement instead of the traditional steel rebar reinforcement. They are doing this in conjunction with the University of Miami (who made a footbridge with composites), and the inventor of HCB (Hybrid Composite Beams).
Initially, only the beams were to be composite reinforced, but more composites were used elsewhere in the Halls River bridge, such as the pilings.
At Premier Stoneworks, we use composite reinforcement in our cast stone as it’s less likely to deteriorate compared to steel, and the wet cast stone industry has embraced this for many years. The precast industry has resisted using composite reinforcement mainly due to the higher initial costs involved. The Halls River project was made feasible due to studies showing that savings in long term repair outweighed the higher initial costs.
Using composite technology for concrete repair
Using composite technology for concrete repair is not new. However, what is new is the sheer amount of new products that are filling the demand for concrete repair. The concrete repair business appears to be a large growing market.
I did not see anything groundbreaking in the concrete repair sector, but I did see that there were more companies offering products like repair staples, carbon fiber concrete patches, and concrete repair kits.
CAMX Speakers Video
Speakers at CAMX show 2017. Kerry Manning, James Antonic and Kurt Jordan. Video by “theCAMX” channel on youtube.