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Engineering Materials

Slideshow: Composite Bridge Deck Lightens Loads

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The bridge of the future
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2013 6:21:51 PM
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Watashi, I think you're right that only time will tell about the maintenance costs, how those affect cost-of-ownership/lifecycle costs, and how long the bridges made of this stuff will last. Or, for that matter, the pontoons, docks and other structures made of carbon composites. OTOH, it's good to remember that this material is now being used on spacecraft going to Jupiter, space is an extremely hostile environment, and there aren't any repair robots onboard.

Elizabeth M
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Re: The bridge of the future
Elizabeth M   10/21/2013 3:51:04 AM
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Yes, Pubudu, there are a number of benefits to using composite materials for sure.

Watashi
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Re: The bridge of the future
Watashi   10/18/2013 9:03:41 AM
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I agree - cost is king!

However, they may have a good story as far as whole lifecycle cost if their products can last longer with much less maintenance.  But only time will tell.  Structural plastics in this application are too new to realy know for sure.

Pubudu
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Re: The bridge of the future
Pubudu   10/18/2013 1:53:28 AM
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Watashi, thanks for the link, But I feel that if they can't compete with pricing they will not have a future especially in the field of constructions case of the competition. 

Pubudu
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Re: The bridge of the future
Pubudu   10/18/2013 1:38:09 AM
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Elizabeth  I do agree with you on that, and also with these there will be a great time savings of construction field and may have less work when compared with concrete works. 

Pubudu
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Re: The bridge of the future
Pubudu   10/18/2013 1:30:43 AM
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True GTOlover, I also Had the same thought when I go through the article, And also I would like to know the percentage reduction of the weight of the bridge and the investment different on the same. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: The bridge of the future
Elizabeth M   10/16/2013 3:27:25 AM
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Thanks for the info, Ann, that's good to know. It makes a lot of sense.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The bridge of the future
Ann R. Thryft   10/15/2013 6:54:51 PM
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Elizabeth, composites are much less susceptible to chemical corrosion, including from saltwater, than metals. Freshwater does not pose a hazard.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The bridge of the future
Ann R. Thryft   10/15/2013 11:50:47 AM
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Doc K, you'd have to ask the company for customer data. In my experience, manufacturers aren't very forthcoming with that type of info. In addition, because it's plastics, cost comparisons vary widely, being highly dependent on a specific implementation.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: The bridge of the future
Ann R. Thryft   10/15/2013 11:50:20 AM
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Chuck, thanks for the clarification and for pointing out the different sub- and super-structure meanings. As I understood it, the only composites are in the bridge deck and sidewalk. I used the term "substructure" as shorthand to mean everything underneath.

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