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.
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.
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.
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.
In a bid to boost the viability of lithium-based electric car batteries, a team at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed a chemistry that could possibly double an EV’s driving range while cutting its battery cost in half.
Using Siemens NX software, a team of engineering students from the University of Michigan built an electric vehicle and raced in the 2013 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge. One of those students blogged for Design News throughout the race.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.