Growth Markets for Composite Materials in Civil Infrastructure (2)
Publication Name: Composites Technology
According to this article the advancement in the use of fibre reinforced plastic as composite materials in civil engineering is due to drawbacks that are economic rather than technical. The fitness for purpose of composites has been well established already in many technically advanced projects such as bridge building. The major disadvantage of composites is the larger construction cost compared with traditional materials. The major advantage of composites is their low life cycle costs. Convincing cash poor municipal authorities of the benefits of lower life-cycle costs is difficult in a climate of lowest bid preference. With the construction industry estimated to be worth $800 billion in the US alone, the answer offered is to join, literally, with traditional materials. Fibre reinforced plastic reinforcement of traditional building materials such as concrete and timber may offer the best way for composites to get into this huge market.