Two Japanese-backed teams are among four groups seeking to qualify polymer composite column-wrapping systems for the California Transportation Department's seismic-retrofit program. More players may emerge. The Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, as evaluation program administrator, held a Dec. 6 kick-off meeting at the El Se-gundo, Calif., laboratories of the Aerospace Corp.
Tonen Corp. and Nissho Iwai Corp., both based in Tokyo, use a Forca tow sheet material system for concrete repair and seismic retrofit, according to Howard Kliger, an Edison, N.J., consultant and Tonen's U.S. technical representative. Ronald Rardin, a Seattle consultant, represents the subsidiary Nissho Iwai American Corp., which is Tonen's West Coast partner. Structural Preservation System of Baltimore is Tonen's East Coast partner.
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp.'s composites materials unit and Obayashi Corp. form another all-Tokyo-based team with Sumi-
tomo Corp., according to Kent Kano, product manager for the subsidiary Sumitomo Corp. of America in San Francisco. Mitsubishi and Obayashi have extensive experience with a system to retrofit chimneys and highway columns, according to Craig Ballinger, a Vienna, Va., consultant and Mitsubishi's U.S. technical representative.
Another group, joint venture Hexcel Fyfe Co., relocated Dec. 1 to 3,000 square feet of offices in San Diego's Sorrento Valley area, according to Edward Fyfe, president. Material supplier Hexcel Corp. of Pleasanton, Calif., and system provider Fyfe Associates of Del Mar, Calif., formed the venture in October 1992.
Newport Adhesives & Composites Inc. of Irvine, Calif., a unit of Mitsubishi Rayon Corp. of Tokyo, is the fourth potential qualifier. Mitsubishi Rayon and Mitsubishi Chemical are competitors.