Special interest in advancing the use of polymer matrix composites in construction may lead to the formation of a new global society: the International Society for Composites in Construction. ``We are going to be a professional organization,'' said Hota GangaRao, a professor and director of the constructed facilities center in the college of engineering at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va.
``We want to create synergy between composites and other materials such as concrete, steel and timber and advance current composites at a higher rate of consumption for construction at lower costs.''
Other composites groups help.
The group hopes to incorporate and formally launch either in January at the Composites Institute annual conference in Nash-ville, Tenn., or at the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering meeting in Anaheim, Calif., in May, he said.
ISCC will schedule meetings in conjunction with CI and SAMPE events and perhaps with other groups in Italy, Japan, Germany, Egypt or Saudi Arabia.
``We seek technical expertise and help on specifications for standardized testing and evaluation from other professional groups such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers,'' GangaRao said.
On Aug. 10, GangaRao co-chaired a Montreal forum on development of specifications to design concrete beams with fiber-reinforced-plastic rebar.
``The American Concrete Institute will evaluate the specifications next year,'' he said, ``and we hope to do similar things on prestressing, structural shapes and systems and rehabilitation.''
The proposed society anticipates support from construction companies and would publish a peer-reviewed document that would help in development of standardized testing methods for polymer composites.