XXsys Technologies Inc. will wrap carbon fiber on a half-dozen 4-foot-diameter bridge columns in a directed California Transportation Department procurement worth $49,849, the firm's first commercial job paid by Caltrans. ``We wrote specifications that required the contractor to use the wrapper,'' said Dennis Wilder, Caltrans senior bridge engineer, calling it a demonstration. ``Normally, we do not advertise [for bids] using a trade name or sole source.''
On Oct. 4 Caltrans awarded competitively a $948,870 seismic retrofit contract to Burns Pacific Construction Inc. of Thousand Oaks, Calif., said Edgar Weisman, Burns Pacific project manager. By Jan. 29, the firm will modify foundations, improve abutment connections and hinges, and wrap 12 columns under three bridges in San Diego County. Traditional steel will jacket six columns at two of the sites.
As subcontractor at the third site, XXsys will bolt cables to the bridge undersides and footings and use its second-generation Robo-Wrapper machine to wind fibers on 1,477 square feet of column surfaces. The XXsys bid price was $33.75 per square foot, Wilder said.
Previously, Caltrans conditionally approved the technology of XXsys and Hexcel Fyfe Co., both San Diego-based advanced-composite companies, in bids for work on round columns up to 6 feet in diameter and rectangular columns up to 2 feet long. Soon, Caltrans will seek bids on retrofit projects where the polymer-matrix-composite systems will compete with steel wrap.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency funded extensive testing of the XXsys system at the University of California San Diego's Powell Structural Research Laboratories.
In an Oct. 31 document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, XXsys said it obtained the necessary capital to meet minimum requirements for maintaining its listing on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market.
XXsys missed the thresholds for the quarter ended June 30 but subsequently received about $1.85 million in capital from exercises of warrants and employee stock options, conversions of debt to equity and private placements of restricted stock.
Also, in September, XXsys signed private placement agreements from which it expects to receive about $1.16 million more from outside investors.