Plastics News correspondent Roger Renstrom reported these news briefs from the Wilson Forum, organized by Wilson Composite Group Inc. and held April 7-8 in La Jolla, Calif.
Composite bridge will grace ohio road
Butler County in Ohio will install a short-span composite bridge this spring as a replacement for a concrete span on two-lane Smith Road in Hamilton.
Martin Marietta Materials Inc. of Raleigh, N.C., will supply the bridge without charge in its effort to develop transportation and infrastructure applications for polymer matrix composite technology, according to Dan Richards, manager of composites since January.
Acme Fiberglass Inc. of Hayward, Calif., is fabricating the bridge's sandwich panels, pultruded tubes and U-shaped support beams, principally of E-glass and polyester resins. Glasforms Inc., based in San Jose, Calif., pultruded the tubes.
A prototype of the bridge moves this spring to the real world and will carry road traffic at the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering Laboratory near Idaho Falls, Idaho. Both locations will have mechanical and fiber-optic devices that will monitor material performance.
Martin Marietta acquired the composite technology Sept. 20 from Lockheed Martin Co.'s missiles and space unit. Martin Marietta split Oct. 18 from Lockheed Martin and is an independent company.
Concept work on the superstructure prototype began in 1993 at a Lockheed Martin advanced technology center in Palo Alto, Calif., under a Defense Department technology reinvestment project.
In a presentation at the Wilson Forum, Chris Dumlao, a Lockheed Martin scientist, told how commonly available materials were used in the design and construction of the 30-by-18-foot demonstration bridge.
Production Composite opens doors in Calif.
Industry veteran Bill Allen formed Production Composite Materials Inc. in March to serve advanced composites users in Southern California. He has 34 years of experience and was in sales with Newport Adhesives & Composites Inc. for 14 years.
Ken Marnoch, formerly of Fiberite Inc., joins Allen in the new business, which is based in Bermuda Dunes, Calif. The firm now represents machine manufacturer Century Design Inc. of San Diego and tapered mandrel supplier Lynco Grinding Co. Inc. of Bell Gardens, Calif.
Discussions continue with Bryte Technologies Inc. of San Jose, Calif., a supplier of prepregs, adhesives and resin systems, and thermoplastic composites manufacturer Quadrax Corp. of Portsmouth, R.I.
Reinforced panels replace steel grates
By August, the California Transportation Department plans to contract for composite deck panels to replace open-grated steel units on a Long Beach port-access bridge.
The World War II-vintage, oft-repaired Schuyler Heim Bridge carries heavy trucks and other traffic over a saltwater channel between Terminal Island and the mainland.
Once designed, fabricated and tested, six fiber-reinforced-plastic deck panels would replace brittle, inflexible welded steel units, possibly by mid-1998.