Creative Pultrusions Inc., a manufacturer of fiber-reinforced polymer products for infrastructure, has purchased Composite Advantage LLC, which serves the same market and now will operate as a CPI division.
Based in Alum Bank, Pa., CPI has designed and produced standard and custom fiberglass profile shapes such as I-beams, tubes, rods and sheets, as well as bridges, boardwalks and panels since 1973.
A subsidiary of Hill & Holdings plc, CPI acquired Dayton, Ohio-based CA for its product line and manufacturing capabilities, according to CPI President and CEO Shane E. Weyant.
"CA's products, combined with their advanced infusion manufacturing technology, will be greatly beneficial to our composite groups," Weyant said in a news release. "We want to continue our aggressive development of composite products and solutions. We are excited about the future of our composite groups as we strategically position our business units to expand the composite marketplace."
Terms of the deal, which closed Oct. 5, were not disclosed.
CA's infusion technology combines progressive designs with the capability to mold large parts and perform on-site assembly. The company has developed lightweight but strong FRP goods for demanding applications and corrosive environments since 2005. Products range from bridge decks, trail bridges, cantilever sidewalks and rail platforms to fender protection systems, pilings and naval ship separators.
Last year CA was recognized at the Composites and Advanced Material Expo for a project with West Virginia University and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The groups created a viable replacement for a type of white oak wicket gate that adjusts water levels on inland rivers for commercial navigation.
The prototype was deployed in July 2015 for a 15-month trial. The project, which cost $650,00 to develop, won in the combined strength category at CAMX. The new wickets are expected to last 50 years compared to 15 years for the existing wickets made from old-growth hardwood.
"For more than a decade, we have helped to build industry adoption of FRP composite products in infrastructure, waterfront, and rail applications," CA President Scott Reeve said in the release. "…With the wider range of products within the composite groups, we will deliver even more valuable system solutions for our customers. We will also have the resources to further the growth of CA and expand FRP applications in our current markets."
Reeve also pointed to CPI's larger sales network as a tool to educate new markets. The acquirer's international holding company has about 4,400 employees mostly in Australia, France, India, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the U.S.
CPI has been on an acquisition streak, buying E.T. Techtonics Inc., which constructs FRP bridges and building systems, in 2016, followed in 2017 by Kenway Corp., which specializes in composite manufacturing and field services; and Tower Tech, which manufactures custom FRP cooling towers.
In March 2017, Weyant testified before a federal energy and commerce subcommittee about how composites are a 21st century solution for infrastructure. The hearing was part of the "Disruptor Series" about emerging technologies and the marketplace.
Weyant told federal lawmakers: "The structural capabilities of composites give these materials the ability to change the 150-plus year standard for building bridges in this country. Composites bring the advantage of extended service life and superior performance through inherent resistance to rust and degradation. When traditional materials such as steel-reinforced concrete rust, crumble and spall, composites remain undamaged."