ACMA Releases Standard Specification for Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Utility Poles

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ACMA, the world’s largest composite industry trade association, promotes increased use of FRP composite utility poles in infrastructure with the release of new standard specifications.

May 22, 2019 (Arlington, VA) – the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) released a new resource—the first-ever published ANSI/ACMA Standard Specification for Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Utility Poles—which is available for purchase now online in ACMA’s Education Hub. The important resource promotes important standardization for the use of FRP composites poles for electrical distribution, transmission and communication structure applications.

Developed by ACMA’s Utility and Communication Structures Council (UCSC), the ANSI standard will educate and inform electric utility engineers, detailing how FRP poles are manufactured, assembled, installed safely and correctly. Additionally, the utility industry can now access accurate and effective knowledge on the deployment of composite poles by providing enhanced safety and long-term value for energy suppliers and end users.

“Prior to the development of this ANSI standard, in many cases, a line designer could only turn to the claims made by each manufacturer, which can appear to be closely associated and perhaps not entirely representative of prior testing. The completion of the ANSI standard for composite poles provides a trusted resource for utilities in America and beyond and is a single point of reference for accurate education and instruction on the design and use of FRP composite poles in overhead lines,” said UCSC member, Brad Grainger.

The Standard Specification for Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Utility Poles provides a uniform reference document for all FRP utility poles, enabling widespread applications and a greater understanding of the differences between FRP composites and traditional materials like wood, concrete, and steel. The comprehensive resource covers the use of FRP utility poles throughout the entire product lifecycle, including the design, material properties, manufacturing processes, quality control, assembly, and installation, and inspection parameters of direct embedded FRP utility poles. Additionally, the standard specifications highlight the benefits and advantages of FRP composite poles in the electric distribution and transmission infrastructure in North America. FRP utility poles are lightweight, corrosion resistant, highly reliable, capable of excellent dielectric strength, and long service life. FRP composite poles are also the most environmentally sustainable choice for utility structures when used to replace chemically treated wood poles that leach hazardous chemicals into the soil.

ACMA President Tom Dobbins said, “This resource reinforces the importance of composites to provide durable, reliable, and safe solutions for all industries and markets, including our nation’s infrastructure. When compared to our traditional counterparts, FRP composites poles are resilient under extreme weather conditions like ice storms and high-wind surges. They have a longer life cycle than wood that will corrode and decay, and they are safer for workers and the environment since FRP composite poles are up to 50% lighter than wood poles and do not leach harmful treatment chemicals into our soil and water. ACMA is committed to producing more standards in other key areas to increase the use of composite solutions in more industries. We believe greater knowledge and understanding of these amazing materials will ultimately lead to greater usage.”

To purchase a hardcopy or digital download of the ANSI/ACMA Standard Specification for Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites Utility Poles, visit for pricing and purchase details. ACMA members receive preferred pricing. Visit to learn more about membership.