Market Growth Highlights – ACMA Insider – March 21, 2023

FHWA announces Low-Carbon Transportation Materials Grants Program 

On March 12, 2024, the Federal Highway Administration announced the availability of $2 billion to fund low carbon materials that create less pollution by reducing the levels of embodied greenhouse gas emissions.

The Low Carbon Transportation Materials Program makes available $2 Billion to State Departments of Transportation and other organizations like metropolitan transportation planning agencies to fund activities and projects that advance the use of low carbon materials and products.

While the FHWA announcement specifically mentions projects using concrete (and cement), glass, asphalt mix, and steel as potentially eligible, theoretically an applicant could receive funds for a project that uses composites if it could convince FHWA that the composite materials “have substantially lower levels of embodied greenhouse gas emissions associated with all relevant stages of production, use, and disposal as compared to estimated industry averages of similar materials or products”, and provided “similarity” is defined by the function of a product rather than the material from which it is made.

Contact John Schweitzer for more information.

ACMA Presents at 17th World Pultrusion Conference

John Busel, ACMA VP, Composites Growth Initiative, presented at the 17th World Pultrusion Conference on February 29th in Hamburg, Germany.  The subject of his presentation was to provide an overview of the recently published ACMA/SEI 74 design standard for structural engineers. The attendees were given a comprehensive overview of content of the design standard along with examples of recent structures built using this standard.

Designing with FRP composites can be both easy and complex depending on who is doing the design. Structural engineers are trained to design with steel, concrete, and wood materials because the university professors are knowledgeable with these materials and there are many sources of written design guidance and codes. The structural engineering profession has also changed over the last 20 years moving from allowable stress design to load and resistance factor design.

To ensure FRP composites are relevant and competitive, the ACMA Pultrusion Industry Council embarked on a major project to create a prestandard on design of pultruded profiles and shapes used to construct building structures and other facilities. This prestandard led to the development of the recently completed and published ASCE/SEI 74-23 design standard that provides the much-needed education and guidance to design pultruded FRP composites structures. This presentation covered an overview of this LRFD standard and provide examples of the impact this standard will make as an important design tool for the structural engineering profession by opening new opportunities for pultruded FRP composites.

For more information, please contact John Busel.