Thanks to an increasing national awareness of infrastructure maintenance issues and the environment, composite materials are gaining support. But acceptance will not occur until regulatory agencies set official standards, say engineers who work with alternatives to traditional materials such as concrete and steel. Habib Dagher, director of the Advanced Structures & Composites Center at the University of Maine, told the Composites 2010 convention on Feb. 9 that until the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials adds codes for bridges using fiber-reinforced polymer materials, they will never be mainstream. Without such a standard to back them up, engineers cannot
The growing need to collect, store and analyze the huge volumes of data collected from infrastructure project stakeholders is generating a new growth area for construction-sector firms, IT vendors and professionals.