In an era when sustainability and climate change are top of mind, the use of composites in infrastructure is at an inflection point. The implications and promise of composite infrastructure for bridge building will continue to gain momentum and increasingly be considered in 2022.
As state and national leaders become increasingly concerned with the condition of bridges and increasing their safety and useful life, there has also been an increasing focus on the sustainability of this critical infrastructure. At AIT, we see the fundamental change in bridge design and the materials used going into the future.
The fiber reinforced polymers in AIT’s composite bridges provide them with fast installation, a long service life, minimal maintenance along the way. FRP also requires significantly less energy to manufacture and construct than traditional materials when considering processing and electricity use. The ability to recycle FRP is also a consideration but FRP’s minimal environmental footprint qualifies it for the sustainable category.
The AIT GBeam™ was created to provide an affordable and long-term solution to traditional steel and concrete medium span deck bridges. Our GBeam™ is made of FRP tub girders and supported on standard foundations with either a precast concrete panel deck or a cast in place concrete bridge deck. The system is 50% lighter than steel and 75% lighter than concrete girders. This reduction in weight allows for a decrease in large equipment on the construction site and reduces transportation costs.
We know that our bridges will continue to grain traction and adoption in the market, and the sustainability story must be told. 2022 will bring sustainability to the top of every state’s “must have” list. AIT is poised to offer meaningful, sustainable advantages for bridge construction.