Thursday, November 5, 2015

University of Miami Fate Bridge - finalist for ACE Award at CAMX 2015

Aslan 100 GFRP bars used in the University of Miami "Fate Bridge" was an award finalist at CAMX 2015 - The composites and Advanced Materials Expo. Enjoy this video submittal from Miami. SEACON - Sustainable concrete using seawater, salt-contaminated aggregates, and non-corrosive reinforcemen

Friday, September 11, 2015

University of Miami "Fate Bridge" uses Aslan 100 GFRP Rebar

Hughes Brothers recently produced some fiberglass rebar in support of our FRP colleague Dr Antonio Nanni for a pedestrian bridge project on the campus at the University of Miami in Florida.

Dr. Nanni explained that a new pedestrian bridge was being build just nearby his offices on campus and what a great hands on opportunity to apply some of the research he has been so instrumental in bringing to life and for his current students to get involved in a hands on way in the construction of a bridge on their campus. 

Being from Nebraska, naturally we are fanatics of the nearby University of Nebraska football Big Red.   On the gridiron, Miami and Nebraska are fierce competitors but in terms of collaboration in making our infrastructure more sustainable, these Nebraskan's work hand in hand with our colleagues at the University of Miami to make longer lasting, more durable and sustainable structures.

A nice article with more details about the project was recently published on the American Composites Manufactures Association web pages found here:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Drone video Nebraska Dept of Roads - First use of GFRP Rebar in a bridge deck

Nebraska Dept of Roads GFRP reinforced bridge deck from Doug Gremel on Vimeo.

University of Hawaii Manoa students test beams with internal Aslan 100 GFRP bars

In the July issue of Concrete International, you will find a nice article written by Dr. Ian Robertson and Dr. Gaur Johnson of the University of Hawaii where they were instructing students in reinforced concrete design by having groups build beams with different failure modes.  A pair of the beams included reinforcing with Aslan 100 GFRP rebars.

The article is shown here:

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Core samples from TxDOT Sierrita de la Cruz creek bridge built in 2000

Recently we had the opportunity to visit our first bridge project, the Sierrita de la Cruz creek bridge built by Texas DOT on Route 1061 about 25 miles north of Amarillo Texas.  
The bridge was built in the summer of 2000 using Aslan 100 GFRP rebars as top mat reinforcing above precast prestress deck panels placed on simply supported concrete bridge girders.  At the time of construction, there was little design guidance, no test methods, nothing resembling a material standard but there was a large measure of common sense and desire to do the right thing.  One of the smart things done was to incorporate a series of "witness bars", put various strain gages and monitoring in place to be able to evaluate the performance of the bridge deck with the novel at the time GFRP rebars.

15 years later, Ryan Koch and I picked up Jason Cox from Missouri S&T and met Mr. Tim Bradberry, the original bridge designer from TxDOT in Amarillo.   Working with some great local TxDOT crews to arrange for traffic control, we were able to successfully take core samples for analysis from the various black steel, epoxy coated steel and GFRP rebar witness samples.

 While most of the samples have been sent to independent labs for Scanning Electron Microscope or SEM, Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy or EDX, Chloride depth and pH measurements, there was one sample where the depth of the core was along the same plane as one of the GFRP rebars.   As a result, when we popped the core off, there was a 3.5" loose Aslan 100 GFRP rebar remaining ! 

Coincidentally, for a #5 GFRP rebar, a specimen length of 3.5" for a 5/8" diameter bar is needed to perform a short beam shear or "inter-laminar shear" test per ASTM D4475.  This is a test we do routinely for each production run.  AND, of course we had all the production lot certs on file from 15 years ago that we did at the time of construction.

After 15 years of service in a bridge deck in Amarillo, we can report that the inter-laminar shear or short beam shear properties of the Aslan 100 GFRP rebar are every bit as good as the day they were made !

Thanks to Jason Cox for this skill in extracting core samples.  We are on the path to some excellent, independent, scientific validation that Aslan 100 GFRP rebar will last a very long time helping our nations infrastructure be more durable for very little short term cost.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Professional Education Webinars

Recently, Aslan FRP Applications Engineer Ryan Koch, P.E. gave a lunch and learn to engineers in Honolulu on how to design reinforced concrete structures using the ACI 4401.R design guide.  

A few days prior to the Hawaiian webinar, Ryan travelled to give a similar lunch and learn to Wiss Janney Elstner, one of the nations pre-eminent engineering firms.

If you haven't found the design tools we've recently made available, there are a number of spreadsheet implementations of various aspects of ACI 440.1R design on our web pages here:

These MS Excel spreadsheets are straight forward implementations of the 440.1R design guide covering aspects of design such as a reinforced concrete beam, development and lap splice lengths, multiple layer reinforced concrete beam design, and some specific ones for using Aslan 100 GFRP rebars in TBM soft-eye openings made of diaphragm slurry walls and bore pile configurations.  Please download the tools and reach out to our engineers to have them walk you through their use if need be.

If you are unfamiliar with the ACI 440.1R design guide or designing your first project using Aslan 100 GFRP rebar, don't hesitate to get in touch with our engineering staff.  Contact links, background on the design support services we offer and some templates that help consolidate the necessary information we require are found on this page as well.

If you would like to earn some professional development hours or would like to have a webinar given for your firm, one of our missions is helping you design longer lasting concrete structures with GFRP rebar.  While we are a leading producer of this material, our design webinars are generic in format and similar to the official ACI 440.1R design seminars.

ACI International - Kansas City summary

The ACI International convention in Kansas City was a big success with advancements for he FRP industry on many fronts.

On Sunday, the biennial FRP student beam competition was held in the exhibit area of the convention center.  There were a lot of great GFRP reinforced beams of all configurations from a broad spectrum of universities in the USA, Canada & Mexico.

For the competition, our Jon Fischer and Casey Mattson assisted as judges for the event.

With regards to standards and committee work, there were some important resolutions to the repair document 440.2R with regard to seismic provisions.  In 440-H it was announced that the 440.1R-015 document is now available.   This represents the 4 iteration of the 440.1R design guide and a further maturation of the consensus design advice provided.   The next major milestone is codification of the design guidance.  This effort is well underway under the leadership of Dr. Vicki Brown of Widener University.   During our meetings in Kansas City, Vicki shepherded us through an initial draft of the document and good headway was made on initial chapters of a 440.X-XX code.

A joint meeting of ACI 440-K / ASTM D.30 committee was chaired by Dr. Russ Gentry and Dr. Chuck Bakis.   Most of the discussion centered on advancement of the ASTM D.30 GFRP rebar material spec for solid round GFRP bars like our Aslan 100 series.  We've made great progress in the last several months resolving a number of issues.   Its possible that we are close to resolving most of the sticking points and another ballot iteration will be forthcoming soon.

At the conclusion of the various 440 meetings, we held our FRP Rebar Manufacturers Council meeting chaired by John Busel of the American Composites Manufactures Association.   Our industry efforts to advance the use of GFRP rebar will certainly see more reward as we work together to advance our mutual interests as an industry.   During the meeting, I was elected to be Co-Chair of the FRP-RMC along with Mr. Cam Crawford of Marshall Composites.

Of course, an important part of ACI meetings are the networking, seeing colleagues and sharing our mutual interests in advancing the use of reinforced concrete.   For the past several conventions, we've opted to have a booth so we can share with engineers, academics and friends the developments of our Aslan FRP product line.  Some of us took the opportunity in Kansas City to have a little fun with the formal dress at these functions.  For some reason people kept asking me to get them drinks and park their cars ?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Watching Bertha

We've been closely following the progress and travails of the SR99 Alaska Way viaduct tunnel replacement in Seattle as there was a LOT of Aslan 100 GFRP rebar used in various launch, reception and safe havens that enable the TBM Bertha to pass through the deep foundation diaphragm walls.   
The "anisotropic" nature of the GFRP rebar, (strong mainly along its main axis, but less so perpendicular to the length of the bar) means is can be "consumed" by TBM's.   For earth pressure balanced TBM's, it's the go to method for beginning and ending TBM runs now.

Aslan 100 GFRP Rebars in the shadow of Seattle's space needle on SR99 job site

The Bertha TBM with a face diameter of 57.5ft is the largest TBM in the world.  Previously, we had Aslan GFRP bars pass through a 49.2ft diameter TBM in Asia.  Bertha has already successfully passed through our fiberglass rebar to begin its run and we'll be cheering for the successful repair of the TBM so that it can continue its progress.

Often times, we think about "soft-eye" projects like the SR99 tunnel as "temporary" works projects.  In Seattle, the designers wisely used the higher grade vinyl ester resin based Aslan GFRP bars with the thinking that things don't always go according to plan.  This has turned out to be a wise choice.   Often times, in other parts of the world, tunneling contractors are more than willing to cut corners here and there without really understanding the implications should things not go according to plans.

The Seattle Alaska Way Viaduct tunnel is not without its critics.  Opponents of the project will look for any opportunity to cast aspersions to reinforce their perspective.  One way or the other, the project is already an engineering marvel and we feel its successful completion in years ahead will have an extremely positive impact on all of Seattle.

I was spurred to write this quick blog after reading an excellent article on the project in Bloomberg this morning.  Check out the article here:

Friday, March 20, 2015

Looking forward to ACI Spring Convention 2015 - Kansas City

Looking ahead on the calendar to April 11 to 15 when we gather as an industry at the American Concrete Institute spring convention in Kansas City.  Links to the event can be found here:

There will be a lot in store for the FRP rebar industry in Kansas City.   First and foremost is our meeting with 440-H committee on Monday from 3-6 where we should learn the status of the printing of the updated 440.1R-15 document and see for the first time Dr. Vicki Brown's compilation of the various chapters that will make up a new 318 compliant 440.X-XX CODE for GFRP bars.  Up to this point, all our 440.1R documents have been "design guides" meaning they are not actually mandatory language like the 318 code.  This new effort further legitimizes the use of GFRP rebar by aligning design guidance with 318-14.

Before that meeting on Sunday, we have the 2015 FRP student beam competition.  Over the years this event has gotten bigger and better. In 2001, Hughes Bros made a a free standing hydraulic power supply load frame for the competition so that the beam competition could be held right in the exposition area of the convention.  This allowed the competition to be seen by more people rather than having to get all the participants to a local University lab.  Over the years many students have participated in the FRP student beam competition and them moved into practice and have incorporated GFRP rebars in a project because they were familiar with the materials from this event. 

On Tuesday at ACI, we also have a joint session with ASTM committee D.30 where we are discussing the latest ballots on proposed ASTM GFRP bar specifications.  The document is very close to being finalized in my opinion.  Having stepped back as the primary author, Dr.'s Russ Gentry and Dr. Chuck Bakis are negotiating accommodations for of Type 1 & Type 2 ( hollow bar).

On Tuesday afternoon, we gather for a meeting of the FRP Rebar manufacturers Council where our fearless ACMA leader John Busel helps us advance the use of GFRP rebar as an industry.  John is looking forward to the next round of FHWA sponsored seminars on "Alternative Reinforcing Bars" that FHWA is promoting to help expose DOT's around the country to alternatives to help make our bridge and structures last longer.

Oh, and be sure and stop by the Aslan FRP booth in the convention hall of ACI.  Our team of Ryan Koch PE, Jon Fischer EIT, Casey Mattson and myself will be on hand to answer any questions about FRP's.

In addition to the long days of committee meetings, I'm personally looking forward to some live jazz at "The Majestic" just nearby the convention hotel !

See you in Kansas City !