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 !