Recycled Materials for Repair and Rehabilitation of Aging Concrete StructuresEPA Contract Number: 68D01022
Title: Recycled Materials for Repair and Rehabilitation of Aging Concrete Structures
Investigators: Roylance, Margaret E.
Small Business: Foster-Miller Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: April 1, 2001 through September 1, 2001
Project Amount: $69,987
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (2001) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , SBIR - Pollution Prevention , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:Exterior wrapping of concrete columns initially was developed for seismic reinforcement in high-risk areas such as California. As the technology has gained acceptance, it is being considered for use in extending column life, reducing corrosion, and preventing spalling. All composite wrapping systems utilize some form of a fiber-reinforced thermoset material. For several reasons discussed below, fiber-reinforced recycled plastics would be a superior material choice.
Foster-Miller, Inc., has developed an ultrasonic tape lamination (UTL) processing technology for the aerospace composites industry that can enable the use of thermoplastics in this application. With the applications development proposed, UTL will enable sheets of fiber-reinforced recycled plastics to be quickly and easily installed through manual wrapping and UTL consolidation of the wrapped plies and seams. Multiple suppliers of recycled plastics, including a local supplier of natural fiber- reinforced recycled plastics, have been identified. The Massachusetts Strategic Envirotechnology Partnership, coordinating with the Chelsea Center for Recycling and Economic Development and the Metropolitan District Commission, has been working during the past year to assess this technology and consider options for its implementation. This program will provide the applications development and an initial field demonstration of the technology.
Many estimates put the required investment for bridge replacement or rehabilitation in the hundreds of millions of dollars over the next few decades. Beyond the column wrapping markets, Foster-Miller, Inc., has identified a large number of potential UTL applications in both the aerospace and civil infrastructure industries. These markets range from the fabrication of thick composite structures for aircraft to lining sewer pipes with recycled plastics.