Thought Leaders

Adding Value to Traditional Carbon Steel Construction with FRP Materials

In this interview, Brad Doudican, Principal Structural Engineer at Advantic talks to AZoM about why they started using Strongwell's FRP materials as carbon steel alternative.

Please tell us a bit about Advantic and the work you do?

Advantic is a design-build firm focused on improving the construction industry by offering turnkey structural solutions through the use of proven composite materials.

We recognize that advanced materials are often perceived to come at a premium cost. Our practice is to provide an early business case analysis to evaluate the total installed and lifecycle costs to help us determine if advanced materials are a good fit.

Time is valuable; we don’t want to waste yours or ours.

How did you come to the decision to start using Strongwell’s FRP materials?

Advantic met with a leadership of several domestic pultruded material suppliers and found best alignment of vision and culture was with the Strongwell team.

Strongwell has decades of industry experience, a strong engineering and research capability, and wide breadth of product offering.

Further, Advantic was impressed by Strongwell’s commitment to manufacturing excellence and stringent quality control from raw materials through delivered goods. Strongwell has been, and continues to be, a critical partner in Advantic’s growth.

How do Strongwell’s FRP materials add value to traditional carbon steel construction?

The products Advantic fabricates with Strongwell’s FRP material can often be fully installed faster than carbon steel construction and with a cost savings of between 20% and 40%.

Can Strongwell’s FRP materials replace traditional carbon steel construction?

While FRP materials cannot replace carbon steel in every application, FRP is a viable option for replacing secondary and miscellaneous steel.

This includes mezzanines and catwalks, stairs, towers, walkways, ladders, pipe supports and structural framing.

What advantages and benefits does using FRP bring to your work?

FRP materials offer many advantages such as:

  • Corrosion resistance
  • Light weight
  • High strength
  • Low maintenance and low conductivity

Some of the main advantages that FRP materials bring to our work is that they are safer, lighter and faster to install.

Can you tell us about some case studies where you have used Strongwell materials?

Recently we completed some work on pipe supports using Strongwell’s FRP materials. This allowed us to install the new pipe support 3.5 x faster than a steel equivalent.

The materials are light weight and require no welding so the steel crew enjoy installing them.

Another example is a wastewater treatment facility recently used our materials as steel alternative. Straight away they saw that no maintenance was required, it reduced the lead time by 50% and was 55%-75% lighter than steel.

In most case studies where Strongwell’s FRP materials were used they eliminated hot-work, had significant savings over steel and required no maintenance.

What do FRP materials mean for the future?

Until recently FRP materials have been positioned as a more expensive option at purchase but having low to zero maintenance costs in the future.

Now, companies are seeing the advantages of a lower installed cost today and a lower maintenance cost in the future.

As the word spreads that companies can have a 20% to 40% savings when installing FRP materials over traditional construction materials, the overall impact on the productivity of the construction industry could be tremendous.

Where can our readers go to find out more?

To learn more about Advantic and its capabilities please visit www.advanticllc.com and more about Strongwell’s FRP materials at www.strongwell.com.

About Brad Doudican

Dr. Brad Doudican, PE, is a principal structural engineer for Advantic, a structural solutions company focused on the delivery of advanced composite materials in the construction industry.

Brad has significant experience in both conventional professional structural engineering with institutional and industrial clients, as well as advanced aerospace composite design and analysis experience with the United States Department of Defense.  Dr. Doudican helped lead the creation of Advantic in 2013.

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited (T/A) AZoNetwork, the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and Conditions of use of this website.

Mychealla Rice

Written by

Mychealla Rice

Mychealla graduated from Northumbria University in Newcastle with a 2:1 in Journalism with English Literature. Mychealla is a keen traveller, spending time in Australia, Thailand and Italy. Mychealla plans to see more of Europe in the future. Mychealla’s interests include photography and music. In her spare time, she likes to go shopping and visit family and friends back in Ireland.

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