Composite Advantage Taps Custom FRP Fabricator FiberSystems For Composite Pile Jackets

When FRP manufacturer Composite Advantage was asked to supply composite pile jackets for a waterfront application, it turned to nearby neighbor FiberSystems.  “We specialize in very large FRP composite parts up to 100 ft. for bridge and waterfront infrastructures,” says Composite Advantage President Scott Reeve. “This was an application where the best approach was to source a pipe expert like FiberSystems.”

A New Zealand waterfront structure’s circular piers were eroding due to salt water, air and sun exposure. Concrete stay-in-place forms were used to repair the piers but corrosive conditions dictated the need for pile jackets for each of the piers. “FiberSystems had the mandrel sizes and the right manufacturing process to tackle the job,” says Reeve. “If a customer request falls outside our core competency, we’re able to use our network to meet that need.”

Twenty-four ounce fabric knitted from carbon and glass fibers, 50 in. wide by 17 ft. long, was hand laid up in two sections around mandrels 18 in., 20 in., and 24 in., in diameter. Once the sleeves were custom fabricated, they were removed and split lengthwise. The outer edge of one side of the cut and the inner edge of the opposing cut were pre-sanded to facilitate easy bonding. Once installed, a special mortar is used to fill the space between the FRP jacket and the concrete pillar, creating a corrosion resistant armor against the elements.

“It was a labor intensive process,” says Tim Morton, vice-president of operations for FiberSystems. “We had to adapt the process to meet the criteria needed to make the pile jackets. But we’re known as a fabricator’s fabricator. We are able to take a customer’s requirements and determine the best approach whether it means customizing processes or in some cases, creating new methods to complete a job.”

FiberSystems used unpigmented vinylester resin to produce a total of 17 18-in., inside diameter, five 20-in., inside diameter, and seven 24-in. inside diameter pile jackets. The FRP sleeves were shipped to New Zealand in October.

Composite Advantage is the leading manufacturer of very large Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite parts [up to 100 ft.] for structurally demanding applications and corrosive environments. CA combines its unique knowledge, innovative design, field experience and efficient manufacturing processes to support its core products – zero maintenance bridges and bridge decks. Other products include vehicle bridge decks engineered to handle fully loaded 90,000-lb. truck-trailers; temporary road mats for energy exploration; and waterfront infrastructure first developed for U.S. Navy bases.  For more information visit www.compositeadvantage.com or contact Composite Advantage at 937-723-9031 or info@compositeadvantage.com.

FiberSystems leads the industry as a custom manufacturer of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic composite parts in a wide range of sizes for structurally demanding applications and corrosive environments. With nearly 70 years of fabrication and engineering expertise, FiberSystems combines specialized resins knowledge, innovative design and materials, manufacturing technology and restoration services to support a diverse product lineup that includes pipe, fittings, duct, containment systems, tanks, pipe supports and items like pultruded structural shapes, flooring systems, grating and coatings.

For more information visit:  http://www.ifs-frp.com/

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