DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

COMPOSITES ARE THE FUTURE

Posted by Melissa Hines on Aug 16, 2016 10:04:01 AM

To some within the utilities industry, composites still seem like the stuff of science fiction, but in reality composites have been used in transmission poles for over six decades. In fact, fiber-reinforced transmission poles were first installed in Maui, Hawaii in 1962. The tropical island served as the perfect ecosystem to test the strength and durability of the laboratory made material. Astoundingly, the fiber-reinforced transmission poles lasted nearly 45 years, not only demonstrating that composites are superior but also transforming the future of the utilities landscape forever.Untitled_design_12.jpg

When comparing composites to other fabrication materials, it’s no contest. Composites are non-conductive, light and durable. They are also resistant to rot, corrosion, pests and fire, all while offering superior UV protection. It’s no wonder the utilities sector is rapidly replacing traditional materials with composites in poles and pole top assemblies. Some composite applications include:

  • COMPOSITE CROSSARMS: The ULTRAVEX™ from DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions is the industry’s premier composite crossarm. Our innovative composite crossarm incorporates a cutting-edge design that allows for one 3-1/2” x 3-1/2” sized crossarm to be used for both tangent and deadend applications. Advanced, patent 9546498 technology renders it both small yet capable of bearing heavier loads than larger wooden crossarms. Three layers of UV-protection shield it from the punishing sun, lowering maintenance costs and extending product life.
  • COMPOSITE POLES: Besides having a light footprint that allows them to be easily transported across even the harshest terrain, composite poles prove too slick for woodpeckers and squirrels to grab hold of, reducing expensive, critter induced outages. Since they are fire resistant and do not lose strength as they age, they require minimal upkeep.
  • COMPOSITE POLE LINE INSULATORS: Silicone rubber composite insulators offer exceptional anti-pollution performance, making them perfect for highly polluted areas. They are more reliable than traditional ceramic insulators and 90% lighter while also proving unbreakable. As with composite poles and crossarms, maintenance costs are low.
  • COMPOSITE THREADED RODS/BOLTS: Engineered from a thermoplastic polyurethane matrix resin, composite threaded rods and bolts offer unparalleled resistance to acids, bases, and both chemical and organic liquids. In addition, they are prized for their excellent resistance to corrosion, low weight, high strength, and non-conductive properties.
  • COMPOSITE REINFORCED CABLE/WIRE: Traditional steel-core conductor cables are no match compared to new composite rivals that nearly double transmission capacity without having to install new towers or poles. Also, structural support redundancy provides an extra safeguard so the failure of a few strands does not result in total cable failure.

From unbeatable durability to lower maintenance and costs, it is clear composites offer significant advantages over conventional materials used in utility transmission. That’s why we can’t wait to introduce our new, game-changing   ULTRAVEX ™ composite bracket that’s as strong as steel but lightweight and packed with all the benefits unique to composites. It’s debuting later this year, so be sure to stay tuned to our website to see how DIS-TRAN Overhead Solutions will continue to revolutionize the utilities industry with composites!

For more information about UltravexTM Click Here

Tags: crossarms, fiberglass, composite, composite material, composite crossarm, poles, composite poles

8 Major Markets That Use Composites

Posted by Melissa Hines on Aug 10, 2015 3:26:00 PM

A World Full of Composites

One might be surprised to find out that composites have become a part of our everyday lives. So what are composites? Composites are formed when two or more materials with different physical and chemical properties are combined to produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components.

Composite material is widely used because it is light weight, high strength, durable, corrosion resistant, nonconductive, low maintenance and allows for design flexibility. In today's market, structures made of composite have a longer life and a higher strength to weight ratio than those made of traditional material. This versatile material is used in such a variety of applications that the overall composite market has to been divided into the following major segments.

A_World_Full_of_Composites
  • Aerospace - The aerospace market is one of the largest and most important of the composites industry. Commercial, military and space craft all make substantial use of composite material both inside and out. Some applications of composite on aircrafts include propellers, primary wing and fuselage structures, floor boards and flight control surfaces.
  • Automotive - Composites are being used to make lighter, safer and more fuel efficient vehicles. Composite material can withstand very intense heat and speed and will not rust or corrode like steel or aluminum. The use of composites in vehicles has given the automobile designers free rein, as these materials can be easily molded into any shape or size.
  • Construction/Infrastructure - Composites are used in various architecture and infrastructure applications. Some of these applications include the repair and replacement of roads, bridges and pilings. Homes and offices also use composite material. Bathroom fixtures, swimming pools and wall panels are just a few of the items around your home that may be made of composite.
  • Defense - The military has long used composites in many applications. Some of these applications include fighter jets, helicopters and watercraft. The strength and durability of composite material is perfect for the demanding performance of these applications.
  • Marine - The marine market is deeply penetrated by the composite industry. Yachts, sailboats and naval ships all use some form of composite material. Composites are very suitable for these applications because they can withstand the harsh marine environment.
  • Mass Transit - Trains, buses and subways make extensive use of composites. Many of the air conditioner enclosures, vehicle body panels and interior parts and components found in these modes of transportation are made of composite material. Composites offer overall weight reductions and improved energy effeciency. 
  • Sports and Recreation - Composites used in sporting goods is almost a given these days. Golf clubs, tennis rackets, hockey sticks, fishing poles, canoes and bicycles all benefit from the light weight and high strength of composites. The use of composite material in recreational activities will continue to increase.
  • Energy/Electrical- Composites are being used to make turbine blades, solar panel frames, pole line hardware, substation equipment, utility poles and crossarms. Since composites are nonconductive, this makes them very suitable for electrical products. Composites can also stand up to severe weather and wide changes in temperature making them ideal for the great outdoors.

Composites are all around us. This material builds bridges that won't rust, turns wind into electric power, improves fuel efficiency in cars, trucks and trains, creates recreational options that make our life enjoyable and so much more.

Are there any products you use on a daily basis that are made of composite material? Do you like the way composites are being used in today's market?

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Tags: crossarms, cross arms, electrical, composites, pole line hardware, energy, composite, composite material

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