DIS-TRAN Steel Blog

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

Road to Recovery After Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Brooke Barone on Nov 7, 2012 3:09:00 PM

DIS-TRAN Wood Products has kicked it into overdrive as storm restoration orders began pouring in due to Super Storm, Hurricane Sandy, that left 8 million people cold and in the dark in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

Customers began calling in orders on October 26, three days before the hurricane hit, and are still being placed today, more than a week after Sandy pummeled the East Coast. Customers directly impacted include First Energy, Consolidated Edison, Pennsylvania Power & Light, as well as many other utilities in the surrounding area.

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We are running 24/7 and are assisting in any manner possible to help them restore power to their customers quickly. Employees in both of our production facilities, Pineville, LA and Vancouver, WA, have been working extended shifts, seven days a week to make sure we drill, bundle, treat and ship products where they are most needed.  In many cases, we are delivering cross arms to those utilities within 24 hours of order placement.

Having two production facilities gives us the flexibility we need in order to expedite cross arms as quickly as possible.  Also, our relationship with our key suppliers such as Columbia Vista Corporation has enabled us to secure the critical raw material needed in this effort. 

The devastation of Hurricane Sandy has impacted millions, making the need for product equal to that which was produced for Hurricane Katrina in 2006.  DIS-TRAN is no stranger to hurricanes and the demands that they create. We understand the Utility companies need to restore power fast, so we are here to help in any way we can. 

Let’s all also remember the valiant job that those Utility linemen are doing every day as they are the boots on the ground (or in the air in their case) in conditions that we cannot even imagine.   

To all of those who have been impacted, do not be discouraged by setbacks...they make you stronger.

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Tags: utilities, DIS-TRAN Wood Products, Columbia Vista Corporation, DIS-TRAN, Hurricane Sandy, cross arms

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