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.
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!