Catching Up on Composites

by Harry Goldstein, Asst. Editor; Civil Engineering, 345 E. 47th Street, New York, NY 10017,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 3, Pg. 47-49

Document Type: Feature article


Until recently, Japan and Germany were way ahead of the U.S. in composite material technology for construction. Lighter, stronger and possibly more durable than conventional materials like concrete, steel and timber, composites are finally seeping out of the lab and into the U.S. construction market. Trying to get your mind around the term composites is like a walk on the dunes--the ground is constantly shifting beneath your feet. Some people consider concrete a fine example of a composite material, while others hold up fiber reinforced plastic (FRP) or carbon fiber reinforced concrete (CFRC) as the materials that define composite. Regardless of how they split the semantic hair, many civil engineers are looking at composites as a viable building material for both new large scale projects and retrofits. And the research is finally being conducted to help them conceptualize applications and determine usages for these valuable and versatile materials.

Subject Headings: Composite materials | Construction materials | Fiber reinforced concrete | Fiber reinforced composites | Fiber reinforced polymer | Steel construction | Material durability

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


Return to search