Once they connect with the right people, composite manufacturers also need to understand that it will take time for government bureaucracies to make changes, but that their efforts today will pay dividends over time. “In a lot of cases we’re doing presentations to Department of Transportation engineers or to rail agency engineers. And that’s not a sales call. It’s not going to amount to a PO tomorrow. It is part of the educational process on what FRP composites can do,” says Reeve. “They look at this stuff, and they want to vet it and make sure it’s good. And then finally – and it may take years – they say, ‘Hey, this is the right place for me to use FRP composites.’”
The composites industry must continue to impart its important message to infrastructure stakeholders.
“Composites in general have a lot to do toward the sustainability or resilience of our infrastructure,” says Emparanza. “Sadly, we know that climate change is happening, with more severe weather events and the sea level rising. So, we need to act not only for the present but also for the future.”
Mary Lou Jay is a freelance writer based in Timonium, Md. Email comments to email@example.com.