SCIGRIP provides strong bond for unique composite bridge beams 13 October 2020

A new type of composite bridge beam relies on the proven performance of SCIGRIP™ methacrylate adhesive from SCIGRIP Americas to deliver extremely strong, reliable structural bonds while helping reduce material and labour costs for the manufacturer.

This structural hybrid composite beam or HCB, combines the best of reinforced plastic composites, concrete and steel to produce bridge beams that are one tenth the weight of steel yet strong enough to carry railroad locomotives and freight cars. The beam designer, John Hillman says his beams use composites, concrete and steel in their most efficient form which acts as a tierarch bridge encased in a fiberglass composite box. Hillman says the beams will last indefinitely. SCIGRIP SG230 HV structural two component adhesive was used to bond a composite top to the concrete and steel filled composite beam “box.”

Beams are fabricated by Harbor Technologies, Brunswick, Maine. Todd McKechnie, the NAC sales representative who handles Harbor Technologies, pointed out that NAC is more than just a distributor. “We offer our customers so many more key valued added services,” he said.

McKechnie continued to explain that NAC relies on the expertise of their suppliers, like SCIGRIP, for technical support in finding solutions for their customers. Both McKechnie and Karen Brock Amoah, SCIGRIP structural adhesive sales and marketing director, and the SCIGRIP technical service team worked hand-in-hand with Harbor Technologies to identify their specific bonding requirements and ultimately recommended SCIGRIP SG230 HV for this novel bridge beam application.

“One reason for selecting SCIGRIP SG230 HV adhesive was because of its unique combination of tensile, elongation and shear strength properties and its proven performance bonding composites for Harbor Technologies said several methyl methacrylate (MMA) adhesives were tested for this HCB application. Our distributor, North American Composites (NAC), Lino Lakes, Minn., told us SCIGRIP adhesive products have a proven track record for bonding and assembling composites and that they would produce stronger, better bonds than the other adhesive system we were contemplating using in this application,” commented Kristofer Grimnes, product development manager at SCIGRIP.

Grimnes said. “But what we didn’t realise was that by using SCIGRIP adhesive and by switching over from our current labour intensive applicator to a bulk pneumatic metre mix dispensing system, our material costs would be reduced and our labour cost would go down,” he said Grimnes said it was unbelievable that we were able to reduce our bonding costs nearly 50% and still produce superior structural bonds in the bridge beams.

Claire Aldridge Deputy Editor t: +44 (0) 1727 743 889

Having spent a decade in the fastener industry experiencing every facet – from steel mills, fastener manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, as well as machinery builders and plating + coating companies, Claire has developed an in-depth knowledge of all things fasteners.

Alongside visiting numerous companies, exhibitions and conferences around the world, Claire has also interviewed high profile figures – focusing on key topics impacting the sector and making sure readers stay up to date with the latest developments within the industry.