Market trends and tighter budgets are helping to expand the use of composites to repair and replace corrosion-damaged infrastructure — aboveground and underground.
Corrosion of metals, by some estimates, costs the U.S. economy $300 billion per year in maintenance, repair and replacement costs. Always an Achilles’ heel for manufacturers who work with metals, this massive problem plays to one of the composites industry’s greatest strengths. Corrosion prevention was one of the earliest applications for glass-reinforced plastics, championed by developers of highly corrosion-resistant isopolyester resin systems. Although that role has since been supplanted — especially in saltwater environments — by epoxy vinyl ester resins, manufacturers schooled in the use of composites continue to make inroads in several markets that have massive long-term potential.