Fiberglass power poles for safer infrastructures

Strongwell designed a fiberglass power pole to directly replace existing wood, steel, and concrete poles.

Fiberglass power poles for safer infrastructures

Electrical utility materials are regularly fabricated using wood, steel, or concrete. This is due to their innate versatility, and the fact that they have been established as building materials for decades. The first power poles ever erected were fabricated from wood, benefiting from excellent strength-to-weight ratios and good levels of ductility to resist wind-related damage. Electrical grids and extensive transmission line systems are now commonplace worldwide, with combinations of wood, steel, and concrete power poles found within these infrastructural systems. Yet these established industry materials exhibit the same mechanical drawbacks today as they did when electrical transmission setups were first established.

Wood is hygroscopic in nature and prone to rotting, while steel products rapidly oxidize and corrode in atmospheric conditions. Pollutants and weathering can degrade the mechanical stability of wood, steel, and concrete power poles, resulting in premature component failure and significant safety risks.

Fiberglass power poles provide comprehensive solutions to the problems of conventional materials. This article will explore the properties of fiberglass power poles and how they can improve infrastructural safety: capacities of fiberglass power poles.

Strongwell has designed a proprietary fiberglass power pole to directly replace existing wood, steel, and concrete poles. This lightweight product is constructed from pultruded components, providing low-conductivity and an improved strength-to-weight ratio over both wood and steel. It is roughly 30% lighter than wood and as much as 60% lighter than steel. This combination of mechanical stability and lightness is provided by a matrix of high-performance constituents, from an interior, multi-directional fiberglass fabric to a high-strength resin saturation.

The immediate benefit of this construction methodology is the negation of decay or rust. This radically improves the durability of the transmission array and reduces the risk of accidents due to mechanical failure. Power poles benefit further from the material structure of fiberglass due to its outstanding impact resistance. It features an internal foam core designed for impact adsorption, to reduce the danger to drivers in accidental traffic collisions. In several incidents where vehicles have collided with fiberglass power poles, the impact was largely absorbed by the material’s structure, thus avoiding serious injury.

Fiberglass also offers benefits for installation and maintenance safety due to its lightweight nature and low-conductivity. Fiberglass power poles can be erected with reduced risk of strain or injury for workers with few special considerations for using the material. As it is low-conductive, it can be grounded similarly to wood power poles, reducing risks relating to unfamiliarity with the material. It can also be drilled for easy installation of critical transmission conductors and transformers.

Companies: Strongwell

Industries: Building and Civil Engineering, Other Composite End-use areas

Terms: Applications

This article has been edited by Basalt.Today
This article has been written on JEC Composites Magazine
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