HCB is a revolutionary, sustainable technology that combines the strength and stiffness of conventional concrete and steel with the lightweight and corrosion resistant advantages of fiber reinforced polymers (FRP).
HCB may appear unconventional, but the design, fabrication and construction processes are simple and familiar to design and construction professionals. As a structural system, the HCB is not a plastic structural member.
Virtually all of the strength and stiffness of the beam is derived from concrete and galvanized prestressing strand. Safety is inherently built into HCBs and the strength capacity consistently exceeds code requirements.
Couple this inherent safety with corrosion resistant properties of the HCB and you have a structure that lasts longer with less maintenance.
By optimizing the inherent qualities of the three components (FRP shell, compression reinforcement and tension reinforcement), the HCB allows construction professionals to build better structures that are cost competitive, stronger and require no additional training for their crews.
Descriptive HCB Animated Video
HCB Primary Value vs. Concrete and Steel
Extended service life – 100 years and beyond providing a longer sustainable solution in comparison to conventional materials commonly specified.
Minimal to no life cycle cost – due to the protective corrosion resistant FRP (fibre reinforced polymer) shell.
Ultra lightweight – the HCBs shipping and installation weight is on average 90% lighter then a concrete beam and 65% lighter then a steel beam. This provides several shipping, installation and constructability benefits that will result in lowering overall project cost.
Reserve strength capacity – the HCB inherent strength and stiffness greatly exceeds code requirements resulting in a number of benefits.
Lower carbon footprint – The HCB when compared to a precast concrete beam supplied and installed has a estimated 80% lower carbon footprint.
First cost competitive, Whole life cost reductive – On a supplied and installed cost comparative analysis the HCB has proven to be competitive on a first cost basis with concrete and steel. Upon comparative evaluation of the HCB over the extended service life of a structure, it is concluded that whole life cost is reduced.
Although HCB technology may seem like a new concept, this patented technology is rooted in centuries old structural principles and well understood materials. HCB has undergone extensive testing and development. Drawing upon vast experience in infrastructure design and construction, the HCB Company’s founders are bringing the advanced composites industry to the infrastructure market.
World’s First HCB Constructed Railroad Bridge
Transportation Technology Center, Pueblo, Colorado Since its test installation in November 07, more than 237 million gross tons have crossed the bridge to date. Work is also under way to make Hybrid Composite Beam technology standard on all highway bridges. (read more…)
HCB Rail Bridge Exceeds Expectations
Why Use Environment Friendly HCB Technology?
Although concrete and steel on a global basis have been used for structural applications for decades, they may not be necessarily the best use of materials by themselves for a number of applications. This is evidenced by the fact that worldwide we see billions of dollars spent on rehabilitation, maintenance and complete replacement of concrete and steel structures that are in a state of serious disrepair. This is not to say that concrete and steel are not ideal time tested and proven materials for their intended use. The problem is exposure to corrosion and the elements that deteriorate the structure and its performance over time.
As the HCB is designed, engineered and fabricated with the concrete and steel structural components of the beam protected within the FRP shell, the concrete and steel that provides this compression and tension reinforcement is not exposed to the corrosive elements that deteriorates a structure over time. This answers the question, why HCB – it provides a value added superior structural alternative that makes best use of the three primary materials, FRP composites, concrete and steel to its optimized use.
Watch for This Innovative Product in your Area
The first permanent highway installation of HCB’s was on the High Road Bridge over Long Run Creek in Lockport Township, Ill. – opened to traffic in August 08.
This 57-foot superstructure single-span bridge is comprised of six 42-inch deep HCBs spaced at 7-foot-4-inch (2.23 m) centers, supporting a conventional 8-inch (200 mm) thick reinforced concrete deck.
Market Sectors and Applications For HCB
As an overview of the market potential for HCB, one only has to look at the built environment globally. Although originally conceived and initially developed for bridge structures (highway and rail), the HCB and its applications have evolved considerably. Based on market research, HCB sales volume potential is in the billions of dollars annually. The four target market sectors would be as follows:
Transportation Infrastructure– Highway/road, rail and pedestrian bridges.
Marine Infrastructure– Shipping terminals, piers, wharfs, jettys, boardwalk structures, large scale marina facilities, LNG & oil/gas transfer terminals, various berthing structures, cruise ship terminals, etc….
Heavy Civil Infrastructure– Mining, oil and gas offshore/onshore, hydro-electric generating facilities, high load pile supported structures, ship building, water treatment and purification facilities, cut and cover tunnel construction, military infrastructure, etc….
Building Envelope– Industrial, institutional, manufacturing and process facilities, commercial and residential buildings, high-rise parking structures, green roof application, etc…. To drive home the magnitude of the markets and applications for the HCB technology, simply think about the multitudes of structures that are built with concrete and steel worldwide.