RESTON, Va. and ARLINGTON, Va.—The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) signed a three-year agreement to develop a pre-standard for Load and Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) for Pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Composite Structures.
According to the groups, the LRFD standard is an important design tool that will help structural engineers and architects use FRP composites in the design of building and transportation structures, highlighting the benefits of composites, such as their strength-to-weight ratio, resistance to corrosion, low maintenance, and long life cycle.

"The LRFD standard will give composites credibility and presence, ultimately increasing market acceptance," said John Tickle, ACMA president.

"ASCE has a longstanding and proven history in producing professional standards such as this; standards that advance the practice of civil engineering and allow us to better serve the public’s needs," said Bill Marcuson, Ph.D., P.E., Hon.M.ASCE. "We commend the ACMA for its dedication, and look forward to the successful outcome of this new partnership."

ASCE, with ACMA’s approval, selected Mehdi Zarghamee, Ph.D., of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, Inc., to serve as coordinator for the project to ensure proper coordination and information sharing between the project team members.

Zarghamee will also coordinate technical progress and authoring of the standard among the project team members according to the scope of work and schedule. At the project’s completion, the pre-standard will be promulgated through the official ASCE Codes and Standards process. The expected release date of the pre-standard is September 2010.

ACMA’s Pultrusion Industry Council (PIC) will be leading the new program. Since 1995, ASCE has collaborated with the PIC to collect required information and data to guide the council toward the goal of developing a design standard.