ACMA releases standard specification for FRP composite utility poles

This guide is the first guide to standardization of fiber reinforced composite poles.

The American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA; Arlington, VA) has released a new resource to promote the standardization of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in power distribution, transmission and communication structure applications. Known as the “Standard Specification for Practical Practices for ANSI / ACMA Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites”, this resource is ACMA’s first such resource and is available online at ACMA’s Education Center.

Developed by ACMA’s Utilities and Communications Structure Council (UCSC), the ANSI standard is intended to be a unified reference for electric utility engineers, including detailed information on the manufacture, assembly, and safe and proper installation of FRP poles. This document means a wide range of applications and a better understanding of the differences between FRP composites and traditional materials such as wood, concrete and steel. It covers the use of FRP utility poles throughout the product lifecycle, including design, material properties, manufacturing processes, quality control, assembly and installation, and inspection parameters for directly embedded FRP utility poles.

“Before developing this ANSI standard, in many cases, line designers can only seek information from each manufacturer. The ANSI standard for completing FRP composite poles provides a reliable resource for utilities in North America and elsewhere,” John P. Busel, vice president of the ACMA Composites Growth Program, said F.ACI.

In addition, the standard specification highlights the advantages and benefits of FRP composite rods in North American distribution and transmission infrastructure. This resource shows that FRP poles are light in weight, corrosion resistant, highly reliable, high in insulation strength and long in service life. When used to replace chemically treated wood poles, FRP composite rods are also considered to be the most environmentally friendly alternative in practical construction.

“This resource reinforces the importance of composites providing durable, reliable and secure solutions for all industries and markets, including our national infrastructure,” said ACMA President Tom Dobbins. “ACMA is committed to developing more in other key areas. Multiple standards to increase the use of composite solutions in more industries. We believe that more understanding and understanding of these amazing materials will eventually lead to more use.”