Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Polyurethane resisn systems supplied by Bayer MaterialScience llc underpin the production and performance of utility poles soaring as high as 30 metres in the air in some of the most wind-torn regions of the world.
The materials are used in a proprietary filament winding process developed by Canada's RS Technologies Inc. of Calgary, Alberta, and give them an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, according to a 26 Oct announcement from BMS.
RS is believed to be the only player in the market using its own filament-winding process with polyurethane composite materials, says the BMS statement. The RS process places glass fibres on the axial surface of the pole with zero-degree winds, which compares favourably to the seven to eight degree angles achieved with most winding processes, it adds.
As with traditional filament winding, the process is mechanised and the fibres are precisely placed onto a mandrel. Strategically placing the glass and polyurethane resin results in a pole wall thickness of no more than 12 mm, the BMS statement said.
"With our two-part resin system, RStandard composite pole modules are wound within minutes and then heat cured," said Paul Giannelia, president and chief executive officer with RS.
The polyurethane composite utility poles offer a number of benefits that are not possible using traditional materials, BMS emphasises. They are not only a more eco-friendly alternative to wood, they also offer improved strength and durability: The poles are expected to last as long as 125 years in most climates and are engineered for a minimum of 65 years in the most challenging climates, BMS announcement says. This is not only cost-effective, but also contributes to the reliability of the nation's electrical grid as well as improved safety, it added.
"We have had an ongoing relationship with Bayer MaterialScience for more than five years, and with their help, we have been able to collaborate and optimize the raw materials that fit our product and filament winding technology," said Giannelia.