Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Bridge Stress

PostedJanuary 24, 2010

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Randy Atkins: Cracks in steel bridges are usually drilled out, and new metal attached.  But Ron Barrett-Gonzalez, an aerospace engineering professor at the University of Kansas, says that can sometimes cause damage…and suggests spraying in plastic material instead.

Ron Barrett-Gonzalez: Many of these composite structures often have stiffnesses and strength that are significantly greater than the steel.

Randy Atkins: And if the composite becomes damaged or worn, it’s engineered to literally bleed red dye.

Ron Barrett-Gonzalez: The bridge itself would scream out and say, “Hey, this component is not good.”

Randy Atkins: Such materials might even be used from the start in areas engineers know will get high stress.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103-point-5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.