Why should you start using FRP cross arms in your next transmission project?
There are 6 reasons to explain this.
1. Asset management
cross arms can be manufactured in relatively short order, providing quality structures in the large quantities utilities need.
The current lead time is as low as 3 weeks. This is in contrast to the over 6 month wait for industry-quality steel for electrical applications.
2. Cost savings
The largest expense in replacing wood or steel cross arms is the cost of time to send the crew to the installation site. Installation can be particularly expensive if the only way to access the site is by helicopter, due to rough terrain.
Installation costs are required to replace wooden cross arms every 25 to 40 years, depending on environmental conditions and the original quality of timber. Meanwhile, FRP cross arms provide the possibility to skip up to 2 of the replacement cycles required by wooden cross arms as they enjoy a life expectancy of over 75 years. In overall life cycle cost analysis, this represents a significant savings.
3. Environmentally safe
In a world where environmental concerns are becoming a key issue, the minimal environmental impact of FRPs are attractive.
FRP made with fiberglass chopped strand mat
, cross arms are environmentally inert as there is no leaching of chemicals into the environment. Because of this, some environmental groups are embracing the use of FRP structures in environmentally-sensitive areas like bogs and wetlands.
In the case of disposal, nothing from the FRP cross arms will contaminate the environment and as such FRP cross arms can be recycled (preferred option) or placed in a general landfill.
FRP cross arms are also a very durable choice in warm, high humidity environments where treated wood does not last very long and steel corrodes very quickly.
FRP composite cross arms and also proved the viability of FRP cross arms in showing resistance to lightning strikes, bearing structural loads well, and long term durability.
5. Raptor & environmental protection
In some areas, raptor protection is a particular concern. When these birds land on energized steel transmission cross arms, their long wingspan can bridge over the distance between the conductor phases and metal cross arms, causing injuries and potentially loss of wildlife. When this happens, utilities have to pay significant penalties; it is also a public relations challenge.
With the electrically non-conductive nature of FRP cross arms, such accidents and issues are preventable.
6. Long term performance
Using new materials and components always raises questions about long term performance.
As mentioned above, accelerated aging tests performed by an independent laboratory confirmed that two component polyurethane composite cross arms have an expected life span of over 75 years. This is significantly better than the expected life span of wood cross arms and galvanized steel (with no additional corrosion intervention once the galvanized coating is gone), which is about 35 years in most urban environments.Official website:http://www.zccyfiberglass.com