Plastic is Stronger Than You Think

Fort Bragg plastic bridge

By Dawn Elizabeth Pandoliano, Sep 25, 2009

An M1A1 Abrams tank is driven over a thermoplastic composite bridge to demonstrate the strength of the first, 95 percent recycled, low maintenance bridge during the dedication ceremony Friday, at Camp Mackall.

Working in conjunction with Fort Bragg’s Directorate of Public Works and industry partners; the Construction Engineering Research Laboratory designed and built the thermoplastic bridge to replace un-serviceable wooden bridge structures on Fort Bragg and Camp Mackall. The thermoplastic bridge, made from about 85,000 pounds of recycled plastics, is the first structure of its kind capable of supporting military equipment loads in excess of 70 tons. Its structural integrity surpasses that of traditional materials such as steel, wood and cement. It defies catastrophic failure, withstands static and grows stronger when exposed to environmental elements, according to Axiom International Holdings, Incorporated. Additionally; it resists erosion; therefore, replacement cost is reduced.