Marketing & Communications Committee

Description: Works with staff to develop compelling content and identify appropriate vehicles for effectively promoting the advantages of composites and positioning ACMA as the "voice" of the composites industry. Evaluates and prioritizes outreach strategies and initiatives based on available association resources. Provides ACMA members, stakeholders and end users of composite products with timely, usable information that is relevant to – and consistent with – the mission and strategic plans of ACMA and may offer revenue generation in keeping with the organization’s goals.

Types of People:

Communications and marketing specialists


2 year term; approximately 3 conference calls and 1 in-person meeting a year.

  • Chair: Kim Howard, Owens Corning and Eric Breiner, Fibergrate Composite Structures, Inc.
  • Vice-Chair: Robby Dunnagan, BGF Industries, Inc.
  • Staff Liaison: Anna Hughes

OSHA's Proposed Silica Rule

OSHA’s Proposed Silica Standard May Be Very Costly for Cast Polymer and Polymer Concrete Operations, Without Providing Any Worker Health Benefits

How can your company support this effort?

Write to OSHA today, asking the agency to carefully consider the effectiveness and feasibility of requirements for cast polymer and polymer concrete manufacturers.

Use this sample letter (download Word file)

Why is the OSHA rulemaking important?

Excessive workplace exposure to cryfstalline silica can cause serious illnesses such as silicosis and lung cancer. OSHA recently proposed a major regulation designed to protect workers from silica exposure.

Many of the materials we use contain silica, including sand, quartz and calcium carbonate. Therefore we will have to comply with the OSHA silica rule once it is finalized.

What is OSHA proposing?

First, the proposed rule would require employers to conduct exposure assessments for employees potentially exposed to silica. Trained technicians must perform these silica exposure tests, and samples must be submitted to specialized laboratories. These tests can cost companies up to $5,000.

If the tests show that exposures exceed the safe limit established by OSHA, employers would be required to install controls such as closed processing systems, ventilation, special filters, and equipment for wet cutting or grinding. Respirators and dust masks could be used only if needed after the other equipment has been installed.

Why is the rulemaking a problem?

Testing silica exposures can be expensive and the results uncertain. OSHA's hierarchy-of-control requirement can be a challenge for smaller companies. And both testing and control can be less feasible for inconsistent batch operations.  

What is ACMA doing?

ACMA is developing an alternative approach that will allow small compsosites manufacturers to provide adequate employee protection in a way that fits with their financial and technical capabilities.

American Society of Civil Engineers

Load Factor Resistant Design (LFRD)

The Pultrusion Industry Council (PIC) of the American Composites Manufacturers Association (ACMA) and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) worked together to develop the first design standard for pultruded composites. This 3-year project, financially supported by the PIC members, resulted in the development of a “Pre-Standard for Load & Resistance Factor Design (LRFD) of Pultruded Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Structures,” ASCE served as the project manager in the development of the standard.

Currently, this Pre-Standard document is following the standards development process by ASCE and ANSI to promulgate this into an official ASCE Standard. The ASCE Fiber Composites and Polymers Standards Committee has the responsibility to review and ballot the Pre-Standard.

The LRFD standard will establish material properties for pultruded FRP composites that will allow architects and structural engineers to use pultruded FRP products with confidence.

LRFD Standard Outline

  • Chapter 1. General Provisions
  • Chapter 2. Design Requirements
  • Chapter 3. Design of Tension Members
  • Chapter 4. Design of Compression Members
  • Chapter 5. Design of Members for Flexure and Shear
  • Chapter 6. Design of Members Under Combined Forces and Torsion
  • Chapter 7. Design of Plates and Built-Up Members
  • Chapter 8. Design of Bolted Connections

Pre-Standard Authors

  • Dr. Bruce R. Ellingwood, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Abdul-Hamid Zureick, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Dr. Hota V. S. GangaRao, West Virginia University
  • Dr. Roberto Lopez-Anido, University of Maine
  • Dr. Lawrence Bank, University of Wisconsin at Madison (supported by Dr. J. Toby Mottram, Warwick University (UK), Dr. Russell Gentry, Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Carol Shield, University of Minnesota, and Michael McCarthy, University of Wisconsin)

Engineers, architects, and designers may request a complimentary copy of the LRFD PreStandard by contacting John Busel at

Other Books related to Composites Design, Standards, and Specification

  • Design of Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Stacks (52-10) - This Standard outlines the important mechanical and structural engineering considerations for stacks where the primary supporting shell is made of FRP.
  • Design Guide for FRP Composite Connections - This Manual of Practice covers major issues related to the analysis and design of composite joints and frame connections manufactured from fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites in general and pultruded (PFRP) composites in particular
  • Recommended Practice for Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Products for Overhead Utility Line Structures - Manuals of Practice (MOP) 104 - This Manual details best practices for the use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) products in conductor support applications and FRP poles.
  • Composites in Construction - This collection contains 29 papers that address the state of the art in fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites for use in construction.
  • Gap Analysis for Durability of Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Composites in Civil Engineering - This report provides the results of a study on what is known and not known about the use of fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composites as a material for civil infrastructure. As FRP composites are increasingly used, the lack or inaccessibility of data related to the their durability is proving to be a major obstacle to widespread acceptance and implementation of these materials. This report provides the results of a "gap analysis" to identify critical areas in which data is needed to assist with specific applications.
  • Structural Plastics Selection Manual - Manuals of Practice (MOP) MOP 66 - Structural Plastics Manual presents information for the structural engineer regarding the selection of the proper material or combination of materials that will provide those properties (mechanical, physical, thermal, or whatever) upon which design assumptions and calculations are based.


Help promote federal use of Life Cycle Cost Analysis

Life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) is a tool used by structural engineers to select the design and material options providing the lowest overall cost. Since composites are often the most durable, lowest-maintence structural material for many applications, the use of LCCA will increase the use of composites.


MAP-21, the highway authorization bill passed in 2012, directs the Transportation Department to develop LCCA standards that the states will use in designing federally funded highway bridges.

Ports and waterways

Another opportunity for use of LCCA to drive increased use of composites is in the design of structures associated with ports and navigable waterways, such as dams, locks, piers and pilings. According to a recent Army Corps of Engineers presentation to ACMA, the Corps manages 25,000 miles of waterways including 236 lock chambers. Over half of the Corps-managed structures have exceeded their service life, and many are rated as "severely deficient."

H.R. 3080, water resources authorization legislation passed by the House of Representatives transportation committee on Sept. 20, 2013, includes a requirement for the Corps to use "durable, resilient and sustainable materials and practices, including...composites."  (Video about the the bill.) This legislation now moves to the House floor where it will very likely be approved, and then to a conference committee, where differences with the Senate version will be resolved.

Other Organizations Activity

A number of committee activities from other professional organizations are addressing the recommended use and specification of FRP composites. Many organizations have published codes, standards, test methods and specifications for FRP composites and their products for the respective products. Below is a review of those standards.

American Concrete Institute (ACI)

The American Concrete Institute and its Committee 440 address FRP composites in concrete for rebar, tendons external strengthening, structural stay-in-place formwork, and has developed curriculum for the professional.

To obtain a copy of the documents below, visit ACI publications at

ACI Reports

  • 440R-07: Report on Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Reinforcement for Concrete Structures
  • 440.3R-04: Guide Test Methods for Fiber-Reinforced Polymers (FRPs) for Reinforcing or Strengthening Concrete Structures

ACI Design Guides

  • 440.1R-06: Guide for the Design and Construction of Structural Concrete Reinforced with FRP Bars
  • 440.2R-08: Guide for the Design and Construction of Externally Bonded FRP Systems for Strengthening Concrete Structures
  • 440.4R-04: Prestressing Concrete Structures with FRP Tendons
  • 440.7R-10: Guide for the Design and Construction of Externally Bonded Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Systems for Strengthening Unreinforced Masonry Structures

ACI Standards

  • 440.5-08: Specification for Construction with Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Reinforcing Bars [440.5M-08 (Metric)]
  • 440.6-08: Specification for Carbon and Glass Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Bar Materials for Concrete Reinforcement [440.6M-08 (Metric)]

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

AASHTO, through the Bridges and Structures Subcommittee, T-6 (FRP Composites) has published new design guides for the bridge engineer.

To obtain a copy, visit AASHTO publications at, reference bridges and structures.

  • Guide Specifications for Design of FRP Pedestrian Bridges, 1st Edition, 2008 - These Guide Specifications shall apply to fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite bridges intended to carry primarily pedestrian and/or bicycle traffic.
  • LRFD Bridge Design Guide Specifications for GFRP Reinforced Concrete Decks and Traffic Railings, 2010 - These guide specifications offer a description of the unique material properties of GFRP composite materials as well as provisions for the design and construction of concrete bridge decks and railings reinforced with GFRP reinforcing bars.
  • Guide Specifications for Design of Bonded FRP Systems for Repair and Strengthening of Concrete Bridge Elements, 1st Edition - These guide specifications are intended for the repair and strengthening of reinforced and pre-stressed highway bridge structures using externally bonded fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite systems. They supplement the AASHTO LRFD Bridge Design Specifications.
  • AASHTO LRFD Guide Specifications for Design of Concrete-Filled FRP Tubes, 1st Edition - These specifications present provisions for the analysis and design of concrete-filled fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) tubes (CFFT) for use as structural components in bridges. Design methodology presented in this specification allows CFFTs to be designed as flexural members, axial compression members, or members subjected to combined flexural and axial compression in addition to shear. CFFT bridge components may include beams, arches, columns, and piles.

Canadian Standards Association (CSA)

  • CAN/CSA-S6-06 2006 Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code is indispensable to the professional engineer charged with the responsibility of designing, evaluating and rehabilitating highway bridges in Canada. The new code incorporates the most current research findings, especially in the areas of application of Fibre Reinforced Polymers (FRPs). 
  • S807-10 - Specification for fibre-reinforced polymers - This Standard covers the manufacturing process requirements of fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) bars or bars that are part of a grid for use in non-prestressed internal reinforcement of concrete components of structures (e.g., bridges, buildings, and marine structures).

    To obtain a copy, visit

ASTM International

ASTM Committee D30 developed a number of test methods for FRP bars used in concrete reinforcement. The published test methods are as follows:

  • ASTM D7205 / D7205M - 11 Standard Test Method for Tensile Properties of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite Bars
  • ASTM D7337 / D7337M - 07 Standard Test Method for Tensile Creep Rupture of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite Bars
  • ASTM D7522 – 09 Standard Test Method for Pull-Off Strength for FRP Bonded to Concrete Substrate
  • ASTM D7565 – 09 Standard Test Method for Determining Tensile Properties of Fiber Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composites Used for Strengthening of Civil Structures
  • ASTM D7616 – 11 Method For Determining Apparent Overlap Splice Shear Strength Properties Of Wet Lay-Up Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composites Used For Strengthening Civil Structures
  • ASTM D7617 / D7617 – 11 Standard Test Method for Transverse Shear Strength of Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite Bars
  • ASTM D7705 / D7705M – 12 Standard Test Method for Alkali Resistance of Fiber Reinforced Polymer (FRP) Matrix Composite Bars Used in Concrete Construction

Test Methods Related to Design Standards

  • ASTM D7290 – 11 Standard Practice for Evaluating Material Property Characteristic Values for Polymeric Composites for Civil Engineering Structural Applications

Other Test Methods Related to Composites can be referenced at