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Comparing Pole Materials: Wood, Steel, Concrete, Ductile Iron, FRP

Comparing Pole Materials: Wood, Steel, Concrete, Ductile Iron, FRP

Comparing Pole Materials: Wood, Steel, Concrete, Ductile Iron, FRP

I work for a design firm in the midwest and we do some work with smaller municipal electric clients. I'm trying to find some non-biased research on the life-cycle costs for different pole types so we can provide recommendations. I'm primarily interested in typical applications for subtransmission and distribution structures for storm hardening.

I've only worked in the industry for a little over a year but I have a general understanding of different pole types being utilized in highly corrosive environments or when special construction considerations are needed. Does anyone have experience with this or know where I can find some resources?

RE: Comparing Pole Materials: Wood, Steel, Concrete, Ductile Iron, FRP

I'm a structural guy and don't do much cost analysis. Wood is the typical material used in small poles but it degrades with time and you can treat the ground line, look at Osmose for treating. Steel with ground line coating has wood pole equivalent sizes but you can get much stronger. The long term durability can be a problem for the coating. Concrete, either spun or static cast, has good corrosion resistance but they are heavy and the spun concrete are generally in the transmission class sizes. Ductile iron is new to me but I have seen it at the ETS conference in Atlanta last year. FRP is light and easier to build, but the strength is limited and they deflect like a big giant fishing pole. FRP is good for corrosion resistance but I am wary of the long term sun exposure. They say they have inhibitors in the resin but time will tell.

I have been called "A storehouse of worthless information" many times.

RE: Comparing Pole Materials: Wood, Steel, Concrete, Ductile Iron, FRP

I'd re-post in a different room where power company electrical engineers may help. "Electric power & transmission & distribution". You can delete your post here by flagging it and then say why in the box that comes up. If the delete alternative comes up use that.

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