The Carbon Fiber Blog


1 in 10 Bridges

Posted on by Marci Broderick
Artwork by: Marcia Broderick – Written by: Elizabeth Rosenberg

1 in 10 Bridges


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Oil & Gas Pipelines

Posted on by Marci Broderick

Oil and gas pipelines, a history

By: Marcia Broderick • Written by: Elizabeth Rosenberg

© Copyright 2015, HJ3 Composite Technologies. All rights reserved.

California and Arizona Bridges

Posted on by Marci Broderick


Bridges and El Nino

By Elizabeth Rosenberg

According the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction center, this year’s El Nino event is “significant and strengthening,” evidence of this is based on current atmospheric and oceanic features, including warming sea surface temperatures. In a recent advisory report, the NOAA stated, “There is a greater than 90% chance that El Nino will continue through Northern Hemisphere winter 2015-16, and around an 85% chance it will last into early spring 2016.”

A map shows sea surface temperatures on May 21, 2015. El Niño is characterized by unusually warm temperatures in the Pacific and affects global temperatures and rainfall. (Credit: NOAA)

Current predictions reveal this El Nino event may be as serious as the El Nino of 1997, which resulted in an estimated 23,000 fatalities and approximately $45 billion in damage worldwide. In the United States, 35 counties in California were pronounced disaster areas, as rain caused severe flooding and mudslides. In addition to this, substantial flooding resulted in about $300 million in damage to the state highway system. While, it is anticipated that this El Nino will help to alleviate California’s current drought, it could potentially take the state from one extreme to another with severe flooding. Other areas of the Southwest, including Arizona experienced serious flooding as well during the 1997 El Nino event, contributing to growing concerns over the negative impact these anticipated heavy rainstorms may have.


Bridge collapse in Desert Center, Calif., July 19, 2015. (Credit: KMIR)

In late July 2015, an Interstate 10 bridge collapsed in between California and Arizona due to flooding. This collapse is further evidence of the critical need for infrastructure repair in the United States and has contributed to worries over more bridge and structure failures as a result of El Nino. The bridge was 48 years old and had recently passed a safety inspection less than 6 months before its collapse. Sudden and intense flooding led to the collapse, and with several dozen similar bridges on the same stretch of the interstate, anxieties are increasing as heavy rainfalls are projected in the upcoming months.

There are 25,406 bridges in California and 8,035 in Arizona. In both states, 1 in 10 bridges are rated as structurally deficient, falling in line with the national average and meaning they require significant maintenance, rehabilitation, or replacement due to deterioration or damage. In California and Arizona, about 17% and 13% of bridges respectively, are functionally obsolete, meaning they no longer meet current design codes. This means that in the two states, close to 1 in 4 bridges are deficient, and with numbers this extreme, it is vital for safety that they be strengthened and brought up to code standards. Infrastructure repair and improvement is a serious topic and has been at the top of the nation’s agenda for some time; state-of-the-art improvements in material and construction methods, provide a positive outlook. In a continuous effort to repair infrastructure and prevent the loss of lives and resources, HJ3 engineers innovative solutions to strengthen bridges and overpasses, repairing deficient structures with advanced composite solutions.


Arizona has 8,035 bridges

  • 256 are structurally deficient (9.91%)
  • 684 are functionally obsolete (12.82%)
  • 940 deficient (22.73%)
  • 23.71 % of the area of all bridges is deficient – 10.75% is structurally deficient


California has 25,406 bridges

  • 2,501 are structurally deficient (9.84%)
  • 4,306 are functionally obsolete (16.95%)
  • 6,807 deficient (26.79%)
  • 34.61 % of the area of all bridges is deficient – 11.33% is structurally deficient

Carbon Fiber Recycling

Posted on by Marci Broderick

By Elizabeth Rosenberg

Senator Cantwell of Washington recently proposed the Carbon Fiber Recycling Act of 2015, a bill calling for further development of carbon fiber recycling. The bill requests that U.S. Department of Energy study the technology, lifecycle, and economic impact of recycled carbon fiber, while working with automotive and aviation industries in developing a demonstration project. In addition to this, the DOE will collaborate with the Port of Port Angeles’ Composite Recycling Technology Center (CRTC). The CRTC participated in the 2015 CleanTech Showcase, revealing their solution to save resources through the reuse of carbon fiber composite scraps.

The market for carbon fiber materials is growing rapidly, as it provides substantial benefits and has been accepted in the automotive, aerospace, and energy industries. However, this strong growth has led to an increase in the millions of pounds of carbon fiber composite that is sent to landfills across the United States every year. The CRTC’s mission is to repurpose this waste for vehicles, building materials, renewable energy systems, and other applications.

Carbon fiber recycling is a vital topic and has been researched by many. The ability to reuse and recycle carbon fiber not only reduces landfill waste, but also cuts carbon dioxide emissions. HJ3 Composite Technologies has all leftover carbon fiber scraps from projects sent back to the facility, where they are inspected and repurposed for future projects. Adhering to the company’s mission of preserving and preventing the loss of resources, HJ3 is currently looking to partner with industry members to recycle and further repurpose its carbon fiber technologies.


Double Check Ranch Testimonial

Posted on by Marci Broderick

Cattle rancher Paul Schwennesen from the Double Check Ranch in Arizona, talks about his use of QuickSeal to repair irrigation pipe in-place.

HJ3 Featured on Today in America

Posted on by Marci Broderick

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 2.31.16 PM

HJ3 Composite Technologies is featured on Fox Business’ Today in America hosted by Terry Bradshaw.

Terry discusses HJ3’s carbon fiber applications and how they are playing an important part in repairing America’s failing infrastructure. The benefits and uses of HJ3’s carbon fiber are discussed.

View video on YouTube


U.S. Department of Defense HJ3 Blast Test

Posted on by Marci Broderick

The United States Department of Defense tested HJ3-backed technology to wrap a structure in carbon fiber and test it’s strength against a violent explosion.

HJ3 conducted testing to demonstrate the performance of the BlastSeal™ System. Two un-reinforced concrete masonry walls were constructed within a larger containment structure. Bldod blast test - beforeastSeal™ was applied to the interior and exterior of the right side.

Detonation of explosive created a crater that was approximately 108 inches in diameter with a maximum depth of 21 inches. The control wall was completely destroyed.BlastSeal™ Retrofitted wall remained intact, and no debris of any kind was found in the interior space behind the retrofitted wall.dod blast test - after
Maximum pressure exerted on the exterior face of each wall was 178 psi; sensor located in the interior space behind the retrofitted wall recorded a peak pressure of 1.46

View video on YouTube


HJ3 Testimonial – Commercial Building Reinforcement

Posted on by Marci Broderick

Commercial high rise buildings began using Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (GFRC) panels as façades in the early 1970’s. These panels are thin and lightweight compared to traditional pre-cast concrete panels, which decreases superimposed loads on the building. The GFRC facade panels were constructed with a long span that flexed significantly under wind loads causing severe cracking and leaks.  HJ3’s carbon strengthening system was able to confine the cracks and seal the panels from further water penetration.


Wind loads caused the building’s GFRC exterior panels to fatigue and crack. The panels were constructed at a long span that left the GFRC panels susceptible to cracking. In addition the panels were secured to the building using a rigid anchoring system that did not permit movement of the panels. As the GFRC panels cracked, moisture began penetrating the cracks and creating mold

The surface of the GFRC panels was cleaned with a high pressure water blast. All cracks were injected with a high strength epoxy. HJ3’s carbon fabric and resins were pre-cut and pre-batched to help the installer easily quilt the carbon system around corners and expansion joints. After installing the carbon repair system, a UV resistant gray top coat was painted over the surface of
the carbon fiber to meet the client’s expected aesthetics.


Exterior of high-rise with HJ3’s carbon fiber system

HJ3’s carbon fiber system strengthened the existing GFRC panels to resist wind loads, cracking, and fatigue. The material also served as a waterproofing membrane to eliminate moisture penetration. The HJ3 carbon system created a direct cost savings of $3 Million when compared to the cost of replacing the existing facade with new GFRC panels. Finally, residents were able to stay in the building throughout the entire repair process.

View video on YouTube


Water Infrastructure Crisis

Posted on by Marci Broderick
In 2014 a thirty-inch water main broke flooding the UCLA campus and nearby streets with about 20 million gallons.
In 2014 a thirty-inch water main broke flooding the UCLA campus and nearby streets with about 20 million gallons of drinking water. Photo Credit: Danny Moloshok/Reuters


In 2013 the American Society of Civil Engineers gave America a grade of D for our drinking water infrastructure. Much our water infrastructure is reaching the end of its serviceable life, with some pipe and mains that are more than 100 years old. There are more than one million miles of water mains in the US and the condition of many of these is unknown.


So, what does it mean to more than 264 million people that depend on our drinking water infrastructure? Large diameter pipe breaks can have serious impact on water delivery systems. That being said, water main breaks represent just a fraction of the total amount of water lost each day. Most water loss occurs undetected and underground, from smaller pipe. According to a Water Research Foundation survey, the average pipe break rate for water utilities is between 0.21 to 0.27 breaks per mile of pipeline every year.

Water pipe breaks can impact water delivery, damage personal property and other types of infrastructure. There are also potential health consequences from pipe breaks.

water infrastructure crisis.
Flooded street near the UCLA campus, from the 2014 break. Photo Credit: Danny Moloshok/Reuters


According to the American Water Works Association (AWWA), assuming every existing pipe would need to be replaced, the costs in the coming decades could exceed $1 trillion.

Expanding and repairing drinking and wastewater infrastructures could cost 2 trillion in the next 25 years according to the AWWA. The AWWA estimates that 250,000 water mains break each year. This estimate doesn’t include smaller system breaks. Approximately 2 trillion gallons of water are lost through leaks and breaks each year.