The Indestructable Bridge

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 - 11:28 in Physics & Chemistry

MAN OF FAITH: John Hillman stands under a test bridge made with his composite beams, which get their strength from a concrete arch inside. Photo by Mike Zicko/HC Bridge Company Hillman Composite Beams Cost to Develop: $500,000Time: 12 yearsPrototype | | | | | Product Last November, John Hillman stood beneath a bridge built with prototype plastic-and-concrete beams of his own design. Then he signaled for his team to release a nine-million-pound coal train. “You can do all the calculations you want; you can do tons of lab testing. But at the end of the day, you run a heavy-axle coal train over the bridge, and that pretty much tells you whether or not it’s gonna hold,” Hillman says. It didn’t budge. read more

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