Composite Arch Bridges System Improvements Utilizing Knitting Technology

Team 9: Caleb Drake, Eric Marcotte, Ron Bouchard, Nicholas Sluzenski

The Project:

The goal is to investigate knitting technologies as a viable way to increase strength in the Composite Arch Bridge System arches. The braided technology currently being used works well, however one thought is to see if different shapes can be utilized in arch manufacturing. Our expectation is to manufacture a knitted composite arch made to  one-fifth scale. The arch of each configuration will be tested using current testing protocol. The general consensus among all involved was that our initial goal was to gain a good understanding of the materials currently being used to build the “Composite Arched Bridge Systems”. We also have been gathering information on knitted technologies, and the composite materials being used. The team is also investigating other composite materials if they would increase certain properties such as modulus of elasticity, shear stress, and deflection.

Weekly updates:

We are currently focusing our efforts into researching the current technology used, and learning about composite materials and their different properties. Our focus has also been on knitting vs. woven technologies. The Interim report has been handed in and will be given to Mr. David Erb on 11/13/11 for his review. We will continue research the knitting machine and it’s operation. As the project progresses new photos and updates will be added.


This week our interim report was forwarded to David Erb for his review. The team will be working with team 8 to order the 1/5 scale braided tubes from A&P Technologies. We will decide on a path after Mr. Erb reviews our reports. Until then we will be working on any questions we have that can be asked at our next meeting with Mr. Erb.

Interesting Info:

Below is a video of a bridge being built in Pittsfield, along with other projects. Click on the video below to see how the bridges are built, and how this technology could become the norm in small and medium bridge installations. The fact that these bridges need little to no maintenance is an attractive feature to municipalities all over the world.

Team Biographies / LinkedIn Pages (click name links):

Ron Bouchard

          Ron returned to college in 2013 to pursue his B.S.MET degree after working in the manufacturing industry, and will graduate in May, 2016. In 1993 he graduated from Eastern Maine Community College with an A.A.S. degree in Machine Tool Technology. In his spare time he enjoys Patriots football, old muscle cars, and music. Ron hopes to work in the power generation field, and is also interested in HVAC Design and Thermodynamic Applications.

Eric Marcotte

          Eric is in his third and final year at the University of Maine pursuing his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Before transferring to UMaine, Eric received his A.S. in  Mechanical Engineering Technology from Springfield Technical Community College with the Class of 2013 in his home state of Massachusetts. His favorite aspects of engineering are 3D CAD and research in fuel cell technology. He is a proud member of ASHRAE but hopes to find a career in the automotive industry designing and testing drivetrains and chassis.

Caleb Drake

          Caleb is in his final year at the University of Maine in Orono pursing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering Technology with a Minor in Renewable Energy Science & Technology. In his spare time Caleb enjoys skiing, hiking, and watching any of his favorite New England sport teams. Upon graduation in May, 2016 he hopes to pursue a career in the renewable energy field and apply his skills to make the world a cleaner and more efficient place for future generations.

Nicholas Sluzenski

          Nicholas is his fourth year of college at the University of Maine pursuing a B.S. in Mecahnical Enginerring Technology. Previously he attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute pursuing a B.S. in Robotics Engineering. In his spare time he likes to play board and video games, read comic books, and watching sci-fi/fantasy/adventure. Upon finishing in December, 2016, he hopes to pursue a career in Engineering and Robotics and try to make sci-fi a reality.

Sponsors & Donors:

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Website POC:

Ron Bouchard

Mechanical Engineering Technology

Boardman Hall

Orono, Maine, 04469