Prefabrication in Bridges and Aircraft

The following two articles give examples of the advantages of using pre-fabrication in their respective fields, bridges and aircraft. I chose to look at these two industries for two very specific reasons. First, because of the incredible stresses/loads they must resist, the parts used in each must be extremely strong and meet rigid standards. Second, should failure occur, the loss of life is nearly guaranteed. Therefore, the parts must be reliable. I can apply these same criteria to my design for tornado-resistant structural connections. The following bullet points are close to or shown exactly as published in the original source.

Connection Details for PBES: Chapter 1 – General Topics. US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 16 Nov. 2013.

Benefits of Prefabrication in Bridge Construction:

  • Constructed in a controlled environment using high quality materials and standardized production processes.
  • Improved quality leads to an extension of the structure service life.
  • By reducing the amount of construction that takes place at the site, the amount of time that construction crews and motorists are exposed to the dangers of work-zones is also reduced.
  • Can keep a project on schedule even with fewer available working days and other environmental limitations at the site; complete more construction during a short construction season.
  • Identical repeating elements reduce costs.

Canaday, Henry. Plastic Revolution: Automation, Innovation Expand Use of Composites. Air Transport World, May 2013, 43-45. Web. 16 Nov. 2013. <>.

  • Less cost per man hour of labor, but
    more capital investment. As volume increases, these
    factors should balance out at lower unit costs.
  • More accurately made components; assembly of parts becomes easier and faster.
  • Composites do not corrode, so they should save operators
    maintenance costs. Potential for the use of new materials.
Pre-cast piers transported to the site, rather than cast high over a body of water.

Pre-cast piers transported to the site, rather than cast high over a body of water.

Robotic arm laying fibers for composite materials.

Robotic arm laying fibers for composite materials.

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