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HSS rebar approved for use in bridges

Keywords: Tags  American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, AASHOTO, high-strength steel, rebar, MMFX Steel, Tom Russo, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, bridge specifications Samuel Frizell

NEW YORK — High-strength steel (HSS) rebar can now be incorporated into bridge designs thanks to revised regulations, according to specialty concrete reinforcing steel producer MMFX Steel Corp. of America.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has updated its specifications to allow bridges to use HSS. Prior to the revisions, engineers could only use reinforcing steel with a yield of up to 75 kilopounds per square inch (ksi), but bridge builders can now use high-strength specialty rebar of up to 100 ksi, which could potentially cut costs by using less material.

State transportation departments use AASHTO’s specifications to establish local bridge design codes.

The group’s approval of HSS was based on a 2011 National Cooperative Highway Research Program report, which said HSS could reduce the amount of steel required to reinforce a structure, "leading to savings in material, shipping and placement costs."

"The updated specification will benefit state and federal efforts to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure with lower costs while using higher-strength reinforcing steel," said Tom Russo, chief executive officer of MMFX Steel parent MMFX Technologies Corp., Irvine, Calif.

MMFX Steel—which licenses a 100-ksi rebar to McMinnville, Ore.-based Cascade Steel Rolling Mills Inc.—said the updated specifications will result in increased demand for high-strength rebar. "(Engineers) can reduce the amount of steel utilized in highway bridge design," a spokesman said. "It allows them to be more efficient in their designs."

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