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Mouchel leads composites study

CONSULTING group Mouchel is heading up a European team in a four- year £2.8 million research project to develop a strong, lightweight decking system using advanced composites.

UK-based Mouchel will co-ordinate and project manage the research and carry out design and numerical modelling.

Danish composites manufacturer Fiberline is currently developing pultrusion dies for the decking system, which is known as ASSET (Advanced Structural System for Tomorrow's Infrastructure).

The system consists of multi-cell prismatic profiles which can be assembled into different shapes for small bridges or buildings.

Swedish contractor Skanska will build a full-scale highway bridge to carry 40-tonne vehicles in Oxfordshire during 2001 as part of the research.

Oxfordshire County Council engineers will then monitor the bridge to provide performance data.

The first tranche of funding, £1.5 million, has come from the EU Brite- Euram III Programme.