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Composite Advantage gives concrete, steel and wood a run for their money

Need a prefab bridge that you can drop over a small stream? Dayton-based Composite Advantage just might be able to fix you up.

Founded in 2005 as a spinoff of the National Composite Center, the company is making its way in the world using composite materials to replace old standbys like steel, wood and concrete.

Bridge decks. Drop-in-place portable bridges. Structural panels. Concrete forms. Pads to give cranes and other heavy equipment a stable surface. The list goes on.

In most cases, says company President, Scott Reeve, "they are fiberglass reinforcement with a polyester or vinylester resin. They're durable and corrosion resistant and can stand up to any environment."

Reeve says the company has benefited from market development projects through the Dayton Development Coalition as part of the Ohio Third Frontier's Entrepreneurial Signature Program. Starting with two employees in 2005, "we have grown to where we generally run with a basic workforce of 16 people. We have peak times where we will add another 10 people on a temporary basis."

The company's big focus at the moment is a composite mat now being used by Canadian Mat Systems to provide "big flat panels that become temporary roadways, work surfaces. When they go in and are going to drill for oil, they need a big work space around big oil rigs. The main advantages are corrosion resistance, lighter weight, they're stronger and don't take as long to install."

Reeve says the company grew in 2007 and 2008 and held steady in 2009. But he looks for more growth in the future as it introduces new products.

Source: Scott Reeve, Composite Advantage
Writer: Gene Monteith

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