The Center for the Integration of Composites Into Infrastructure (CICI) improves, in cost and quality, the process of building and fixing civil and military structures through the use of composites. CICI carries out its work by coordinating efforts between universities and the composites and construction industries. Education is a cornerstone of CICI, as students and practicing engineers in infrastructure require new skills to take advantage of composites.
The mission of CICI is to accelerate the adoption of polymer composites and innovated construction material into infrastructure and transportation applications through collaborative research.
Efficient infrastructure systems such as highways, bridges, buildings, pipelines, flood control systems, and utilities are necessary for a healthy economy and comfortable standard of living. Concrete, steel, and timber are the backbones of physical infrastructure. High-strength polymer composites have been used in aerospace technologies for about five decades and their use in civil infrastructure spans about 20 years. The widespread use of polymer composites in infrastructure allows for longer service lives and reduced maintenance costs.
CICI's research focuses on ways to synergize different fibers and polymers, including natural materials and those with biological components, to create new application areas and rehabilitation techniques, thus expanding market potential.
Research is carried out on scientific topics fundamental to polymer composites, including:
CICI also develops products that can be made through a wide variety of manufacturing processes and that offer numerous market opportunities. Those research projects can be grouped into the following four topic areas: