Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Robert C. Creese.


The use of advanced composites has grown over the last two decades. These high strength, low weight materials can now be found in many structural applications, including bridges. However, the substitution of plastics for conventional materials, such as steel, is governed by engineering constraints and cost competitiveness. A brief discussion of the process variables and engineering constraints is presented in the first chapter. To analyze the latter and to identify cost centers in production more readily, a computerized cost model was developed. This model estimates the cost of producing components by the pultrusion process.;The technical cost modeling methodology employed involves dividing the total cost of the process into the individual cost elements that contribute to the total cost. Based upon theoretical considerations, engineering judgements, and statistically derived relationships, equations are developed to estimate the individual cost elements. Cost elements were divided into two categories: variable and fixed costs. The variable cost elements were raw materials, direct labor and utilities. The fixed cost elements were main machine, auxiliary equipment, tooling, tool setting operator, building, installation, maintenance, overhead and the capital recovery cost of invested capital.;The technical cost model developed can be used to estimate the cost of fabricating different components by pultrusion process. It can also be used for performing sensitivity and comparative cost analysis. An example of sensitivity analyses is presented for a sample bridge deck product which is a new application in the structural area and results in lighter decks (about 75% lighter) and longer service because of lower corrosion rates.