Since 2008, Dr. Tate’s students have participated in annual bridge building contest hosted by SAMPE (Society of the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering). Normally, students from Dr. Tate’s Polymer Properties and Processing course are participating in this competition. The objective is to design and build a single-deck composite bridge using an assortment of cores, fabrics and other materials supplied in kit form. Minimum bridge dimensions are 24 inches long by 4 inches wide. Maximum bridge weight is limited. During testing, the bridges are supported by 2 posts placed 23 inches apart. The bridges are loaded in the center of the deck. The most weight efficient bridges are judged winners.
The contest is divided into four material categories. These are Kit and Non-Kit Carbon, Kit Glass, and Non-Kit Natural Fiber/Materials. “Kit” is limited to the materials supplied in the kit or “equivalent materials” as allowed by the judging committee. Non-Kit includes any other materials available to the competing teams. Texas State students have been competing in different categories.
Bridge competition held in seven different categories:
All team entries must have to submit a poster presentation highlighting some material, process and/ or design aspects of their bridge.