Success story Alberta company’s resin development leads to stronger, lighter composite utility poles
In ten years, Resin Systems Inc. (Edmonton, AB) has taken its patented Version polyurethane resin system from the laboratory to the production floor and out into the real world as utility poles and bu...
In ten years, Resin Systems Inc. (Edmonton, AB) has taken its patented Version polyurethane resin system from the laboratory to the production floor and out into the real world as utility poles and building products. Along the way, RSI has moved from being a technology innovator to a manufacturer of modular utility poles, using filament winding technologies. The combination of RSI’s Version thermoset resin and the company’s proprietary composite manufacturing process has resulted in a stonger but lighter design for utility poles that is making significant inroads into the electricity distribution and transmission market.
“Everybody is quite impressed with our technology and our capabilities,” says Milena Radakovic, vice-president of marketing. RS Technologies, the operating arm of RSI, is building a new plant in Calgary which will enable the company to meet growing market demand for the RStandard poles.
RSI’s RStandard composite poles are modular. The tubular shapes slide on top of each other, creating shorter, lighter segments which make for easier and less costly transportation and installation.
RSI is also actively pursuing other composite material applications for Version resin. One recent achievement is a licensing agreement with Inline Fibreglass Ltd. (Mississauga, ON). Inline will use Version resin as a replacement for polyester resin in its manufacturing of composite components for the building infrastructure industry. Inline has already completed an initial order of composite curtain wall pressure plates which were installed in a Government of Canada office building being constructed in Western Canada.
The Version resin has unique strength and impact resistance characteristics. Independent testing performed by the Alberta Research Council, proved Version’s advantage over traditional polyester resins. “Partnering with ARC was a crucial step in compiling the data we needed to demonstrate our product’s superiority to other resin systems in the marketplace,” says Greg Pendura, chairman and CEO of RSI.
At the same time as it has been developing technology, RSI has worked to develop financing too. Through equity financing, the company raised $15 million in 2004 to commercialize the RStandard utility poles. The poles gained acceptance through late 2004 and early 2005, and orders or installations have been announced for utilities in Alberta, Ontario, Atlantic Canada, Colorado, Washington state and Texas.