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NDT.net Issue - 2007-08 - NEWS

Material Technologies Chief Engineer Comments on Bridge Disaster for Fox News


Material Technologies Inc6, Los Angeles, CA [USA]
civil engineering, bridge, disaster
NEWS  
NDT.net Journal
Issue: 2007-08
Notes Widespread Bridge Infrastructure Problem in U.S.

Los Angeles, CA - August 2, 2007 --Brent Phares, Ph.D., Chief Engineer of Material Technologies Inc., (OTCBB: MTTG.OB - News), a developer of advanced technology to monitor and measure metal fatigue, commented on today's highway bridge collapse in Minneapolis, calling the disaster a sign of America's widespread problem with its aging infrastructure. Company Chief Engineer Brent Phares made his comments during and after an interview Wednesday night on Fox News at 11:00 PM ET.

Phares said it is too early to tell exactly what caused Minnesota DOT Bridge 9340, which carries Interstate 35 W over the Mississippi River just east of downtown Minneapolis, to collapse suddenly during rush hour. But he pointed out that the bridge was 40 years old and was built at a time when vehicular traffic and weights were much less than they are today and at a time when bridge steels and redundancy where not at today's standards. At the time of the collapse, trucks, buses and passenger vehicles were bumper-to-bumper on the bridge. The bridge also had fatigue-susceptible details which were difficult to inspect.

"Our first thoughts after this horrific event must go toward the injured, the families of the victims and the heroic people who have worked to save lives at the disaster scene and at hospitals," Phares said today. "As authorities analyze the collapse and determine its cause, however, they will have to come to terms with the fact that bridge failures are not isolated, rare events, and that the risk of new tragedies from unseen metal fatigue inevitably grows as steel bridges age. There is a growing, urgent need to inspect bridges with the most advanced technology in order to prevent more tragedies like today's collapse."

Phares noted the following facts about bridges in the U.S.:

  • Visual inspection is the primary method of checking bridges for possible metal fatigue and potential catastrophic failure.
  • One study by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) found that over 90% of fatigue cracks were missed with visual inspection.
  • Of all the methods (visual and non-visual) used to detect cracks, only Material Technologies' Electrochemical Fatigue Sensor system can determine whether the cracks are growing. EFS can determine not only whether cracks are growing but whether they are growing slowly or rapidly.
  • Over the past 10 years, on average, there have been one bridge failure in the U.S. every week.
  • According to federal data, 39% of the bridges in the U.S. are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete
  • Federal law mandates that bridges over 20 feet long be inspected every other year, but it does not require any particular method of inspection.
  • SAFETEA-LU, the federal transportation bill currently in effect, mandated that the FHWA carry out a program to identify technologies that detect growing fatigue cracks in bridges. Material Technologies' EFS is part of that program and already has been used in Pennsylvania. It also has been used in New Jersey, Massachusetts and Utah. Overseas, bridge owners in Australia, the U.K. and elsewhere have shown interest in deployment of the EFS in the near future.

About Material Technologies

Material Technologies Inc. (OTCBB:MTTG.OB - News), also known as MATECH, is an engineering, research and development company specializing in technologies to measure microscopic fractures and flaws in metal structures and monitor metal fatigue in real time. The company's leading-edge metal fatigue detection, measurement and monitoring solutions can accurately test the integrity of metal structures and equipment including bridges, railroads, airplanes, ships, cranes, power plants, mining equipment, piping systems and heavy iron. For more information about Material Technologies, Inc., please visit its website at www.matechcorp.com.

Forward-Looking Statements: Except for the historical information contained herein, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements. Such statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "believe," "will," "breakthrough," "significant," "indicated," "feel," "revolutionary," "should," "ideal," "extremely" and "excited." These statements are made under "Safe Harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements and are subject to risks and uncertainties. See the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission including, without limitation, the Company's recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Qs, which identify specific factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements.

Contact:

Robert M. Bernstein
Material Technologies, Inc.
1.310.208.5589
matech@matechcorp.com

More of Material Technologies Inc published in NDT.net
2007-08-01: Matech Expert Opinion on Minneapolis Bridge Collapse
2007-03-01: Material Technologies, Inc. Invited to Present at the 2007 China Bridge Congress
2006-10-01: Material Technologies, Inc. Receives Its First Commercial Bridge Inspection Contract for Bridges in Pennsylvania
2006-09-01: UTEK Completes Technology Transfer with Material Technologies, Inc.
2006-05-01: Finding growing cracks in bridges as small as 0.010 inches


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