IsoTruss® Carbon Fiber Tower
- 12x stronger than steel for a given weight, or as little as 1/12 the weight for a given load, depending on the design, site and specifications
- Requires less material to fabricate as compared to steel, which further tightens the price gap with traditional steel buildouts
- Lighter weight, so shipping and installation costs are lowered, together reducing carbon emissions by 70%
- Ranging in height from 6 to 42 meters, durable IsoTruss® Towers are designed to solve installation problems at sites with weight limits and zoning limits
- Both strength and wind resistance are maintained, no matter the height of the tower
Key features of IsoTruss® Towers
- High Strength
- High Stiffness
- Transversely Isotropic
- High Durability
- Radio Frequency Transparent
- Resists Shell Buckling
- Lighter Weight
- Low Drag
- Damage Tolerant
- Environmentally Friendly
Types of towers
- Guyed (in development)
- Telecommunications Towers
- Cellular network towers
- Mobile cell sites
- Wireless internet service provider towers (WISP)
- Utility Poles
- Smart Poles (Telecom and Utility Combined)
Why are IsoTruss® towers so innovative?
IsoTruss® composite lattice cell towers are innovative because they offer flexibility and modularity in structural design due to their particularly high strength-to-weight ratio, even over other composite structures. Composites in general are lighter than steel, wood and aluminum, but integration into the IsoTruss® lattice tower structure, which requires less carbon fiber material to fabricate, makes them even lighter, depending on the design for a particular site, and its specifications, thereby making IsoTruss® towers cost-effective versus steel towers.
Where have IsoTruss® towers been installed?
IsoTruss® towers have been installed in various locations within the US including Utah, Wyoming, Florida, and North Carolina, and internationally in the Philippines and Vietnam. The unique properties of IsoTruss® towers make them especially efficient for places with extreme corrosion, humidity, or salinity; dense areas where rooftop installations are common; and rural locations where access for installation and maintenance is difficult.
What are the benefits of IsoTruss® towers?
Cost-efficient IsoTruss® composite towers are up to twelve times stronger than steel for a given weight, or as little as one-twelfth the weight for a given load, depending on the design. Plus, the innovative IsoTruss® lattice grid towers require less material to fabricate as compared to steel towers, which further tightens the price gap with traditional steel build-outs.
Ranging in height from 6 to 42 meters, the lightweight IsoTruss® composite cell towers are particularly suited to solve the “distancing” problem in 5G rollout, especially at sites with weight limits and zoning considerations, such as rooftops in densely populated urban settings, and in rural areas, which require “last-mile access.” Both strength and wind resistance are maintained, no matter the height of the tower. Shipping and installation costs are significantly decreased due to their lightweight.
Consequently, the total cost of ownership (TCO) is lower, and on the environmental side, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by 70% or more over the tower’s lifespan.
Design and Engineering
What standards are used in the design process of IsoTruss® towers?
IsoTruss designs telecommunications towers according to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA®) standard 222. For other applications such as utility poles, IsoTruss uses the applicable codes such as International Building Code (IBC) or American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). When TIA or other standards do not include specific consideration for composite materials, IsoTruss uses American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) standards to calculate composite material properties and performance.
Can IsoTruss® towers be customized?
Yes. Each IsoTruss® lattice tower is designed and manufactured to meet the client’s required “build-to-order” specifications for each site. With the unique geometry of IsoTruss® lattice structures, there is more latitude and a great deal of flexibility in customizing IsoTruss® cell towers to customer specifications.
IsoTruss® lattice structures feature modularity in design, painting is optional, and no electrolysis is required. Both fire retardant resins and lightening arresting systems—to give any lightning a quick direct path to the ground—can also be customized.
Installation and Use
How does an IsoTruss® tower installation compare to steel towers?
IsoTruss® towers do not require any additional foundation design, training, or equipment for installation compared to steel towers. In fact, IsoTruss® towers are easier and less expensive to install because they are so lightweight. Labor and installation costs are lower, too, as a smaller crane, or even a ladder, can be utilized by small crews to lift the tower all at once, significantly decreasing the time, expense and environmental impact of heavy equipment and large installation crews required for equivalent steel cell tower build-outs, deliveries, and installations.
Those reductions together decrease cell tower carbon emissions by 70% to substantially lower the total cost of ownership (TCO).
How damage resistant are IsoTruss® towers?
IsoTruss® towers are built with modular sections, typically 20 ft long. Each section is cured into a solid composite structure, robust enough to withstand the demands of the tower construction environment. In service, the redundant pattern of IsoTruss® structures ensures that one local failure won’t result in immediate global failure. Composite structures are not field repairable if damage occurs but, with IsoTruss®, a single section can be replaced rather than the entire tower.
Are IsoTruss® towers susceptible to corrosion or moisture degradation?
IsoTruss® towers are made with composite materials which, unlike steel or wood, are not susceptible to corrosion, rot, or rust even in the harshest environmental conditions.
Are IsoTruss® towers flammable?
The composite materials used in IsoTruss® products have been flammability tested with ASTM D635 which found that the material does not propagate flames.
Are IsoTruss® towers susceptible to UV degradation?
Carbon fiber composites are completely opaque and not susceptible to ultraviolet (UV) degradation. The material has been tested in ASTM D4239.
Are IsoTruss® towers climbable?
IsoTruss® structures are climbable without any additional add-ons. All safety requirements for climbers are followed according to TIA standards.
Can IsoTruss® towers have an outer covering?
Whether to prevent unauthorized climbing access, protect of cabling and equipment, or comply with area ordinances, the open lattice structure of IsoTruss® has the option to be covered or shielded.