About the HCB

The Hillman Composite Beam (HCB) is a revolutionary, sustainable technology that combines the strength and stiffness of conventional concrete and steel with the lightweight and corrosion resistant advantages of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRP). The HCB may appear unconventional, but the design, fabrication and construction processes are simple and familiar to design and construction professionals. As a structural system, the HCB is not a plastic structural member. Virtually all of the strength and stiffness of the beam is derived from concrete and steel.

Safety is inherently built into HCBs, and the strength capacity consistently exceeds code requirements by a significant margin. Couple this inherent safety with corrosion-resistant properties of the HCB and you have a structure that lasts longer with less maintenance.

By optimizing the inherent qualities of the three components (FRP shell, compression reinforcement and tension reinforcement), the HCB allows construction professionals to build better structures that are cost-competitive, stronger and require no additional training for their crews.


Corrosion-resistant FRP shell of the HCB means no rusting, cracking, spalling or alkali-silica reactions (ASR) provides a 100+ year service life and never needs painting.

Substructure Savings
In many cases, the lighter weight of the HCB means existing structures can be replaced without the need to replace an existing substructure. In high seismic regions, the reduced superstructure mass results in substructure costs being reduced by as much as 30 percent.

Reduced Shipping Costs
Whether filled or empty, multiple HCBs usually can be shipped on one truck.

Smaller Cranes
The HCB is typically erected with the equipment (RT cranes, excavators, etc.) already on site.

Congestion Relief
The HCB creates a lighter, modulate bridge system for “Accelerated Bridge Construction” and reduced traffic congestion during construction.

The Internal redundancy and serviceability design of the HCB results in capacities that greatly exceed code requirements. Reduced mass and resilient, energy absorbing materials offer excellent resistance and elastic response to seismic forces.

Reduced Carbon Footprint
The HCB uses 80 percent less cement – the largest contributor to the carbon footprint in the world. The beams also require 75 to 80 percent fewer trucks for shipping and smaller cranes for erection further reducing carbon emissions.