In 1987 Dr. Johansen started E.T. Techtonics, Inc. (ETT) with the idea of developing a lightweight fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) structural system that could be used in bridge and building applications. Initial research and development was conducted from 1987 to 1993. Funding was provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Ben Franklin Partnership Program of the State of Pennsylvania, and the DuPont Co. Testing was conducted at the ATLSS Center (NSF sponsored center) at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. Other testing was also done at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario.
Additional research and development has been conducted since 1994 in conjunction with NSF, the U.S. Forest Service Testing Laboratory at Madison, WI, Foster-Miller Inc. and the University of New Hampshire, Strongwell Inc., Bedford Reinforced Plastics Inc., DFI Pultrusions, Inc. and Creative Pultrusions, Inc. This extensive research included testing on fiberglass, kevlar, and carbon fibers as well as polyester, vinylester, phenolic and epoxy resins.
During the R&D phase ETT’s objectives were to develop a structural system with the following characteristics:
- Lightweight (all components were person portable)
- Low Maintenance (ideally 25 yr. minimum life span)
- Easily assembled (if required) and installed on site with standard hand tools and/or minimum equipment
Given the above characteristics ETT identified the following markets where the system could be used:
- Pedestrian bridges (hiking trails, golf courses and boardwalks)
- Industrial catwalks
- Roof/floor Systems
- Specialty Applications
Based on the above, ETT decided to initially focus on the pedestrian bridge and catwalk markets. Today ETT is recognized as the international leader in the design and manufacturing of lightweight FRP pedestrian bridges. It has designed and installed over 900 bridges worldwide. In 2016 ETT was sold to Creative Pultrusions, Inc. in Alumbank PA. Creative Pultrusions is the fiberglass material supplier ETT has used since 2004. Creative Pultrusions is a subsidiary of Hill and Smith LLC in the UK.