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Geofoam & Void Fill Solutions

Geofoam is a geotechnical fill material used as an alternative to other fill materials, as a soil stabilizer, and in many other engineered applications. Extremely lightweight Geofoam is cost effective & fast by usually eliminating pilings, surcharging, preloading, and staging that's often necessary with other materials. With predictable performance and outstanding durability, EPS Geofoam resists decomposition, moisture and many adverse conditions, including freeze-thaw cycles, while providing excellent compressive strength over long service periods.

Void Fill for landscaping and similar applications, where compressive strength at 1% strain isn't as important, can often be accomplished with Korolite® Types with higher recycled content instead of engineered Geofoam.

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Geofoam is upto 160 times lighter than soils and distributes loads very differently, e.g. lateral loads on retaining walls are greatly reduced - especially seismic loads. Fast to install even in the rain, Geofoam blocks arrive at the jobsite ready to place, cut to size per approved drawings. If additional fitting at the site is required, it is easily accomplished with portable hot wire cutters. Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) is a closed cell, rigid foam that's been successfully used as geosynthetic material for many decades. See ASTM D7180 "Standard Guide for Use of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Geofoam in Geotechnical Projects".

Applications

Under Highways, Roads over Poor Soils, Bridge Abutments, Bridge Underfill, Foundation & Retaining Wall Backfill + Seismic Buffer, Fill for Landscaping & Green Roofs, Slope Stabilization, Culverts, Pipelines & Utility Protection, Rail Embankments, Compensating Foundations, Frost-protected Shallow Foundations, Greenhouse Foundations, Stadium Seating, Levees, Airport Taxiways & more in CSI/CSC section 31 23 23 EARTHWORK Fill (31 2323.43 Geofoam)

Completed Infrastructure Projects

  • Kelowna Bridge, Kelowna BC 2007
  • Golden Ears Bridge, Maple Ridge/Langley BC 2008
  • Pitt River Bridge, Port Coquitlam/Pitt Meadows BC 2009
  • Roberts Bank Rail Corridor, Langley/Surrey BC 2013
  • South Fraser Perimeter Road, Surrey/Delta BC 2013
  • 152nd Street Overpass, Surrey BC 2013
  • Mufford / 64th Overpass, Surrey/Langley BC 2014
  • Deltaport Terminal, Delta/Tsawassen BC 2014
Material properties of Airfoam's various Geofoam Types

The standard full-size blocks are 48½" x 48½" x 194" (1.23m x 1.23m x 4.92m).

Property*
Units
Airfoam Types
ASTM Test
G15
G19
G22
G24
G29
G39
G46
Density
Minimum
kg/m3 14.4 18.4 21.6 24.0 28.8 38.4 45.7 D1622
lb/ft3 0.9 1.15 1.35 1.5 1.8 2.4 2.85
Compressive Resistance
@ 1% Strain
Minimum
kPa 25 40 50 57 75 103 128 D1621
Proc.A
psi 3.6 5.8 7.3 8.3 10.9 15 18.6
Elastic Modulus**
typical within elastic range
kPa 2500 4000 5000 5800 7500 10300 12800 D1621
psi 360 580 730 840 1090 1500 1860
Flexural Strength
Minimum
kPa 172 207240 276 345 414 517 C203
Proc.B
psi 25 3035 40 50 60 75
Third-Party Certified Type EPS15 EPS19    EPS29     D6817
Additional Compressive Resistance Properties**
@ 5% Strain
Minimum
kPa 55 90 115 140 170 241 300 D1621
Proc.A
psi 8.0 13.1 16.7 20.0 24.7 35.0 43.5
@ 10% Strain
Minimum
kPa 70 110 135 157 200 276 345
psi 10.2 16 19.6 22.7 29 40 50

* The test methods used to determine the above material properties provide a means of comparing different rigid, cellular polystyrene geofoam products. They are intended for use in specifications, product evaluations and quality control, but they are not intended to predict end-use product performance.   ** The elastic limit/yield point is between 1% and 2% strain. Compressive resistances at 5% and 10% strain are provided for applications where the intended end-use includes plastic (permanent) deformation under load; to limit it, use the 1% deformation values for design.

The ASTM Standard D6817 "Standard Specification for Rigid Cellular Polystyrene Geofoam" provides material properties of various EPS Types:

Property*
Units
Types
ASTM Test
EPS15
EPS19
EPS22
EPS29
EPS39
EPS46
Density
Minimum
kg/m3 14.4 18.4 21.6 28.8 38.4 45.7 D1622
lb/ft3 0.9 1.15 1.35 1.8 2.4 2.85
Compressive Resistance
@ 1% Deformation
Minimum
kPa 25 40 50 75 103 128 D1621
Proc.A
psi 3.6 5.8 7.3 10.9 15 18.6
Flexural Strength
Minimum
kPa 172 207240 345 414 517 C203
Proc.B
psi 25 3035 50 60 75
Limiting Oxygen Index
Minimum
% 24 2424 24 24 24 D2863
Additional Compressive Resistance Properties**
Compressive Resistance
@ 5% Deformation
Minimum
kPa 55 90 115 170 241 300 D1621
Proc.A
psi 8.0 13.1 16.7 24.7 35.0 43.5
Compressive Resistance
@ 10% Deformation
Minimum
kPa 70 110 135 200 276 345 D1621
Proc.A
psi 10.2 16.0 19.6 29.0 40.0 50

* The test methods used to determine the above material properties provide a means of comparing different rigid, cellular polystyrene geofoam products. They are intended for use in specifications, product evaluations and quality control, but they are not intended to predict end-use product performance.   ** Compressive resistance at 5% and 10% deformation are provided for applications where the intended end-use includes long-term (plastic) deformation under load.

Additional Properties for all Types

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) resists mold & fungi growth per ASTM C1338 testing and has no nutritional value for insects. To protect against termites place adequate physical barriers such as membranes around below-grade EPS.
Limiting Oxygen Index: min. 24% per ASTM D2863. Airfoam's EPS for construction applications contains a polymeric (non-HBCD) fire retardant modifier.
Max. Service Temperature: Long-Term Exposure 75°C [167°F], Intermittent Exposure 80°C [176°F]; Thermal expansion coefficient: 5-7 • 10-5/°K
Load Distribution: Poisson's ratio ≈0.12 within the elastic range; Coefficient of Friction: 0.5-0.7 along clean faces
Buoyancy-Force: min. 900 kg/m³ up to 986 kg/m³ [56-62 lbs/ft³]; Capillarity: None 
Solubility: Insoluble in water and in general chemically inert. EPS dissolves in hydrocarbons (e.g. fuels, oils, tar), organic solvents (e.g. acetone/ketones, benzene, paint thinner), ethers, esters, aldehydes and amines.
UV-light surface degradation: white EPS can be exposed to direct sunlight for a few weeks. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light creates a yellow dust on the surface of EPS products which has negligible impact on the products' properties but may require removal before adhering other materials such as coatings or self-adhesive membranes.
CAUTION: EPS products are combustible and must not be exposed to excessive heat, sparks, open flames, or any other sources of ignition. If stored/used in closed containers, confined, or low-lying areas, ensure adequate ventilation to prevent accumulation of flammable pentane vapours. Prevent inhalation of smoke, fumes or dust from burning or fabrication activities. GHS Classification: Non-Hazardous, see SDS

Material properties of various Korolite® Insulation Types
Property¹ Units Korolite® Types Test Std.
100 130 160 200 250 400 600
Third-Party Certified Type Canada 1   2   3     CAN/ULC-S701
USA I   II         ASTM C578
Compressive Resistance2 Minimum         ASTM D1621
@ 10% Deformation psi 10 13 16 20 25 40 60
kPa 70 90 110 140 172 276 414
Thermal Resistance3,4 Minimum @ 24°C [75°F] ASTM C518
R-Value/ inch thickness
ft²•hr•°F/ (BTU•in) 3.75 3.8 4.04 4.1 4.27 4.27 4.3
RSI / 25mm thickness
m²•°C/ (W•25mm) 0.65 0.67 0.70 0.71 0.74 0.74 0.75
Flexural Strength
Minimum
psi 25 30 35 40 50 60 75 ASTM C203
Proc.B
kPa 172 208 240 280 345 414 517
Water Vapor Permeance4
Maximum at 1" thickness
perms 5.0 3.5 3.5 3.3 2.3 2.3 2.3 ASTM E96
ng/(Pa•s•m²) 287 201 200 190 130 130 130
Water Absorption5
Maximum
% by
volume
4 3 3 3 2 2 2 ASTM D2842 or C272
Dimensional Stability % linear
change max.
1.5 ASTM D2126
7 Days @ 70±2°C
Additional Thermal Resistance Info3,4,6 ASTM C518
or C177
R-Value/ inch thickness
ft²•hr•°F/ (BTU•in) @25°F 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.6 4.8 4.8 4.8
@40°F 4.0 4.2 4.4 4.4 4.6 4.6 4.6

¹ The test methods used to determine the material properties provide a means of comparing different cellular plastic thermal insulations. They are intended for use in specifications, product evaluations and quality control, but they are not intended to predict end-use product performance.  ² The elastic limit is between 1% and 2% strain. Compressive resistances at 10% strain are provided for applications where the intended end-use can tolerate plastic (permanent) deformation under load.  ³ R means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power.  4 Values are for 1 inch or 25mm thick samples with natural skins intact. Better values will result for thicker materials.  5 The lab-test method for water absorption uses complete submersion under a head of water for 96 hours, so the values are applicable to specific design requirements only when the end-use conditions are similar to test method requirements.  6 not part of all the industry consensus standards (ASTM C578, CAN/ULC-S701) and provided AS-IS solely for informational purposes

The Canadian CAN/ULC-S701 "Standard for Thermal Insulation, Polystyrene, Boards and Pipe Covering" provides material properties of various EPS Types:

Property1 Units CAN/ULC-S701 Types ASTM Test
1
2
3
Compressive Resistance
Minimum @ 10% Deformation
kPa 70 110 140 D1621
Proc.A
psi 10 16 20
Thermal Resistance2
RSI / 25mm thickness
Minimum @ 24°C
m²•°C/ (W•25mm)0.650.700.74 C518
Thermal Resistance
R-Value / inch thickness
Minimum @ 75°F
ft²•hr•°F/ (BTU•in)3.754.044.27 C518
Flexural Strength
Minimum
kPa 170 240 300 C203
Proc.B
psi 25 35 44
Water Vapor Permeance2
Maximum at 25mm thickness
ng/(Pa•s•m²)300200130 E96
perms5.23.22.3
Water Absorption3
Maximum
% by
volume
6.0 4.0 2.0 D2842
Dimensional Stability % linear
change max.
1.51.51.5 D2126 7 Days
@ 70±2°C
Limiting Oxygen Index % min.242424 D2863

1 The test methods used to determine the above material properties provide a means of comparing different cellular plastic thermal insulations. They are intended for use in specifications, product evaluations and quality control, but they are not intended to predict end-use product performance.  2 Values are for 25mm thick samples with natural skins intact. Better values will result for thicker materials.  3 The lab-test method for water absorption uses complete submersion under a head of water for 96 hours, so the values are applicable to specific design requirements only when the end-use conditions are similar to test method requirements.

The American ASTM C578 "Standard Specification for Rigid, Cellular Polystyrene Thermal Insulation" provides material properties of various EPS Types:

Property Units ASTM C578 Types ASTM Test
I
VIII
II
IX
XIV
XV
Compressive Resistance²
Minimum @ 10% Deformation
psi 10 13 15 25 40 60 D1621
Proc.A
kPa 69 90 103 172 276 414
Thermal Resistance1,2,3
R-Value / inch thickness
Minimum @ 75°F [24°C]
ft²•hr•°F/ (BTU•in) 3.6 3.8 4.0 4.2 4.2 4.3 C518
Flexural Strength²
Minimum
psi 25 30 35 50 60 75 C203
Proc.B
kPa 173 208 270 345 414 517
Water Vapor Permeance1,2
Maximum at 1inch [25mm] thickness
perms 5.0 3.5 3.5 2.5 2.5 2.5 E96
ng/(Pa•s•m²) 286 200 200 143 143 143
Water Absorption2,4
Maximum
% by
volume
4 3 3 2 2 2 C272
Dimensional Stability² % linear
change max.
2 2 2 2 2 2 D2126 7 Days
@ 70±2°C
Limiting Oxygen Index² % min. 24 24 24 24 24 24 D2863
Density - Nominal lbs/ft³ (PCF) 1 2 3  
Density²
Minimum
lbs/ft³ (PCF) 0.9 1.15 1.35 1.8 2.4 3.0 C303 or D1622
kg/m³ 14.4 18.4 21.6 28.8 38.4 48
Thermal Resistance at Additional Mean Temperatures1,2,3 C518
R-Value / inch thickness
Minimum ft²•hr•°F/ (BTU•in)
@ 40°F [4.4°C] 4.0 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.6  
@ 25°F [-4°C] 4.2 4.4 4.6 4.8 4.8  

¹ Values are for 1 inch [25.4mm] thick samples with natural skins intact. Better values will result for thicker materials.  ² The test methods used to determine the above material properties provide a means of comparing different cellular plastic thermal insulations. They are intended for use in specifications, product evaluations and quality control, but they are not intended to predict end-use product performance. ³ R means resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the greater the insulating power. 4 The lab-test method for water absorption uses complete submersion under a head of water for 96 hours, so the values are applicable to specific design requirements only when the end-use conditions are similar to test method requirements.

Additional Properties of EPS

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) resists mold & fungi growth per ASTM C1338 and has no nutritional value for insects. To protect against termites place adequate physical barriers such as membranes around below-grade EPS.
Max. Service Temperature: Long-Term Exposure 75°C [167°F], Intermittent Exposure 80°C [176°F]; Thermal Expansion coefficient: 5-7 • 10-5/°K
Surface Burning Characteristics Canada CAN/ULC-S102.2: Flame-Spread Rating ≤290, Smoke Developed Classification over 500.   USA ASTM E84 (UL 723)ª: FSI ≤25, SDI ≤450 up to 6" thick
Limiting Oxygen Index: min. 24% per ASTM D2863. Airfoam's EPS for construction applications contains a polymeric (non-HBCD) fire retardant modifier.
Solubility: Insoluble in water and in general chemically inert. EPS dissolves in hydrocarbons (e.g. fuels, oils, tar), organic solvents (e.g. acetone/ketones, benzene, paint thinner), ethers, esters, aldehydes and amines. Capillarity: None
UV-light surface degradation: white EPS can be exposed to direct sunlight for a few weeks. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light creates a yellow dust on the surface of EPS products which has negligible impact on the products' properties but may require removal before adhering other materials such as stucco or self-adhesive membranes.
CAUTION: EPS products are combustible and must not be exposed to excessive heat, sparks, open flames, or any other sources of ignition. A protective barrier or thermal barrier is required as specified in the appropriate building code. If stored/used in closed containers, confined, or low-lying areas, ensure adequate ventilation to prevent accumulation of flammable pentane vapours. Prevent inhalation of smoke, fumes or dust from burning or fabrication activities. GHS Classification: Non-Hazardous, see SDS

ª Ceiling measurement only, conducted through determination of flame spread index and smoke-developed index with the removal of any contribution of molten materials ignited on the floor of the Steiner tunnel.

Geofoam Design Guide Geofoam Seismic Buffers Geofoam Durability