Why Geofoam Is A Better Choice In Filling A Void
Geofoam is polystyrene that has either been extruded or expanded. It is produced into large but very light blocks. These blocks are of various sizes. Its main use is to provide void fill below embankment and below highway. It has several other applications too.
Norway was the first to use geofoam in 1972. It was used to support the embankment around Flom Bridge. After that, it was used in Japan, United States and several other countries. Currently, Geofoam is now used for slope stabilization, embankments, utility protection, pavement insulation and it is also used for retaining structures.
Some of the advantages of geofoam that made it popular have been outlined right below.
It has low density but high strength. Its density is about 1 to 2 percent. Its behavior is predictable since it has no variation. Its composition is the same. It never changes so its properties are always the same. They never change. This is why it is better than others. Being light means that it can be transported easily. So, it also offers low cost of transportation.
It does not disintegrate no matter the condition. So, it does not pollute the surrounding soil since it will remain intact for several years. This also means that after several years, it can be dug out of the ground and reused elsewhere.
It is easy to install. When installing it, there is no need to hire heavy machinery as the hands and some simple tools are enough to install it in any location. That implies that there is little or no installation cost involved. It is resistant to mildew and mold even if it is wet. It was used in the United States of America to create side slope stabilization in the bid to prevent another landslide. It was used between Mancos and Durango in Colorado. To underscore the fact that it has little or no installation cost, it is on record that the use of geofoam led to about 84 percent reduction in the construction cost. However, that is not the biggest of such projects in America. There are bigger ones.
It can withstand continuous pressure. This was confirmed in Japan when it was placed under the runway in Japanese airport and it was there for decades. Imagine how many planes will pass through the airport on a daily basis.
Another major advantage is that it can be installed in any weather. You can install it in the rain and in the sun and you can install it anytime of the day. So, it has faster installation time. Despite all its fantastic benefits, it also has a few advantages. Some of them have also been outlined below
It catches fire easily. This is why it is important to treat it with fire retardant before installation. Every kind of foam catches fire easily. It also reacts with petroleum solvents. When it comes in contact with petroleum solvent, it will turn to a substance that looks like glue. This is because it will melt and become rather sticky.
It is also susceptible to insect infestation. So, it must be treated before installation otherwise some insects will attack it.
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