EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) is a foam, thermoplastic, closed-pored material obtained from petroleum, with a very high thermal insulation value and typically white. Thanks to its closed cell structure, it is light, rigid and has very little water intake. Stagnant air is trapped in approximately 3-6 billion tiny closed porous cells within 1 m3 of EPS.
98% of the material is inert and dry air, thus approximately 1% weight of conventional filling materials, while the use of EPS as light filling material in civil engineering is called GEOFOAM, Geofoam was first used in Scandinavian countries since the 1960s, then in the West. It has found a place in many different areas of use of civil engineering as an alternative lightweight filling material all over the world, especially in Europe, Japan and America.
The most distinctive superior technical features compared to conventional filling materials are its lightness, high strength / density ratio, very easy shaping, dimensional stability, very low water absorption rate, resistance to environmental factors, and an economical and very fast application structure. Geofoam significantly reduces the pressure on the ground layers under the structure where it is applied, thereby reducing the load, thus reducing settlements and improving stability against transport and slope disadvantages.
Lightness: Although it is light, it has high compressive strength, its properties can be changed in the desired direction depending on its density, It is the material with the highest strength / density ratio among the light filling materials used in geotechnical engineering. Although it varies according to the type of the product, it can withstand a load of approximately 1.5 to 6 tons / m2 (at 2% deformation), this strength can reach much higher levels with the load distribution platforms used on them.
Strength: Geofoam has a strength in the range of 1.5-6.0 tons / m2, this value is equal to the load of an average 4-5 storey building. Considering that a typical road-rail load is in the range of about 0.5-1.5 tons / m2, it is an ideal strength for road fillings.
Fast: It is very easy and fast to work, shape, transport, assemble and apply.
Economical: Compared to traditional soil improvement methods, it is more economical both in terms of initial investment cost and total project cost.
Environmentalist: It has closed cells, does not react chemical and biological, is not a nutrient for microorganisms, does not mold, rot, does not smell. It is an environmentally friendly and recyclable product.
Long-Lasting: Due to its closed cell structure, it absorbs very little water and moisture. It is resistant to environmental factors and freeze-thaw cycles, therefore it has a very long life.
Maintenance: Road maintenance costs are much less than traditional methods. Its behavior does not change with freezing and thawing.
It is not affected by weather conditions: It has been used in different climatic conditions of the world for over 40 years and it is a material with long-term performance records.
APPLICATIONS OF GEOFOAM AND COMMON USES
· Building a road on weak ground
· Road widening
· Bridge road approach embankments
· Buried structures, culverts and pipelines
· Slope filling in retaining structures
· Landscaping and landscaping applications
· Use as a blind mold
· Train track padding