Expanded Polystyrene Blocks
There are many brands available in the market for lightweight blocks such as Geofoam, dura Block, Moda form, fill core, mirip last, et cetera. All these brands offer the same product. The basic material in this lightweight blocks is Expanded Polystyrene
Expanded polystyrene is a rigid and tough closed cell foam with a normal density range of 11 to 32 KG/M cube. It is usually white and made of Pre-Expanded Polystyrene bids. Expanded polystyrene, EPS or extruded polystyrene XPS manufactured into large lightweight blocks. The blocks vary in size.
Manufacturing of EPS Blocks.
Raw bids are expanded using steam creating pre profit which are then cured in large bags before being conveyed to the molding. Once in the mold the Pre-bids are against him to form a block. The blocks are then placed on the storage floor to age for the appropriate length before being cut into various shapes and sizes. Blocks are produced in several densities to meet specific project mix.
Uses of Expanded Polystyrene Blocks (EPS Block)
- Roadway Construction Over Poor Soils
- Roadway Widening
- Bridge Abutments
- Bridge Underfill.
- Pipelines And
- Buried Structures
- Compensating Foundations
- Rail Embankment.
- Landscaping Architectural Green Roofs.
- Retaining And Buried Paul Backfill.
- Slope Stabilization
- Stadium And Theatre Seating.
- Airport Runway And Taxiways.
- Foundation For Lightweight Structures
Advantages of EPS Foam Blocks
i) Shape and Size
Expanded Polystyrene block can be shape into any size. EPS can be cut and shaped at the plan or site to create architectural and landscaping profiles.
In Expanded polystyrene sheets, geofoam is about 100 times lighter than soil and much lighter than other light which feels like cellular, concrete, shredded tires, pumps, wood chips, et cetera
Despite its low weight, EPS is strong enough to support traffic and landscaping equipment.
iv) Compressive strength
EPS for high strength with compressive resistance values 2/2/15 PSI at 1% strength.
v) Easy to handle
The material is accessible for workers to carry and place by hand.
vi) Chemical resistance
EPS does not decompose nor is affected by road soils, petroleum products, and other chemicals that can damage EPS, so the incorporation of protective layers or barriers uses.
An example of an EPS Block
- soil cover
- concrete slabs
- geomembranes, etc.
vii) Long life span
Can recycle the EPS with no rotting because of damp weather.
viii) Reduced construction time
The ease and speed with which one can construct EPS form. Results in shorter construction time.
Precautions while laying Expanded Polystyrene Block
Because of it’s closed cell structure and lightweight EPS is buoyant. It can be minimized by installing EPS about the water table and ensuring suitable drainage. In addition it can be counteracted by placing overlying soils, pavements, sidewalks to sufficiently offset. Uplift forces resulting from Buoyancy
EPS is combustible when exposed to an oxygen source, so it is important to cover with non flammable materials. That is soil et cetera, and include a flame retardant. APS is usually isolated by membranes, soils or payments in the finished application.
iii) Water absorption:
EPS has closed cell structure that limit water absorption. When used in well trained conditions, no change in EPS weight is expected overtime
Things to know about lightweight filling blocks before buying it.
i) EPS Density:
You should know your load requirement and accordingly you can select the density of APS block.
Compressive Strength: you should know where you are going to use it, whether it is high traffic area or low traffic area.
ii) Bedding Material:
What kind of building material is there? Is it RCC or soil, et cetera that we need to cheque.
iii) Block dimensions
As per site condition, we can derive the sizes of blocks by minimizing the wastage,
- Flame resistance:
- Moisture absorption,
- EPS Block layout and placement.
- Cover and UV protection.
- Concentrated loads
- Stability of adjacent ground.
- Bearing capacity
Now the final aspect is the cost.
The cost of EPS depends on density. If the thickness is low, the charge is high, and vice versa.