EPS can be used in many applications constructive as for example lightening in civil engineering projects or as light filler in the construction of roads and railways. The properties of expanded polystyrene (EPS) as a lightweight foundation material make it an ideal product for use in the civil engineering sector. To its conditions as an insulator, other qualities are added, such as its stability, mechanical resistance and cohesion, which allow it to build structures with high vertical and horizontal resistance. The first experiences with this material in the field of engineering took place in the early 1960s in Norway. The insulating effect of EPS prevented the subsoil from freezing, eliminating the problems of thawing.
Find the most remarkable EPS in the entire Australian industry here at NPS, the leading manufacturer of high quality is expanded polystyrene (EPS) products used as the preferred material for building, construction, civil engineering and various other projects requiring insulation, cladding, void forming, flotation and light weight fill solutions.
Despite its low weight, the unique structure of this material provides the benefits of exceptional resistance to compression without losing performance with moisture. This fact makes it the ideal solution for use as a structural base filler, for example, in road, rail and bridge infrastructures, and all kinds of projects in which settlements or loss of stability may occur. Therefore, some of the most suitable application areas for EPS are the following:
- Construction of settlement-free roads.
- Elevation and drainage of sports fields, parks and grass areas.
- Free settlement of spaces and land for parking.
- Reduction of load by filling to reinforce overpasses and culverts, and by raising entrance and exit ramps.
- Elevations above pre-existing buried gas pipelines.
- Reduction of lateral loads reinforcing pile foundations in restoration of urban areas.
- Elevations for noise barriers.
- Foundations for sheds and light buildings.
- Repair of settlements on existing roads.
- Ramps for levees or existing buildings
- Pavements for patios and plots
- Grounds and industrial floors
Since the early 1970s, EPS has been used as a foundation material and civil hydraulic engineering on an increasing scale. Below are the main advantages of its use depending on the work performed.
Low Settlement Structures Despite its lightness, expanded polystyrene is able to withstand a compression load while retaining its shape. Correct design and proper incorporation of the material in civil engineering projects therefore lead to low settlement structures.
This not only offers the advantage that the structure can be put into use immediately, but also that future maintenance costs will be lower. When initial costs and maintenance costs are capitalized over a useful life of, say, twenty years, the result of the calculations always favors EPS.
On the other hand, traditional heavy fill materials like sand can cause loss of soil stability. A backfill structure using EPS does not have much more weight than the excavated ground and therefore does not affect the stability of the soil.
The principle on which the EPS construction foundations are based is not to disturb the existing balance in the ground, because the weight of the excavated ground is equal to the weight of the new EPS material installed plus the road structure.
- Side load prevention
Unloaded materials that are loose without “reinforcement” or that have minimal tensile strength inevitably lead to road designs where the angle of the natural slope is the determining factor, while foundations using EPS may even end in a vertical border.
- No frost damage
Its properties as a thermal insulator mean that EPS limits frost damage to civil engineering structures, even with the minimum thickness. A 5 to 6 cm layer of EPS is enough to prevent the temperature of the road foundation from dropping below 0 ° C. As for so-called frost-sensitive subsoils, a continuous supply of geothermal heat maintains the foundation temperature above freezing because the EPS insulation material prevents heat loss. However, with moderate freeze / thaw cycles, as well as snowfall, the risk of the surface being slippery is higher. However, given its properties as a thermal insulator, the application of expanded polystyrene prevents the breakage of the structure located above caused by the melting of the ground surface.
- Small eps bridges
Another special application of EPS is the construction of small bridges using this material as a support. The base consists of one or more EPS blocks 52 cm thick, 1.25 m wide and 6.05 m long. Each weigh approximately 80 kg. The surface has 7.8 m2. For every centimeter of height, each block has a lifting force of 75 kg. A block supports a load of 3,750 kg and floats with its top surface slightly above water level. With layers for the pressure distribution of plywood, for example, the uniform distribution of the load on the EPS is ensured. The bridge is equipped with railings, entrance and exit ramps (for bicycles) and is anchored by mooring ropes. You can even drive a vehicle over an EPS bridge. However, for this purpose it is necessary to place steel sheets on the entrance and exit ramps, reinforced below with steel beams. The rotating union of the steel sheets must have sufficient strength. An EPS bridge has several obvious advantages:
- Execution is especially fast.
- Cost is normally only a fraction of the cost of other solutions.
- The removal of temporary EPS bridges is very simple and leaves no traces.
- Reuse elsewhere, as well as other adaptations, is extremely simple and inexpensive.
- It is not necessary to use heavy materials to build an EPS bridge: the heaviest component weighs only 80 kg and can be easily handled by two people.
- If necessary, the bridge can be easily rotated to allow passage.
- Lightweight eps concrete
Finally, EPS can be reused, making it a suitable raw material for the production of lightweight insulating concrete. Adding ground EPS residues during the concrete mixing process not only ensures that the concrete will acquire excellent insulating properties, but also that its weight will be especially light. EPS concrete is currently being used for road construction.
Remember that here at National Polystyrene you can purchase excellent polystyrene find excellent quality products that you can acquire at the most affordable price right now. We offer the best materials to save costs and achieve unmatched results.