Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in Geotechnical Construction

Geofoam EPS is the name of the Expanded Polystyrene that is used in geotechnical applications and is practically covered by earth, replacing it to a large extent. Its low weight and particularly high mechanical performance make Geofoam EPS a reliable solution for the construction of light fills on soft/compressible soils.

The Geofoam weights from 0.5% up to 2.5% of the weight of the conventional fills and its use helps to reduce improvement works on natural soils, the costs of maintenance and minimises the problems of earth retaining issues on landslides.

It is used for many years around the world. In Greece, Geofoam EPS was used in two very known and successful applications, on the main motorway connecting Patras, Athens and Thessaloniki National Road (E75), at the locations of Kakia Skala and Malakasa before and after the city of Athens when moving north.

The most recent and biggest Geofoam project in Greece was completed during the summertime of 2008 in the 198th kilometre of National Roadway from Athens to Lamia (Roadway E75), in Thermopyles diversion, a manufacture of ATTI-KAT SA.

The project absorbed 50.000 cubic meters of Expanded Polystyrene of EPS 100 quality for embankment of one kilometre main road and transient embankments at the exit to Thermopyles.

The subsoil in that particular area was extremely soft and could not support the weight of the embankments from the various territorial materials (soil) which exceeded the 2 tons per cubic metre, and thus the only solution was to use Expanded Polystyrene EPS 100, 20 kilos weight per cubic meter, meaning 100 times less.

Our company despite the very short project’s timetable, that did not exceeded the 2 months, managed to deliver half of the required quantity, meaning 25.000 cubic meters.

The Thermopyles diversion is in circulation for 6 months now and above the EPS volumes pass every day thousands of cars and trucks without any problem at all.

This project will constitute the beginning for a lot of great similar projects since the entire technical world, the state principles as well as the state institutions recognized the value of Geofoam solution against the conventional embankments.

Additionally, as years pass it will be valued the great difference that offers the Geofoam solution in the maintenance cost of infrastructure, while are prevented the undesirable and often dangerous waves in roadway which may cause either a simple damage to the vehicles or can easily divert them from their course putting in great danger the lives of the passengers.
Choosing G.K. RIZAKOS SA as the basic supplier of this project was not only based to the fact that the company was close to the project, but it was mainly based to its products quality and production capacity, since the recent company’s investments in mechanical equipment (2004) gave the possibility of producing large quantities in great quality and in a really short time.

Categories of Lightweight Soils

The contents of our web pages that concern in Geofoam constitute part of the presentation of the Laboratory of Geotechnical Mechanics of the department of Civil Engineers in the University of Patras.