Geofoam (or Geo Foam) is not
the commodity white foam typically found in your local hardware
store, it is a stronger engineered EPS foam for an engineered geotechnical solution.
Geofoam is a lightweight, rigid foam plastic (EPS - Expanded Polystyrene) that has
been used around the world as a fill for more than 30 years. It is approximately
100 times lighter than most soil. This extreme difference in unit weight compared
to other materials makes it an attractive fill material in both transportation
and non-transportation applications. EPS geofoam also reduces lateral stress encountered
with traditional materials, especially in embankment situations.
Common Geofoam Applications:
- Slope Stabilization
- Soil Stabilization
- Bridge Abutments
- Theater "Stadium" Seating
- Retaining Structures
- Utility Protection
- Pavement Insulation
- Shallow Foundations
Atlas EPS is an "EPS block molder" that has been in buisness for over 40 years.
As a division of Atlas Roofing Corporation, Atlas EPS has great depth of technical
resources and a strong financial foundation. Atlas has 3rd party certification
for a variety of construction applications, including certification by Underwriters
Laboratories to ASTM D6817-07, the recognized industry standard for geofoam applications.
With an Engineering Department and separate Quality Assurance Group Atlas EPS
can offer you the product solutions you require for any EPS foam application.
Atlas EPS UL Certification
Many suppliers of foamed plastics in good faith report that their material is "UL
Classified". While most construction plastics can be found in the UL online certifications
directory for Surface Burning Characteristics (BRYX), most are NOT classified for
When listed in the certifications directory for Physical Properties, this is typically
limited to compliance with ASTM C578-08b. HOWEVER, the compressive strength testing
for C578-08b is at 10% deformation.
By the time the foam has reached 10% deformation, it is permanently dented --- the
road, building, or abutment is sinking or leaning at this point! The more important
properties are verified against ASTM D6817-07, in the 1-2% elastic region of the
foam deformation (takes the stress & bounces back).
In slope stabilization or other geofoam applications, it is imperative that the
physical properties of the EPS foam be assured to prevent creep and other long-term
that your supplier verify independent, ongoing 3rd party verification
of physical properties vs ASTM D6817-07. Below is a copy of Atlas EPS’s UL Certification
following is reprinted from the Online Certifications
Directory with permission from Underwriters Laboratories Inc.:
Polystyrene Thermal Insulation, Rigid Cellular
ATLAS EPS, DIV OF ATLAS ROOFING CORP
8240 BYRON CENTER RD
BYRON CENTER, MI 49315 USA
Cellular polystyrene in the form of blocks or boards, Types I, II, VIII, and IX,
in accordance with ASTM C578-08b.
Cellular polystyrene (geofoam) in the form of blocks or boards, Types EPS15, EPS19,
EPS22, EPS29 and EPS39, in accordance with ASTM D6817-07.
Copyright © 2009 Underwriters Laboratories Inc.®
The appearance of a company's name or product in this database does not in itself
assure that products so identified have been manufactured under UL's Follow-Up Service.
Only those products bearing the UL Mark should be considered to be Listed and covered
under UL's Follow-Up Service. Always look for the Mark on the product. UL permits
the reproduction of the material contained in the Online Certification Directory
subject to the following conditions: 1. The Guide Information, Designs and/or Listings
(files) must be presented in their entirety and in a non-misleading manner, without
any manipulation of the data (or drawings). 2. The statement "Reprinted from the
Online Certifications Directory with permission from Underwriters Laboratories Inc."
must appear adjacent to the extracted material. In addition, the reprinted material
must include a copyright notice in the following format: "Copyright © 2009 Underwriters
The value chain is petrochemical-based: that means its cost is correlated
to the cost of oil. Below is an example of approximate cost of Geofoam compared
to cost of oil.
Approximate Cost Per Cubic Yard (before freight)
BBL Oil Price
Selecting the correct material for your project is important. If underspecified,
the project could fail. If overspecified, money is wasted on extra strength that
goes unused. We urge our clients to contract with a civil engineer to help specify
the correct grade of product. In general, the engineer will use the dead load of
ballast and topping materials, the live load during use (such as traffic), and a
safety factor to assure the correct maximum loading is calculated. From this, the
load can be converted to pounds per square inch (psi). Then it is simply a matter
of selecting the grade from the table that exceeds this psi value at 1% compressive