Foam-Control® Geofoam Solves Hidden Infrastructure Challenges
ACH Foam Technologies
Jul. 24, 2018
DENVER, July 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The built environment is especially challenging for the mining, oil and gas, and utility industries where boring tunnels, pipelines, and conduits is often necessary. In areas with settlement prone soils or other unstable geological conditions, designers and builders are cost-effectively meeting geotechnical challenges with Foam-Control® geofoam from ACH Foam Technologies. The company’s team of geofoam specialists helps clients, engineers, and builders nationwide achieve safe, reliable solutions to earthwork challenges using molded polystyrene geofoam.
Questar Gas, a natural gas utility operating in Utah, Wyoming, and Idaho, must account for unstable geological conditions in pipeline construction. Gas lines or anything else underground can be catastrophically damaged during an earthquake and Questar’s pipelines traverse known quaternary fault lines where they are especially vulnerable. In 2014 14,000 cubic feet of ACH Foam Technologies’ Foam-Control® 29 Geofoam was used to encase a gas pipeline as it passed along a fault. ACH Foam’s pre-cut Geofoam blocks were wrapped in a protective membrane and then placed in the pipe trench to form a protective cushion around the pipe. This simple solution to a complex problem with potentially serious consequences not only provided Questar assurance that pipelines are protected but saved time and money as well.
Foam-Control® Geofoam products are available in seven different structural grades ranging from 2.2 pounds per square inch (psi) up to 18.6 psi. Geofoam blocks are typically 4-feet wide by between 8- and 16- feet long and up to 3-feet thick. Structural projects often benefit from combining multiple engineered layers and grades of geofoam to balance structural capacity and cost-effectiveness.
Designed to stand up to immense lateral and axial loads, yet extremely lightweight, Foam-Control® Geofoam serves a special purpose in providing protection from falling rocks above a vault built into a mountain in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon. With the vault’s entrance located at the base of a steep rock face, even a stone a few inches wide falling from the top could result in structural damage. ACH Foam Technologies helped develop a layer of Geofoam protection up to 15’ thick in areas with the highest probability of rock fall. A geogrid material placed between Geofoam layers was covered with 6” of gravel and 12” of soil. This Geofoam cushion works in conjunction with the building’s 20”-thick, reinforced-concrete roof to protect the entrance from the impact of a boulder as large as 36” falling from a distance of 60’.
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