Evaluation of foamed plastics for use as structural supporting layers in pavements and foundations
Joseph, Alfred H.; Jackson, Ralph D.; Rosser, Thomas B.
Miscellaneous PaperAbstract: This project was generated by the need for criteria for using foamed plastic materials as structural elements of pavement structures or as foundation platforms where soil strength and aggregate supply are not conducive to conventional construction. The objective of the study was to develop engineering criteria for the performance of foamed and/or extended plastics, polyester resins, or other similar systems as structural layers. Tests were conducted on polystyrene with a density of approximately 4.0 pcf and a foamed-in-place polyurethane formulation with a nominal density of approximately 7 pcf. Various combinations of load, soil strength, tire pressure, and thickness were used in the study. Multiple statistical regression analyses were performed on the field data, and it was determined that a curvilinear equation gave the best correlation coefficients. Results of the study indicate that foamed plastics can be used as a structural layer in special cases where the soil will not support conventional construction equipment or when conventional methods of construction are too difficult or too expensive to be considered. Using the proper design and construction procedure, extended plastics can be used to support rolling and static loads on very low-strength soils. NOTE: This file is large. Allow your browser several minutes to download the file.
U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station.Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Foamed plastics; Foundation; Pavements; Soil strength; Plastic foams
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.