What is Cellular Foam Concrete Used For?

Cellular foam concrete can be used in many different applications. Because the density and strength of the concrete can be controlled there is a very broad range of applications. Here are a few typical examples:

CellularConcretePump

  • Grouting Tunnels: A low-density grout containing cement, lightweight Cellular Foam Concrete and fly ash can be used for grouting tunnels saving thousands of dollars in cement costs alone. Current record for pumped distance is over 20,000 LF.
  • Soil Stabilization: When poor subsoil conditions exist, cellular concrete can be used to create a strong, lightweight base; reducing overburden on soft soils. We refer to this as Load Balancing.
  • Bridge/Overpass Abutment Fill: Bridge abutment fills are prone for settlement. Maybe you have driven over a local bridge and noticed the bump when driving over the abutment. This is typically settlement of the soft soils below the fill caused by the increased weight of the new approach fill. By reducing/eliminating the weight of the fill this settlement is eliminated. Also because cellular does not need compaction, it won’t compress over time, no concerns about poor compaction. Additionally, lateral loads against the existing abutment are greatly reduced or eliminated depending on the design. These are benefits to the contractor who knows the uncomfortable feeling when a fill is settling and the owner is blaming the contractor.
  • Interstitial Fills: Does you project have a large layer of gravel encapsulating utilities at the bottom of the basement? If so think about placing the utilities first, then backfill with cellular. Since it’s highly flowable and no compaction there won’t be any damage to the pipes. The backfill and compaction is eliminated from the utility contractors work creating significant savings.
  • Utility Trench Fills: Encasing utilities with cellular concrete greatly reduces the chance of pipe deflection because cellular is free flowing and doesn’t need compaction. Also, cellular concrete can be easily excavated by hand should the need arise. Cellular concrete pricing is dependent on the volume per day. So you may wish to rearrange your planning to backfill everything at the end, maximizing the cost savings. It needed steel plates are cheap in comparison.
  • Precast Blocks/Walls: Although not applicable for all precast blocks and walls, cellular concrete can be designed to decrease weight, cost, and still provide reasonable core strength.
  • Annular Space Fill: In slip-lining projects cellular concrete is often specified for filling the annular space because it reduces the potential for pipe flotation, and also because it can be pumped at very low pressure and flow long distances.
  • Sub Slabs Fill Material: Is your client asking you to fix soil settling below an existing slab? If so Cellular concrete can be produced at very high rates and the fluid nature allows us to pump it directly beneath the floor to re-support the slab. The lightweight of the fill provides significantly less new loads hence very little increased settlement potential. It doesn’t need compaction so sub slab fills can be accomplished quickly, speeding the repair process. Additionally, the insulative properties of cellular concrete can increase energy efficiency for years to come.
  • Pipe and Tunnel Abandonment: Cellular concrete can be produced cost effectively, pumps easily and flows long distances, making it an excellent choice for these types of applications where high volume, long distances and low strength are needed.
  • Flowable Fill (CLSM) and Geofoam: Any application where flowable fill or geofoam blocks are being used, cellular concrete is an excellent alternative, and in many cases the preferred material of choice. Simply the cellular solutions are dramatically less expensive than the other options.
  • Pervious lightweight platforms: Pervious cellular lightweight concrete is an appropriate geotechnical solution wherever low density, free-draining material is desired. Permeable Cellular Concrete is free draining, open-celled, and low-density.