Investigation of Boundary Pressure and Internal Stress Distribution in EPS Geofoam

Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) geofoam blocks have been used as light weight material in a variety of geotechnical applications in the US and around the world for over 30 years. The large number of successful applications of geofoam and few notable failures were mainly designed by rule of thumb and shared experiences. Sensing of interface contact pressures and internal stresses in geofoam block installations in the field and in large size laboratory samples and models would be valuable for calibrating computer models and to improve design practice. Needs for load distribution slabs or requirements for adequate fill over geofoam to reduce stress increments can be assessed more reliably. Compaction induced contact pressures and internal stresses below loaded areas within geofoam blocks have yet to be observed. Specifications usually call for protecting geofoam surfaces from exposure to heavy construction traffic, but associated stress levels are not known. There are now more compatible and reliable methods for sensing boundary pressures and internal stresses within geofoam blocks. To guide future improvements in design and rapid construction with geofoam, use of new sensor systems in both lab tests and field observations are essential. Tactile pressure sensors are promising innovations that can be useful for more detailed investigation of geofoam behavior and performance.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Managing Organizations:

    University Transportation Research Center

    City College of New York
    Marshak Hall, Suite 910, 160 Convent Avenue
    New York, NY  United States  10031
  • Project Managers:

    Eickemeyer, Penny

  • Performing Organizations:

    Syracuse University

    Institution of Transportation and Traffic Engineering
    Syracuse, NY  United States  13244-2130
  • Principal Investigators:

    Negussey, D

  • Start Date: 20160901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20171231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01612986
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University Transportation Research Center
  • Contract Numbers: 49198-34-28
  • Files: UTC, RiP
  • Created Date: Oct 4 2016 4:01PM