Stop and take a moment to think about the last time you were on an airplane.
Business or pleasure (just kidding)?
After you boarded and made it to your seat, the plane began to taxi down the runway. During this time, the steward/stewardess gave a tutorial about how to buckle your seatbelt correctly; you likely ignored him/her and promptly began to browse SkyMall. At any rate… while you were preparing for takeoff, did you ever stop to think about the runway? I mean, here is a HUGE commercial airliner – one that typically weighs more than 800,000 lbs (!!!) – carrying hundreds of people, their suitcases with souvenirs, (sometimes even their pets) driving down a runway and preparing to takeoff into the open sky. But wait, how does that runway remain so stable (especially in places where the soil underneath isn’t always suitable to bear that weight)?
One way to increase stability is a product called Geofoam. This product isn’t a main one for Plymouth Foam, but it’s still one that we supply contractors with upon request. It also has many benefits, and therefore many functions, so it’s a unique product to spotlight this week.
Geofoam is a geotechnical material, which is a fancy way of saying it’s used when engineering earth materials. It can be used as a lightweight fill and is multi-functional, helping solve engineering challenges. The reason it is used so often is because of its many beneficial qualities; Geofoam is very lightweight but strong at the same time, making it a no-brainer to use for construction in areas with soft ground. The foam is also very easy to manage as installers can carry the pieces and even cut them on-site with a tool as simple as a hand saw. For all of these reasons, Geofoam can provide stability to a project in a shorter construction time AND at less total cost.
This product is adding up to be pretty awesome right?? Well there are a few places you may have heard of that used Geofoam and, in turn, conquered their geotechnical challenge: Millenium Park in Chicago and Yankee Stadium in New York!! The product was used in Chicago to reduce the weight of park structures above ground in order to protect the underground parking structure. The stadium in New York needed to reduce loads on the roof deck and also drain water properly from there, both of which were achieved by the one, the only, Geofoam.
Geofoam is very present in our everyday lives and can help us find solutions to unique challenges. It’s important that we develop solid foundations for our construction, but best that we do so efficiently and sustainably – which is exactly where this product comes into play. Now, please fasten your seatbelts as we are preparing for takeoff.