A book review published at the time of initial publication...
"Geofoam is a generic term that has recently entered the civil engineering vocabulary to describe foam materials used in
geotechnical applications. The most commonly used geofoam materials are expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene
(XPS) although geofoam also includes glass foam (cellular glass). In geotechnical applications these materials have traditionally
been used for thermal ground insulation and construction of light weight fills for more than 30 years. However, the range of
geotechnical applications has grown to include compressible inclusions to reduce lateral earth pressures against walls, and cushion
materials for vibration attenuation and noise damping. In some cases geofoam may provide two or more functions and in other
cases may be combined with traditional geosynthetics to form drainage composites. The advancements in geofoam technology
and new applications has been illustrated through articles in trade magazines, but a large volume of information is scattered in
publications and reports not easily available to the geotechnical engineer. Until now, no single authoritative reference on the entire
range of geotechnical applications using geofoam has been available to the geosynthetic discipline.
Professor Horvath of the Civil Engineering Department of Manhatten (sic. jsh) College in the USA is a well known expert in the
USA on geofoam and has now written the definitive monograph Geofoam Geosynthetic which describes the current state of the
knowledge for geofoam in geotechnical applications. The monograph is international in scope and Professor Horvath has
performed an exhaustive review of the world literature on the topic. In addition to USA experience, the monograph reviews the
experience of design professionals and manufacturers in Canada, Europe, Scandinavia, and Japan in order to ensure its
completeness. The information is presented using SI units although secondary imperial units of measure are also presented
consistently throughout the text.
The 231 page monograph is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1 provides an overview of foam materials, current standards
and standards activities throughout the world. Chapter 2 describes geosynthetic functions. Chapter 3 gives a comprehensive
description of the types of geofoam products available, constituent materials, and manufacturing processes. The chapter is
focused primarily on expanded polystyrene (EPS) products since EPS is the material of choice for most applications. For thermal
insulation applications, extruded polystyrene (XPS) products are preferred in some countries and the chapter discusses these
products as well. Chapter 4 describes the material properties of different geofoam products in the context of geotechnical
engineering applications. Chapter 5 presents a history of geofoam applications. Many of the applications can be viewed as
emerging technologies including the use of geofoam as a vertical compressible inclusion to reduce lateral earth pressures against
rigid earth retaining wall structures such as bridge abutments and building basement walls. Chapter 6 is focused on designing with
geofoam and is organized along a "design by function" approach. Chapter 7 contains recommendations for additional standards
development and for future research. Finally, the monograph includes an extensive bibliography of the literature on geofoams.
The bibliography is organized into topics to assist the reader to quickly locate publications for future reading.
This reviewer found Geofoam Geosynthetic to be well written, well organized and complete. Geofoam Geosynthetic by Professor
Horvath is required reading for any design professional, manufacturer or researcher who is interested in the use of geofoams as a
cost-effective solution to a range of geotechnical engineering problems."
By Prof. Richard. J. Bathurst, Ph.D., P.Eng.
[Dr. Bathurst holds appointments as a Professor of Civil Engineering at both the Royal Military College of Canada and Queen's
University, both of which are located in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. He is a world-renowned researcher in geosynthetics and
numerical methods in civil engineering. jsh]
Copyright 2008-2016 John S. Horvath. All rights reserved. The moral rights of the author have been asserted. This page was last revised on 1 January 2016.
Thank you for your interest in the scholarly monograph "Geofoam Geosynthetic"
(cover shown at right) that was researched and written by John S. Horvath, Ph.D.,
P.E. and published by Horvath Engineering, P.C. in 1995. This 217-page book has
become the de-facto standard historical reference for geofoam geotechnology as well
as a resource document and basis for new research that has been conducted in the
years since its publication. It has full-color soft covers and is perfect-bound.
As of August 2009 this monograph is officially out of print. At the present
time there are no plans for reprinting or an updated/revised second edition.