"Geofoam Geosynthetic"...an independent review...
"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]
John S. Horvath Consulting Engineer - Copyright 2008-2013 by John S. Horvath. All rights reserved. - This page was last revised on 1 January 2013.
Ordering Copies of "Geofoam Geosynthetic"...
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.