Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32579
Numerical Investigation on Performance of Expanded Polystyrene Geofoam Block in Protecting Buried Lifeline Structures

Authors: M. Abdollahi, S. N. Moghaddas Tafreshi


Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam is often used in below ground applications in geotechnical engineering. A most recent configuration system implemented in roadways to protect lifelines such as buried pipes, electrical cables and culvert systems could be consisted of two EPS geofoam blocks, “posts” placed on each side of the structure, an EPS block capping, “beam” put atop two posts, and soil cover on the beam. In this configuration, a rectangular void space will be built atop the lifeline. EPS blocks will stand all the imposed vertical forces due to their strength and deformability, thus the lifeline will experience no vertical stress. The present paper describes the results of a numerical study on the post and beam configuration subjected to the static loading. Three-dimensional finite element analysis using ABAQUS software is carried out to investigate the effect of different parameters such as beam thickness, soil thickness over the beam, post height to width ratio, EPS density, and free span between two posts, on the stress distribution and the deflection of the beam. The results show favorable performance of EPS geofoam for protecting sensitive infrastructures.

Keywords: Beam, EPS block, numerical analysis, post, stress distribution.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 920


[1] Horvath J.S., Expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam: an introduction to material behavior. Geotext Geomembr 1994, pp. 263-280.
[2] Aabøe, R., Frydenlund, T.E., 40 years of experience with the use of EPS geofoam blocks in road construction, Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Geofoam Blocks in Construction Applications, Lillestrøm, Norway, 2011, vol. 1.
[3] Horvath, J.S., New developments in geosynthetics; 'Lite' products come of age. Standardization News (ASTM), 1992, 20(9), pp. 50-53.
[4] Horvath, J.S., The compressible inclusion function of EPS geofoam: an overview. In: Proc. Intl. Sym. On EPS Construction Method, Tokyo, Japan, 1996, pp. 71-81.
[5] Horvath, J.S., The compressible inclusion function of EPS geofoam. Geotext Geomembr, 1997, vol. 15, pp. 77-120.
[6] Zhang, W., Liu, B., Xie, Y., Field test and numerical simulation study on the load reducing effect of EPS on the highly filled culvert, J. Highw. Transp. Res. Dev, China, 2006, vol. 23, pp. 54-57.
[7] Kang, J., Parker, F., and Yoo, C. H., Soil-structure interaction and imperfect trench installations for deeply buried concrete pipes.” J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., 2007, 133(3), pp. 277–285.
[8] Kim, H., Choi, B. & Kim, J., Reduction of earth pressure on buried pipes by EPS geofoam inclusions, Geotechnical Testing Journal, 2010, vol. 33, number. 4, pp. 1–10.
[9] Marston, A., The Theory of External Loads on Closed Conduits in the Light of the Latest Experiments: Bulletin 96, Iowa Engineering Experiment Station, Iowa State College, Ames, IA, 1930.
[10] Bartlett, S. F., Lingwall, B. N., and Vaslestad, J., Methods of protecting buried pipelines and culverts in transportation infrastructure using EPS Geofoam. Geotext Geomembr, 2015, vol. 43, pp. 450-461.
[11] Wong, H., Leo, C.J., A simple elastoplastic hardening constitutive model for EPS geofoam. Geotext Geomembr, 2006, vol. 24, pp. 299-310
[12] Xenaki, V.C., Athanasopoulos, G.A., Experimental investigation of the interaction mechanism at the EPS geofoam–sand interface by direct shear testing, Geosynthetics International, 2001, vol. 8, pp. 471-499
[13] Padade & Mandal, J. N., Interface strength behavior of expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam. International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 2014, vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 66–71.