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Behavior of expanded polystyrene (EPS) blocks under cyclic pavement foundation loading

Siabil, S. M. A. Ghotbi; Tafreshi, S. N. Moghaddas; Dawson, A. R.; Parvizi Omran, M.


S. M. A. Ghotbi Siabil

S. N. Moghaddas Tafreshi

A. R. Dawson

M. Parvizi Omran


This study introduces a mechanism for initial assessment and future development to improve understanding of expanded polystyrene (EPS) behavior as a super-lightweight material for road construction. Large scale cyclic plate load tests on model pavements were performed. The effect of several factors including thickness of soil, thickness of subsequent EPS layers and density of EPS on the surface deformations, resilient modulus (Mr) and interlayer pressure transfer were investigated. The results indicated that, compared to a covering soil layer of 300?mm, the rut depth on the loading surface reduced by 13.5% and 40.8% when the soil thickness was increased by 33% and 100%, respectively. With a constant soil thickness, increasing the thickness of an upper (denser) EPS layer with respect to a bottom (softer) EPS layer, from 200?mm to 600?mm, would only result in a 20% decrease in the peak settlements after loading. Resilient modulus of the system was found to be dependent on soil thickness. A designer can choose an appropriate resilient modulus assuming the soil-EPS composite acts as subgrade or subbase. In order to extend the results to a wider range of geofoams, soils and layer thicknesses, a simple stress analysis method was also trialed.


Siabil, S. M. A. G., Tafreshi, S. N. M., Dawson, A. R., & Parvizi Omran, M. (2019). Behavior of expanded polystyrene (EPS) blocks under cyclic pavement foundation loading. Geosynthetics International, 26(1), 1-25.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2018
Online Publication Date Aug 13, 2018
Publication Date Feb 1, 2019
Deposit Date Dec 4, 2018
Publicly Available Date Aug 14, 2019
Journal Geosynthetics International
Print ISSN 1072-6349
Electronic ISSN 1751-7613
Publisher Thomas Telford
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 1-25
Public URL
Publisher URL


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