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When stabilizing soil, it is crucial to ensure zero load on the subgrade. This is a challenging task given the increasing demand for the construction of halls, warehouses, and other facilities in areas with difficult geotechnical conditions. Various methods and easily accessible materials are used for soil strengthening, but none are perfect. There are different soil stabilization methods available in the construction market, yet even the best ones can cause cracks in walls or foundations. How can this be avoided? Discover the benefits of foam concrete.

Soil Stabilization with Foam Concrete: Features and Benefits

The use of foam concrete is an excellent method for soil stabilization — its growing popularity originates from the Netherlands, where this material is used on almost all construction sites. Foam concrete combines the advantages of concrete and air, and is classified as lightweight concrete with a pore volume in the cement slurry reaching up to 60%. Why is foam concrete beneficial for soil stabilization?

  • Ease of Use — This is an important advantage of foam concrete, allowing for quick soil compaction. Foam concrete can be used at a minimum temperature of +5°C. Subsequent layers can be poured after a few hours. Rapid material production allows for the creation of a foundation or subgrade with an area of 2000 m² and a thickness of 20 cm in just 10 hours.
  • Economical — Foam concrete is a cost-effective construction investment. The price of soil stabilization is competitive because the material is produced quickly, allowing investors to save on the labor time of the construction crew. Additionally, lightweight concrete is durable and does not require frequent repairs, as is the case with other load-bearing materials that shrink over time.
  • Environmental Safety — Foam concrete does not contain harmful substances. Its components include cement, water, an ecological foaming agent, and fillers (fine sand, ash, fly ash). In foam concrete, the main filler is air, so using this material for soil strengthening or replacement eliminates the need for activities harmful to workers.

Another important advantage of foam concrete is its versatility: strengthening soil under a foundation requires that the laid base is always properly compacted. Lightweight concrete is an excellent alternative for such compaction. It can be used for any construction project on any soil, especially those that cannot be compacted.

Technology of Soil Stabilization with Foam Concrete

The air bubbles contained in the foam concrete mass create a bearing effect and provide greater fluidity. This allows for precise and tight filling of all irregularities and guarantees good cohesion and bonding with other materials. Foam concrete has been successfully used in the reconstruction of over a 3 km section of the four-lane Central Road in Schaumburg. Creating a fill with two layers of foam concrete, one with a density of 400 kg/m³ and a thickness of 0.9 m and another with a density of 500 kg/m³ and a thickness of 0.43 m, allowed for the construction of the road on entirely non-bearing soils.

Foam concrete soil stabilization is widely used not only in typical road solutions but also wherever safe soil replacement is necessary. Why is this important? Because soil stabilization with cement is quite risky — its rigidity can lead to cracking due to loading. Here, foam concrete wins with its lighter structure and monolithicity. Foam concrete is produced in a special machine directly on the construction site and delivered using a special pump to protect the foam structure and ensure a uniform material structure. Without additional equipment, liquid foam concrete can be delivered up to 300 m away and 30 m high, allowing for the use of the material in almost all soil stabilization conditions.