Post-use Examination of EPS Block Characteristics: Finnish Case Histories

Gowthaman Sinnathamby, Leena Korkiala-Tanttu, Henry Gustavsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Since its introduction as a lightweight fill in the 1980s, EPS has been used in a number of test highway embankments across Finland. This paper presents the experiences in using EPS blocks as structural element in two lightweight road/highway embankment sites in Finland. These embankments were built on soft soil deposits and therefore, the EPS was introduced to improve the bearing capacity of the ground and to subsequently reduce settlement. Once the use was ceased, the EPS blocks were retrieved from the embankments and tested for their water absorption characteristics and mechanical properties. These properties were then compared with their original properties and other relevant local stand-ards in order to assess their potential reusability. The test results revealed that the retrieved EPS blocks still fulfilled the mechanical requirements of the Finn-ish guidelines after being in contact with the ground for over 14 years. One of the primary goals of this study was to increase the competitiveness of EPS in civil engineering applications and to encourage the reuse of EPS in other civil engi-neering applications in Finland. The information presented in this paper is in-tended to provide an understanding of the performance of EPS blocks in light-weight fill applications. It may also assist engineers in design and construction methods of similar EPS applications, and the potential reusability of such used EPS blocks in various other applications.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th International Conference on Geofoam Blocks in Construction Applications
EditorsDavid Arellano, Steven Floyd Bartlett, Abdullah Tolga Özer, Jan Vaslestad
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-78981-1
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Geofoam Blocks in Construction Applications - Kyrenia, Kyrenia, Turkey
Duration: 9 May 201812 May 2018
Conference number: 5


ConferenceInternational Conference on Geofoam Blocks in Construction Applications


  • EPS
  • Lightweight fill
  • Ground improvement
  • Recycling
  • Sustainable construction
  • circular economy


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