InTrans / Feb 01, 2021

CP Tech Center releases Guide to Lightweight Cellular Concrete for Geotechnical Applications

Long used as a construction product for flooring systems, lightweight cellular concrete (LCC)— a mixture of portland cement and water slurry, combined with preformed foam to create air voids—has continued to expand its applications into a variety of fields, including the geotechnical industry.

In order to provide information for construction professionals and design engineers on the use of LCC in specifically geotechnical applications, the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center) in collaboration with the Portland Cement Association (PCA) released the Guide to Lightweight Cellular Concrete for Geotechnical Applications.

“Given that an LCC mix is highly flowable, it can be efficiently and safely placed in confined or problematic spaces such as in pipes, trenches, tunnels, wall backfills, and other areas where the routine placement of earthen fill is difficult, if not impossible,” said Greg Halsted of the PCA and an author of the guide. “These attributes make LCC a low-cost solution for many geotechnical applications.”

LCC’s properties help it act as a strong, lightweight, durable, and inexpensive alternative to soil or fill replacement for many geotechnical applications. LCC’s lightweight property reduces ground settlement and improves the bearing capacity and the static and seismic stability of embankments.

“The rapid placement and reasonably fast setting time of LCC expedite construction operations,” added Scott Taylor, another author of the guide. “Many other attributes of LCC provide additional advantages for specific challenges, such as freeze-thaw resistance, local availability, ease of pumping, and increased worker safety.”

The guide focuses on the materials, properties, design, proper handling, and applications of LCC for geotechnical applications, including common uses, conceptual guidance, and design guidelines. It provides examples of both mix design preparation and field installation, geotechnical evaluation, and the design, construction, and field testing of LCC. It discusses the segments of the geotechnical marketplace where LCC has been successfully used and reviews the properties, functions, and benefits.

In addition, the applications presented in the guide have exhibited excellent long-term performance, providing cost-effective solutions and better and safer designs for projects across North America.

The guide is accessible here.