box culvert abandonment using cellular concrete
CJGeo installing LDCC over gas pipeline
void filling below bridge approach with cellular concrete

Cellular Concrete

CJGeo is a factory-trained installation contractor for Aerix Industries (formerly Cellular Concrete Solutions) geotechnical products.  We are based in Virginia and work throughout the eastern United States.  Cellular concrete is also referred to by the following abbreviations/names:

We install both pervious and impervious cellular concrete for a variety of applications.  Typical applications are annular space grouting, pipe abandonment & tunnel abandonments, load reducing fill and pervious backfill.  Cellular concrete is easily pumped long distances at low pressures due to its low unit weight and viscosity.

Cellular concrete (also called foamed concrete) is a type of lightweight concrete.  The primary characteristic of foamed concrete is that instead of aggregate such as stone and sand, foamed concrete contains small air bubbles.  These air bubbles reduce the weight of the material (making it a lightweight concrete), but they also lower the strength.  

Geotechnical lightweight cellular concrete is not designed to be a traffic-bearing surface. It is generally designed to be contained or covered by some other material, such as standard concrete mixes, rigid floor material, contained in a pipe, etc.  Other types of lightweight concrete use lightweight aggregate instead of air bubbles to lower the weight of the concrete.  CJGeo does not install light/expanded aggregate lightweight concrete, or autoclaved aerated concrete.

Cellular Concrete Mix Design

Both pervious & impervious foamed concrete are available in densities starting at 20PCF (wet cast), which has a typical  compressive strength at 28 days of 50psi, up to 70PCF (wet cast), which has a typical compressive strength at 28 days of 1100psi.  Within that range, density is effectively infinitely variable by changing the ratio of cement slurry to foam agent.

Impervious LDCCF is generally used for abandonments and annular space grouting where control of water flow is desired.  Pervious cellular concrete is generally used for applications where placement of impervious material would disrupt water flow, in tidal applications where wave energy or frequent changes in ground water levels are present.  Where movement of ground water needs to be maintained, pervious cellular concrete enables easy installation of material with no need for compaction.

We use both truck-batch and continuous generation for foamed concrete generation & placement.

We primarily generate cellular concrete using the following pre-formed cellular concrete foams:

Pumpability

Cellular concrete is easily pumped long distances at low pressure.  For example, it is possible to pump it more than 1500 ft at less than 20psi through 6″ pipe.  This allows for easy abandonments of pipelines and assemblies over long distances without the need for the frequent access pits required to perform pipe abandonment with traditional flowable fill.

Because mixes typically only consists of cement slurry and air bubbles, there are no problems with segregation of mixes.  Cellular concrete also reduces the buoyancy of carrier pipes during reline annular space grouting.  This reduces the chances of damage during the annular grouting process.

Abandoned utilities are completely filled when using cellular concrete for abandonments.  Cellular concrete fills small better pipes over much longer runs per access hole than flowable fill.  

Annular Space Grouting

Impervious cellular concrete is one of the best materials available for annular space grouting for a few reasons.  The lightweight nature of cellular concrete makes it exceptionally easy to pump.  It also flows very well through tight annuluses and small openings.  Because the mix generally only consists of cement paste (0.5 water:cement ratio) and air bubbles, there is no aggregate to segregate out.  The low pumping pressures reduce external pressure on joints in lining pipes.  This is why cellular concrete is the manufacturer-recommended annular space grouting material for slip-lining pipes such as Snap-tite.

Pipe & Tunnel Abandonment

Pipe & tunnel abandonments with cellular concrete are economical and efficient due to the ability to use low density materials, that are effectively self-leveling and highly pumpable.  This allows for abandonments of long structures with minimal pumping points, while still ensuring complete fill.  

Load Reducing Fill

Because foamed concrete mixes weigh as little as 16PCF after curing, they are an excellent choice for reducing loads.  Both heavy civil and building construction can take advantage of this.  Despite the very low unit weights, bearing capacities start around 7,000PSF.  This is much higher than plastic-based lightweight fill materials’ bearing capacities.  LDCCF is a superb choice for lightweight fill applications for heavy, highway and other civil applications.

Load reducing can be a very economical way to reduce future settlements during new construction.  Lightweight fills can be either used to build up sites to higher elevations, or replace unsuitable soils.  For building up elevations, lightweight fills allow for much deeper fills with the same burden weight.  Alternatively, using lightweight fill instead of structural fill reduces the burden weight applied to native soils at the same depths.

Undercut soils can be replaced with LDCCF instead of flowable fill or crushed aggregate.  This helps to further reduce future settlements by reducing weight applied to the soils which remain in place.  Used as lightweight fill, foamed concrete is self-consolidating.  So there are no concerns about adequate compaction or future consolidation of the material. 

Talk to a Pro.

Have questions about an application for cellular concrete?  Email kirk@cjgeo.com, or call (800) 428-5690.

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