Geofoam: The Problem Solver

By:  Nick Harvill, Sales Representative, Architectural Products

The Atlanta, Georgia storm water system is tied to the city’s sanitary sewer system. So when heavy rains come down, the system is frequently overwhelmed. As the rainstorm continues, the sewer system begins to fill up, water only being able to leave it as fast as it can be processed by the sewage treatment plant. The City of Atlanta was getting hit with heavy fines for sewage overflow bypassing the plant into the rivers. Sewage was backing up into people’s homes and special valves were being installed to prevent the backflow. More sewage water storage was needed.

The City engineers came up with a plan to build sewage storage vaults around the city. Placed under parking lots and vacant lots, the vaults were to provide millions of gallons of storage each. One vault was being placed under the media parking lot at Turner Field, Home of the Atlanta Braves. As they progressed with the construction, they hit a snag. As part of the project, the parking lot had to be replaced with the pre-existing contours to match the surrounding elevations. One corner of the vault would require about 12 ft of fill and the vault was not designed for that extra weight. It would cost over a quarter million dollars to reinforce it. There was also a hard completion date to meet. They needed another solution.

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They turned to Geofoam and ACH Foam Technologies. Geofoam is a cellular plastic material that is strong but has a very low density. Weighing less about 1% of conventional fill materials, it has enough compressive strength to support the parking lot and the cars that would be parked on it. Geofoam would reduce the load of fill material on the vault at 20% of the cost of modifying the vault. ACH Foam Technologies took the vault design plan and the elevations and created a shop drawing of tapered and square blocks to illustrate where the Geofoam fill is placed.

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ACH Foam Technologies also helped the contractor acquire Hot Wire Cutting tools to do jobsite cutting and shaping modifications. With Geofoam and the assistance of ACH Foam, the job was completed on time.

Geofoam provides solutions to many fill problems. Weight reduction, reducing lateral pressure on foundation walls, and reducing construction time are some of the ways Geofoam solves problems. It comes in seven grades to meet load requirements. While field cutting is usually needed, special cuts and tapering are often provided to reduce the amount of field cutting needed. Shop drawings are provided for placement. We at ACH Foam Technologies are proud to be able to provide solutions with our Geofoam product line.

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The Polar Advanatge

Jim Nugent, Regional Sales Manager

The primary function of rigid insulation on a building is to thermally protect the building envelop and provide energy savings and comfort to the occupants. Energy codes and experience are driving the growing of placing insulation on the outside of the building rather than inside the building. The new International Energy Code Conference (IECC) now has new standards for use of continuous insulation on the outside of a structure.

Products with higher vapor permeance like Foam-Control® Plus+® are proving to be ideal for perimeter foundations, under-slab, and cavity walls applications. Foam-Control® Plus+® has shown the characteristic to shed moisture in drying conditions which helps insure long-term R-value retention.  Less permeable insulation products like extruded polystyrene and polyisocyanurate have shown to retain moisture longer which impacts long-term R-value. Rigid insulation is not intended to be a waterproofing product, but in “real world” conditions, exterior insulations will be exposed to moisture.

Architects are starting to design certain wall assemblies where the air, water, vapor and thermal protection are all achieved with the insulation layer on the outside of the structure. In these assemblies a  product like Polar-R®, with low permeability, would be preferred. Polar-R® laminated sheathing is your solution for this application. Polar-R® is a composite of EPS rigid insulation thermally laminated on 2 sides with a film facer. Polar-R® with the appropriate detailing, provides thermal protection in addition to an air and moisture barrier in a single layer.

The versatility of the Polar line of film laminated EPS insulation products extends into the commercial roofing market with Polar Fold® roof recover board. Polar Fold® roof recover board is now the preferred insulation material when rebuilding over an existing roof with a new mechanically attached thermal plastic roof membrane. The lightweight moisture resistant insulation comes in a continuous 4’x50’ sheet (folded every 2’). The facer is specifically designed to be compatible with both TPO and PVC membranes.


Roofing contractors appreciate the lightweight yet very durable insulation and the large sheet that speeds installation and building owners appreciate the cost savings when the existing roof does not need to be removed but but a new roof can be installed directly on top.  The versatility of the Polar line of film laminated EPS products are giving contractors and owners new options to insulate and protect their building.

Construction details for using Polar-R® as a weather resistive barrier and Polar Fold® roof recover board can be found at

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Pharmaceutical Cold Chain Shipping Systems

By: Keith Baechle, Regional Sales Manager

Have you ever taken a mail order prescription or medication?  If you haven’t I bet someone you know has.  Can you imagine the number of hands and distance that product encountered to get to you?  If you stop and think about it, the reality of it is impressive.  Now think about the degree of packaging required to ensure this product reaches everybody dependent upon it in a safe and secure manner.  Because in some cases your life or someone you love could depend on it.

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ACH Foam Technologies has developed DuraTherm® pharmaceutical cold chain  shipping systems to make sure your medications arrive in temperature, secure and quickly.  Our line of products are scientifically designed to withstand the rigors of air, truck and human transit.  These shippers will hold refrigerated products within a 2 to 8ºC range for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours.  We have painstakingly doted on every detail to ensure these units are an easy to use, efficient and cost effective means to ship critical care products nationally across the US.

For information regarding our DuraTherm® pharmaceutical cold chain shipping systems, please contact your nearest ACH Foam Technologies representative.

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OEM Solutions

By:  Chris Benson, Packaging Specialist

What the heck is OEM? The answer is simple:  Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) is a term used when one company makes a part or subsystem that is used in another company’s end product.

Confused yet? Examples of expanded polystyrene OEM applications would be: garage door insulation, lost foam foundry patterns for metal casting, spa covers, heating & cooling system insulation, surf board cores, RV insulation and flotation insulation. There are countless other market segments that use EPS foam in OEM applications.


RV Insulation

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Heating & Cooling Unit Insulation








Hope the picture is getting more clear now! ACH Foam’s high performance products have unlimited design possibilities and are used in virtually every industry.

Our dedicated staff will help you design and engineer the EPS OEM solution with accuracy to meet your deadlines and performance specifications.

Here are a few technical points on why EPS is great OEM solution:

  • 50 year Thermal Warrant:- R-Value of EPS does not suffer from R-Value loss over time
  • Moisture Resistant: The mechanical properties of EPS are unaffected by moisture. EPS exposed to water or water vapor will not cause swelling.
  • EPS will not decompose and will not support mold or mildew growth.
  • EPS does not contain CFC’s, HCFC’s, HFC’s, or formaldehyde.
  • EPS is a very, very strong and versatile material designed to cushion, protect, absorb shocks & insulate product.

For more information on developing your OEM solution using EPS, please contact an ACH salesperson.

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DuraTherm® Brand Expansion

By:  Greg Aron, Regional Sales Manager


In an effort to promote greater brand awareness, ACH Foam Technologies is expanding
the DuraTherm® brand to include all industrial related product offerings, both packaging and OEM products. The transition will gradually take place over the next year.

Originally conceived to include only cold chain and temperature sensitive packaging, the DuraTherm® brand will now encompass a broad offering of industrial related products including DuraTherm® insulated shipping containers, wine shippers, protective packaging, OEM components, and possibly even testing and fulfillment services.

ACH Foam Technologies is a leading block molder and shape molder of expanded polystyrene with 8 plants strategically located across the US, and is the only EPS molder to have block and shape molding capabilities nationwide.

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