Insulation Performance Beneath Roads and Airfields in Alaska

by David C. Esch, Alaska Dep of Transportation &, Public Facilities, Research Section, Fairbanks, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


Evaluations of the long-term thermal performance of installations in Alaska for frost heave control have included sampling and testing of the insulations to determine the retained thickness, thermal conductivity, and compressive strength properties. Based on these observations, foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation is not accepted for use as a subgrade insulation by the Department of Transportation, while extruded polystyrene insulation has demonstrated superior performance and longevity. Molded polystyrene beadboard insulation layers have given acceptable performance. Comparisons were made between measured late summer permafrost thaw, depths for insulated airfields, and calculated thaw depths using the 'Modified Berggren' calculation method and actual site soil and insulation properties.

Subject Headings: Building insulation | Synthetic materials | Airport and airfield pavements | Thermal properties | Polystyrene | Foaming (material) | Subgrades | Alaska | United States

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