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FAQ
Unfold Close  Foam

People are usually familiar with white polystyrene, found as packaging of electrical goods. This is expanded polystyrene, known as EPS. Another type is extruded polystyrene, known as XPS. It is often coloured and has a closed cell structure.  For more information about the different types foam we work with, see foam page.

There are many items that are perfectly suited to being made from Styrofoam or polystyrene. Our portfolio presents a snapshot of what we have created in the past, and hopefully give you some inspiration.

STYROFOAM commonly referred to as “blue board” and also as assorted white and green shapes used in crafts and floral designs is often refer to expanded polystyrene even though the materials are completely different.  STYROFOAM Brand Foam is 100 percent pure, extruded polystyrene foam.

We can provide BOTH EPS and STYROFOAM Brand Products at wholesale prices with a order minimum of $150.   Trimtec Systems sells both Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam sheets & blocks as well as STYROFOAM™ Brand Products.

Call us today! 614-820-0340. We will provide you with a FREE quote and answer any questions

 STYROFOAM™ is a registered trademark of the Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”).

Unfold Close  ICF forms

Yes. ICF buildings are up to 8.5 times stronger than wood framed buildings. As a result, ICF walls are more able to withstand severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes. Most ICF walls have a 2-hour fire rating as opposed to 15 minutes for a comparable wood framed wall.

Most of the definitions and programs of green building identify energy savings as a key critera. Operating energy has the greatest environmental impact in any life cycle analysis, so any product which can reduce energy used in heating and cooling a building is very “green.” Additionally, the EPS foam used in ICFs does not produce any CFC’s or HCFCs, and does not contain formaldehyde nor any other gasses which might affect indoor air quality. Both the EPS foam and the concrete are highly durable and have a long service life with no repair or replacement costs. ICF material is very resource efficient and multiple manufacturing facilities bring the product close to the job site. ICF construction generates very little waste, much of which can be recycled on the jobsite.

There are three different types of configurations: 1). flat wall, 2). waffle-grid and 3). screen-grid. Flat wall systems yield a continuous thickness of concrete, like a conventional poured wall. Grid wall systems have a waffle pattern where the concrete is thicker at some points than others. Screen grid systems have widely spaced horizontal and vertical columns of concrete, which are completely encapsulated in foam. Whatever the differences among ICF brands, all major ICF systems are engineer-designed, code-accepted, and field-proven.

Absolutely. The many features and benefits which ICFs provide below-grade make them a perfect choice for above-grade construction. In fact, to receive the full benefit from this type of quality construction and maximize the energy efficiency of the structure, ICF forms should be used for all exterior walls.

Most acrylic finishing systems are comprised of a reinforced base coat, optional primer and a 100% acrylic polymer finish. Finishes are available in a limitless color selection and offer performance enhancement options. Exterior acrylic systems are perfectly suited to ICFs, as the preparation for applying an acrylic system to the ICF typically requires only rasping the foam before application. If exterior webs/ties are present, an additional layer of 1” thick EPS must be adhered over the ICF prior to application of the acrylic finishing system. Portland cement stucco is also a very durable and can create an endless variety of colors and textures for an exterior of a house or building. When stucco is applied to metal lath, three coats of plaster form a 7/8-inch total thickness. A vapor-permeable, water-resistant building paper separates the plaster and lath from the ICF. It’s a proven system that works in all climates.

Yes. ICF forms are used to allow builders to pour a solid concrete wall. However, upon completion, the forms are designed to provide insulation, nailing surfaces, and a vapor barrier all in one step.

As with any form of below-grade construction, waterproofing is required. Recommended waterproofing of ICFs consists of a protective sealant to the EPS foam, coupled with a drainage mat surrounding the foundation wall. A drain at the footer is recommended and may be required by code. ICF foundation walls should be allowed to cure for a minimum of 7 days and the first floor set in place or the top of wall braced prior to backfilling. The backfill material should be well drained and free of construction debris and large rocks. Once in place, backfill should be properly compacted and graded so that water does not collect around basement walls. Landscaping should be kept clear of the immediate perimeter to prevent accidental water damage from irrigation.

A wooden or vinyl buck is built and incorporated into the wall as it is being stacked prior to pouring the concrete. Once the concrete cures, doors and windows are installed as usual.

The points at which utilities connect to the building should be identified prior to the pour. This will allow for conduits to be placed through the wall so that the utility can enter. Once the concrete is poured and cured, channels or grooves are cut directly into the form using and electric hot knife or router. Plumbing and electrical lines are then inserted into the grooves and covered by drywall.

EPS provides no food value for termites or rodents. Whether wood frame construction or ICFs, local building codes do require methods for protecting foam below-grade in high termite areas, which are specifically outlined in the International Residential Code. The same prevention measures used for wood frame construction can also be used for ICFs. The advantage with ICFs is that the termites can't affect the structural integrity of the building since it is made of concrete.

A metal or plastic flange runs from the top of the form to the bottom, allowing a fastening strip for mechanical attachments, such as exterior siding, brick ties and drywall. The flange is engineered to withstand high pull out stresses and is designed to keep the materials securely attached for decades. In all cases, most exterior and interior cladding can be installed with common attaching screws.

Based on research performed by Building Works, Inc, houses built with ICF exterior walls require an estimated 44% less energy to heat and 32% less energy to cool than comparable wood-frame houses. A typical 2000 square foot home in the center of the U.S. will save approximately $200 in heating costs each year and $65 in air conditioning each year. The bigger the house the bigger the savings. In colder areas of the U.S. and Canada, heating savings will be more and cooling savings less. In hotter areas, heating savings will be less and cooling savings more. The energy efficient performance comes in large part from the polystyrene foam on the interior and exterior of ICF walls, which range from R-17 to R-26, compared to wood frame’s R-9 to R-15 walls. Also, ICF walls are tighter, reducing infiltration (air leakage) by 50% over wood-frame homes.

This will be determined by the design parameters of the building, and in accordance with local building codes. Additionally, ICFA sells Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction (2nd Edition) through the bookstore, which provides tables that provide a guideline for most common applications.

An ICF wall has a sound transmission classification of approximately STC 50, which is twice as high as a typical wood-framed wall. Loud noises outside a ICF building will be reduced to a whisper inside the building.

ICFs have been engineered and built to 48 feet tall (free standing/load bearing). It is important to note that in most applications, ICF projects can be designed using ACI 318 and are designed like any other steel reinforced concrete wall. Residential projects of up to two stories may also be designed in accordance with the IRC Section R611 or the Prescriptive Method for Insulating Concrete Forms in Residential Construction (EB118)

No. The combination of concrete and two layers of foam means that the ICF wall acts as a natural barrier against air and moisture.

LEED was launched in an effort by the United States Green Building Council to develop a “consensus-based, market-driven rating system to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices.” The LEED rating system has five main credit categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Each category is divided into credits, which correspond with possible points. The rating is based on the entire building system, and not on any individual product. The most important and direct contribution by ICFs is toward the energy optimization credit, which offers up to 10 points. This is the only credit with so many points possible, and represents a significant portion of the overall 69 point possible. The Energy Optimization Credit is based on the percentage of energy savings above the ASHRAE benchmark. The energy savings benefits of ICFs can play a significant role in the gaining of these points. ICFs and concrete can also contribute toward credits for recycled materials, sustainable sites, regional materials, and durable structures.

Concrete placement for ICF forms is best accomplished with a concrete pump, or alternatively from the truck chute or conveyor belt for below grade applications. Flat wall and waffle grid ICF forms concrete placement is governed by the ACI-318, Building Code Requirements for Structural Concrete. There is no limitation on concrete pour heights or lifts in this document, nor is there any requirement for the pump to be lowered into the formwork. Field studies have shown that free fall from great distances doesn’t result in concrete segregation nor in reduction in compressive strength. In ICF construction, concrete placement will typically begin by placing concrete through opening in the window sill plate. Subsequent placement will take place from the top of the form, in lifts of approximately 4 ft, for a continuous pour to the final wall height. It is recommended to avoid placing concrete too close to corners, openings or thin columns, in order to not unduly stress the forms. A hose reducer with a flex hose is helpful for more precision placement. During the pour, the ICF forms should monitored for plumb, and the bracing adjusted accordingly.

The best method to protect against termite infestation is to eradicate the colony and prevent them from setting up shop on your property. The National Pest Management Association recommends preventing termites by: “Removing the conducive conditions termites need to survive.” Termites love moisture; avoid moisture accumulation around the foundation of your home. Divert water away with properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks. Reduce humidity in crawl spaces with proper ventilation. Prevent shrubs, vines and other vegetation from growing over and covering vents. Be sure to remove old form boards, grade stakes, etc., that was used during building construction. Remove old tree stumps and roots around and beneath the building. Most importantly, eliminate any wood on the building from contact with the soil. An 18-inch gap between the soil and wood portions of the building is ideal. It doesn’t hurt to routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of termite damage.” Additionally, the Insulating Concrete Form Association recommends soil treatment and re-treatment over the life of the home. Just because the home is built of concrete does not mean the termite will give up trying to get to its food source: wood! When using ICFs below-grade, the International Residential Code calls for chemical treatment of the soil and an approved method for protecting the foam. This can include chemical treatments fused into the ICF form, as well as physical barriers.

Over the last 20 years builders have been asked to build tighter wood homes using house wraps, seals, caulk, tapes and gaskets to reduce the amount of air infiltration/loss in the home. When these products fail, moisture gets trapped inside the open cavity of a wood stud wall, causing mold and mildew problems and rot. ICFs are closed cavity construction, with the concrete filling the entire cavity of the wall. Given that there is no place for moisture to travel in the wall, and that foam, steel reinforcing bar and concrete are all three inorganic material, they are resistant to mold and mildew problems.

Unfold Close  Ordering

We accept all major credit cards, cheques, Paypal and cash payments.

Trimtec delivers throughout the United States every week.  Whether your order is small or large, we will do our very best to arrange for shipping to your location.  For more information, see Shipping Info page.

The size and complexity of the project determines the delivery date. For most items, we aim to deliver in 5 - 10 days from order placement. If the lead-time is short, we try, where possible, to meet the deadline.

Each project is priced individually, taking into account whether a drawing or design needs to be created, the size and complexity of the project, the quantity required, and coatings and finishes, if necessary.

If you already have a drawing of your design, then we can receive artwork in most vector and CAD formats.

There is virtually no limit on the size that we can make items. We cut from solid block of foam into sections so a large project can contain a number of parts.

Trimtec Systems • Trimtec Engineered Packaging  E-mail: tts@trimtecsystems.com

Corporate Office:

2455 Harrisburg Pike., Grove City, Ohio 43123 • 

Phone 614-820-0340 • Fax 614-820-0341 •

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