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pewellman
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« on: September 26, 2010, 01:55:32 PM »

I posted here about pouring lightweight concrete between LFC layers as exterior walls back in May. At the time I was thinking about using foamed concrete for the lightweight concrete layer.
I was recently contacted by Enstyro http://www.enstyro.com about being listed on my website.
I am now thinking recycled EPS might be a great substitute for the foam.
I have built using both CEMPO and RASTRA and can't say enough good things about these products.
Thastyron is a great concept. Making my own, using Enstyro technology, is making my head spin.
It seems like you would have a product that would not be as fragile as the foamed concrete and be really green. Might even be something that you could develop a trowel friendly mixture with?
Using recycled EPS is what originally sold me on RASTRA and CEMPO. To do this using locally produced recycled materials makes all kinds of sense. Transportation ain't going to get cheaper.
Does anyone have any experience with using ground up EPS in concrete?
Thanks for any input.
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upston
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2010, 07:15:22 PM »

Hi Paul.

I have been making EPS concrete for a few months now. the only trick is getting the pellets the right size. I have had great success with just portland and pellets.

I made some perlite crete as well but the EPS is better if you can get it. I have mixes from 30 lbs per cu ft to almost full weight and all would be very usable in the appropriate application.

If you have any leads on getting some pellets please advise.

brad
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philb
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« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2010, 07:42:12 AM »

I found this styrofoam shredder. http://themannook.info/styroshredder/styroshredder.htm
It looks like it could be adjusted for different diameters of finished product.
What size pellets are working best?
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upston
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« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 01:52:28 PM »

Hi Ringo,

Thanks for the tip on grinding, any chance you can send a picture of the device. The low speed is a good idea to cut down on the mess, good thinking.

Like you I have used several size grinds and as you say the smaller size makes the best product so far. Do you just use portland and EPS or do you add some other stuff?

What density are you coming up with and how are you using the material?

Thanks Brad
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pewellman
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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2010, 10:33:18 AM »

Thanks for all of the response.
It is exciting to see that there has been so much experience with such a thing.
I am really interested in Brad and Ringo's experiences with their mixes and applications.
I am told by another fellow that when he tried about a 75% EPS mix that it took forever for the mix to dry. I am very curious as to whether walls poured using a EPS / concrete mix would take a long time to dry? What has been your experience? He also has not come up with a good way to shred the EPS. I will pass on Philb's link for the shredder.
Has anyone tried to put this on something using a trowel? How about using a spray rig?
It would be very interesting to come up with something that you could hand apply that would have good insulative qualities.
I spent about six weeks in Pahrump, Nevada with Steve Saum (owner of CEMPO) learning how to use his products but I was never allowed to see inside the plant where CEMPO forms were made. “Big secrets inside” I was told. I am assuming that being very near death valley meant they were using mother natures oven to bake the forms. I would have loved to see how they shredded the mountain of scrap foam they had.

FYI - Also noted while working with Steve Saum was the fact that he bought polyurethane resin in fifty five gallon barrels. He put poly in everything he did. From stucco to floor and counter top mixes. I am sure there is a healthy dose of poly in the secret sauce used to make CEMPO. Has anyone tried poly in their mix?

Very fascinating stuff. Ilove the idea of turning something that would usually go to the dump in something so potentially useful. It would be great to buy a setup from Enstyro Inc. and start a business that used diverted waste into very economical housing.

Thanks to you guys again!
Paul
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upston
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 10:27:45 AM »

Hi Paul,

As far as the set time on EPS crete I found in the floating densities  ie less than 50 lbs per cu ft did take a little longer to firm up but at 7 days things catch up and forms could be stripped at that time.

I can be troweled to a point, it's a little sticky for a nice smooth finish but it's very easy to sand the high spots.before the final LFC coat.

The chopper on the link you mentioned runs $7k and while that's cheap enough if your starting a business if I spend that kind of cash it better do 85 mph not grind foam.

Ringo 's multi saw blade slow speed chopper seems very doable for the hobbyist with a shop vac and a dream, I'm saving blades.

Brad
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philb
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2010, 09:20:38 AM »

Hi Paul,
You mentioned a spray rig. I wonder if an unmodified ceiling texture sprayer might work?
Also, if you know of a source for buying used Styrofoam, please let me know.
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Colin King
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2010, 01:45:04 PM »

Hi Phil,  Our local recycling collection place (First Alternative Coop, Corvallis OR.) collects EPS packaging material to keep it out of the waste stream that is headed for the local landfill.  They have to charge a fee to accept the waste in order to defray the cost of trucking the EPS to Portland.  They will gladly furnish me with high-density foam scrap at no cost just to cut down on the trucking.  If there isn't a place like the Coop's recycling center near you check out the local furniture stores and offer to help them out.  They have similar problems.  Nearly everything that gets shipped in a container gets packed in high density foam then boxed in cardboard for shipping. At present the supply side is not the problem.  The reconversion to a lightweight aggregate that is readily available is the sticking point at the moment.  Ringo seems to have that bit in hand.  Now, if saw-resharpening places have old blades.........

Colin
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philb
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2010, 01:14:04 PM »

Thanks for the tip Colin.
I think Ringo's rig will work well.  I don't think I have ever thrown an old saw blade away. It's good quality metal for making knives to who knows what else. Now here's one more use. Coupled with a shop vac, and vortex, it should make short work of it. Another tool... Grin
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pewellman
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2010, 06:49:31 PM »

Thanks to all for the interesting info.
I am wondering what you guys are doing with the EPS Crete when you make it???
What kinds of things have you tried with it?Huh
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philb
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2010, 12:20:37 PM »

Hi Ringo,
What mixes would you advise for insulating hot water pipe buried about 2 feet in the ground?
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philb
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2010, 08:17:10 PM »

Thanks Ringo,
Maybe it's the volume of fluid or air that is passing through the piping that makes it not worth the price of insulating it. I know on solar applications, every website I have read talks about insulation and lots of it.
This is a head scratcher! I'll have to think about this more.
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pewellman
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2010, 03:59:56 PM »

I can't see how ground source heat pumps work if Ringo's plumber is right?!?!
How about hydronic heat systems?
Hydronic ice melt?
This makes no sense to me.
Two hundred feet of heated (uninsulated) tube buried in the ground - equals HUGE heat loss to me. Where is the frost line relative to the proposed tube? It could be crazy loss in the winter.

If you wanted to insulate your pipe here is a story I was told.
A fellow in Colorado that has built several CEMPO homes said they started gathering up all the scrap and using it as fill under the slabs of their homes.
They ran over the scrap with construction equipment to break it up and scooped it in. He said it compressed well and they had never had a problem.
He also said he was impressed by the increased thermal efficiency of the slabs.

So..
Any mix of EPS Crete you would come up with should be at least as good as loose crushed CEMPO and you aren't using it under a slab.
I would err on the light side. More EPS with less concrete for better insulation.
As long as you weren't going to run heavy traffic over the area you filled.
I think this is a great use of EPS Crete!

Thanks for the idea.

Paul Wellman
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Ringo
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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2010, 08:57:39 AM »

I found this post in a physics forum for anyone who wants to try the math.

quote:

Strictly speaking, you might include the convective heat transfer coefficient of the water on the inside of the pipe, and then the conduction of heat through the pipe wall in addition to the convective heat transfer from the pipe wall to the air, but this really isn't necessary in your case. The heat transfer from the water to the pipe, and through the pipe wall is very very high compared to the convection from the outer pipe wall to air. Thus you can neglect heat transfer from the water to the outer pipe wall and just assume the outer pipe wall is the same temperature as the water without loosing much accuracy.

Another thing you can do is use simplifed convective heat transfer coefficients for the air on the outer pipe wall if you're only looking for a ballpark estimate. For this situation I'd suggest using h = 1.0 to 1.5 Btu/hr/ft2/F.

Finally, you can assume the water has a large heat capacity and doesn't change in temperature much as it flows through the pipe so that the temperature at the end of the pipe only drops a few degrees at most.

First calculate the outer surface pipe area in square feet (A = pi * OD * L) then use this equation:
Q = A * h * (Tw - Ta)
where Q = heat lost (Btu/hr)
A = outer surface area (ft2)
Tw = water temp (F)
Ta = Air temp (F)
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philb
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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2010, 08:51:05 PM »

Hi Ringo and Paul,

I think I have the answer.

If you check the conductance of materials here:http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html Darn it! no listing for EPS  Huh

I looked up sand and soil. There are significant differences. So if you are in Vegas, with dry sand, you do have more insulative value than someone say in Arkansas, with wet, high clay soil.

Now plug those numbers into the formulas on this page :http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/conductive-heat-transfer-d_428.html

BTW, I have to throw in my favorite solar site. It makes quick lookup for lots of stuff. http://builditsolar.com/References/materialspecrs.htm 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 10:19:13 PM by philb » Logged
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