Nebraska Patent of the Month – November 2021

Insulated concrete forms (ICFs) are common structures in construction. They are used to create concrete walls or other structures in the desired size and shape. They are usually constructed of a set of spaced side walls made from expanded polystyrene foam and connected together via cross ties. Concrete is poured into the cavity between the sidewalls. The sidewalls remain part of the structure, not allowing the concrete surface to be exposed once formed. Airlite Plastics, Co. has designed a new type of concrete form which allows the sidewalls to be removed and reused.

Airlite Plastics is a sustainability-forward manufacturing company in Nebraska. They have engineered and manufactured a wide range of in-mold labeled and printed containers ranging from drink cups to ICF building blocks. They are focused on designing containers that meet their desired purpose within the realm of sustainability. 

Their sidewalls work in much the same way as traditional concrete forms, providing a cavity to be filled with concrete. They are connected together with removable cross ties. The sidewalls are made of both a removable and a permanent portion. The permanent portion stays in place as insulation along the concrete structure. The removable portion can be easily removed to expose the surface of the cured concrete. Both the permanent and removable forms are constructed of expanded polystyrene foam which acts as an insulating material. This design is great for pre-fabrication, making it possible to assemble at the site rather than transporting the larger, assembled version. The manufacture of these concrete forms uses recycled materials and allows the removable form to be repurposed as needed.

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