Frost heave is a term commonly used to describe the displacement of structures caused by water turning into ice underneath all or portions of structures operating constantly at low temperatures. Most refrigerated facilities are constructed with a slab-on-grade. In cases where the slab persistently operates below freezing temperature (0°C/32°F), frost from moisture in the soil will form underneath the slab unless some form of heat within or below the slab is provided. If the sub-slab is not heated, frost heave will not only eventually destroy the slab but also create other significant structural problems within the facility. If the slab-on-grade is wet, the ice forming inside the reinforced concrete slab will crack due to appearance and structural damages.
A properly designed CUPOLEX® passive or mechanically heated Aerated Concrete Floor will provide sufficient heat to prevent frost formation under or into the slab; thereby, preventing structural failures while minimizing the parasitic heat gain to the refrigerated space.
Moreover, the traditional insulation layer, when loaded with racks or forklifts, will still deflect a few centimeters. Deflection of thermal insulation layer will also cause cracks, which can incur in high maintenance costs.
Alternatively ISOLCUPOLEX® can be used in place of traditional insulation layers. With ISOLCUPOLEX the loads are transmitted by means of a reinforced concrete structure to the sub-layer, so the insulation layer is not compressed. Consequently, the structure will be more rigid and reduce the cost of maintenance.