Frequently asked questions

The raw material used to make Foamit® foam glass aggregate is recycled glass, which is industrially purified to remove metals and other impurities. Glass shards are ground into a powder with a coarseness of less than 0.1 mm and mixed with a foaming agent. Ready-to-use foam glass contains approximately 8 per cent by volume of glass and 92 per cent air. Foam glass aggregate is a non-flammable ceramic material.

Foam glass aggregate is made from industrially purified recycled glass at Uusioaines Oy’s production plant in Forssa, Finland. Glass shards are ground into a powder with a coarseness of less than 0.1 mm and mixed with a foaming agent. The glass powder is spread onto a conveyor belt, which passes slowly through a furnace. The furnace heats the glass powder to a temperature of approximately 900°C, making it expand to almost five times the volume. Ready-to-use foam glass contains approximately 8 per cent by volume of glass and 92 per cent air.

As it cools, the panels of foam glass shatter into pieces of foam glass aggregate, which is then ground and sieved according to the application.

Video showing foam glass being manufactured.

Foam glass aggregate has been used in infrastructure construction and housebuilding in Europe for more than 25 years with good results. The first foam glass factories were established in Switzerland and Germany in the 1980s. In the Nordic region, Norway has used the most foam glass aggregate in infrastructure construction, and it has produced foam glass aggregate since the 1990s.

Foamit foam glass aggregate is an insulating and lightening material that is suitable for use in many different structures.

On housebuilding sites, Foamit granules are used as a lightening material and for thermal insulation. Foam glass can be used for foundations and filling in indoor areas such as roof ceilings and intermediate floors. It is suitable for use in roof and yard structures, frost protection and backfills.

Foamit is used as a lightening material in earthworks (including streets, roads, bridge embankments, sports fields, pipelines, backfills for retaining walls, yard structures), where it reduces the load acting on the subsoil and other environmental structures. Foam glass aggregate also serves as frost insulation.

The various grain sizes are suitable for the following applications:

Product Application Bulk density
[+/- 15%]
Thermal conductivity when dry
Lightening and drying material for yard structures and pipelines, as well as frost insulation.

A widely used aggregate for road construction.

210 kg/m3 0,1
Lightening and thermal insulation in foundations at grade and foundations with subfloor space. 210 kg/m3 0,1
Roof ceilings, intermediate floors and roof structures. Infills and slopes in thinner structures. Prefills of pipes. Green roof structures. 190 kg/m3 0,1
(3-10 mm)
More precise infills and slopes in structures. Various garden applications (peat/soil aeration). Green roof structures. 180 kg/m3 0,08

The advantages of foam glass aggregate as a construction material are its light weight, stacking ability and load-bearing capacity. These product properties are beneficial for infrastructure and housebuilding, as they accelerate and facilitate work.

Foamit is one of the lightest lightening and insulating materials on the market. The weight of foam glass aggregate is approximately one-fifth that of corresponding rock aggregate. The material is cost-efficient to transport.

Foamit aggregate is easy to install thanks to the material’s coarse surface and friction. The granules do not spread around during handling and do not need to be bagged.

On-site, work can resume immediately on the load-bearing surface – the material can withstand walking immediately, and the structure is easy to compact. Foamit can be used to make thicker structural layers, so fewer load-bearing intermediate layers are required.

Foam glass aggregate has good thermal insulation and water conduction capacities. It is non-flammable and does not promote corrosion. Foam glass contains no organic matter. These properties provide significant advantages, particularly on housebuilding sites.

Foamit is a reusable material made from recycled glass.

According to measurements taken by the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, foam glass aggregate can also be used as a lightening material and/or frost insulation in road, street and field structures in groundwater areas.

The aggregate does not cause any harmful substances to evaporate or dissolve when used in ordinary applications. Foamit foam glass aggregate is mildly alkaline (the pH is approximately 10).

Foam glass aggregate is non-flammable. The material does not contain corrosive substances, so there is no need to apply special protection to metal components in contact with the filler.

Dry aggregate may give off dust when handled, and users should avoid breathing the dust. The amount of dust and the grain size vary depending on the product type. A respirator equipped with a particulate filter (P2), working gloves, safety goggles and workwear should be used for work phases where dust may be generated.

See the material safety data sheet for more safety-related information concerning the use and handling of the product.

Foamit is a reusable material made from recycled glass.

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