The Resistance of Flexible Polyurethane Foam, Rigid Polyurethane Foam, and Latex Compared to Concrete When Subjected to Direct Force

Pot holes are a prominent issue in the North during the winter months. Currently, concrete and asphalt are used for roads. The composite structures of both materials cause them to break easily under force, especially in cold temperatures. However, the matrix structure of Polymers allow for the material to distribute the force more evenly and hold more. In this research, the polymers polyurethane rigid foam, polyurethane flexible foam, and latex were tested against the composite concrete. Strips of each material were constructed and tested by suspending a bucket from the middle of the strip and pouring sand in the bucket until the strip broke. An ANOVA test was completed to find a difference in the force held between each material. To compare each material with concrete, three 2-Sample t Tests were completed between concrete and each of the polymers. The ANOVA test suggested that all materials were able to hold a different force. The 2 Sample t – Tests suggested that latex held a greater force than concrete and both polyurethane foams held a lesser force than concrete. The materials would be able to hold a greater direct force and, therefore, would be more resistant to the force of vehicles when used in potholes. Latex could be used in the pot holes and from this, due to an incredibly similar structure, it can be inferred that recycled tire rubber would perform similarly to latex.

Research Conducted By:

Jennifer Donovan
Warren Mott High School

Christina Wark
Lake Shore High School