Norlite is an inert lightweight aggregate, with a minimum angle of internal friction (ɸ) of 40o and a maximum in place compacted density of 65 PCF.  Its unique properties aid Geotechnical Engineers in reclaiming land which would otherwise go unused. Norlite is continually being specified to reduce horizontal and vertical loadings backfill behind retaining walls and bulkheads.  Because of its high friction angle, it is commonly used for slope stability applications.  It has been used as pipe covering in areas with soft soil and in footings and subbase for roads and parking lots. Norlite lightweight structural fill has been successfully placed on many construction sites throughout the Northeastern United States and beyond. 


Advantages of Norlite Lightweight Aggregate in Geotechnical Applications

Design Advantages

  • provides cost effective solutions
  • reduces loads
  • controls settlements
  • increases stability
  • provides free drainage
  • possesses high angle of internal friction
  • provides thermal insulation

Placement Advantages

  • requires no special job site equipment
  • allows all-weather placement
  • eliminates waiting between placing lifts

Other Applications

  • slope stabilization
  • subgrade improvements
  • gas ventilation for landfills


Method of Construction

Lightweight fill can be placed in approximately uniform layers not to exceed 12 inches loose thickness. Each layer shall be compacted using vibratory compaction equipment weighing not more than 12 tons static weight. The actual lift thickness, exact number of passes, and need for vibrating the roller will be determined by the engineer, depending on the project requirements (i.e., strength, compressibility, density) and equipment used. The contractor shall take all necessary precautions during construction activities in operations on or adjacent to the lightweight fill to ensure that the material is not over-compacted. Construction equipment, other than for compaction, shall not operate on the exposed lightweight fill.