As far as construction goes in terms of efficacy and decent results, it’s all about the materials you use. Having the necessary advantage when it comes to ensuring a strong foundation and sturdy finished product involves a strong and trusting correspondence between the construction companies, the designing engineer as well as the project manager. Deciding between something as miniscule as a cork filler board or a polyethylene alternative for your worksite can make or break the entire concept.

Today we will explore the differences between a cork filler board and its alternative and quickly explore just how important it is to maintain a communicative discussion between all points of a worksite to ensure a smooth and successful project.

A Cork Filler Board and A Polyethylene Expansion Joint

While they perform the same basic function, there are minor differences to think about when considering a cork filler board. The idea behind them is to provide an adequate buffer between concrete joints to reduce the risk of cracking and promote a more supported and stable build, especially in situations where temperature plays a massive factor, the material chosen for a project should consider the possibility of expansion and contraction of concrete materials and adjust their decision accordingly.

This is where a cork filler board comes in handy, being a naturally malleable substance that can be toughened with treatment, it was the natural choice for many years. The cork filler board was able to expand and contract with the concrete slabs they were placed in with little to no issue. A Cork filler board also has incredible durability as it pertains to water pressure and heavyweights, which is paramount when considering the placement of the material.

On the other side, the closed-cell polyethylene alternative is the new kid on the block. The non-absorbency nature of the material makes it suitable for some projects that the cork filler board simply isn’t. The polyethylene expansion’s unique features make it perfect for water retention or exclusion. This is especially advantageous for structures where hazardous liquids containing chlorine, salt, or sewerage are present.

Communication Is Key

cork filler board

Using this as an example, we can quickly saunter through why communication is key for a worksite between the Design Manager and Project Engineer. On a worksite that will involve the placement of concrete blocks, the matter of what to place as a buffer between joints will come down to the project engineer, in most respects, the project engineer will decide whether to use a cork filler board or a polyethylene alternative, depending on the various factors of what is being built.

The quality and quantity of the material are usually discussed by the engineer with the project manager and financier, but special attention should always be paid to the expertise of the engineer. If they recommend a cork filler board, chances are there is a specific reason for doing so. It’s up to the manager to oversee and ensure the whole project is running smoothly and meeting the business objectives of the project.

Having a clear and concise communications channel between the two parties of a building team will make for a much smoother experience, especially in the design and material procreation stages as it sets the tone for the entire project. Without proper communication, a polyethylene joint could arrive accidentally instead of a cork filler board and, without the proper communication between the engineer and manager, could irrevocably damage the whole project in the long run.

The moral of the story is, communication is essential for a strong foundation.