Insulated Concrete Forms for R-28 Walls
3⅛" thick Insulated Concrete Forms create extra strong and super-efficient building shells designed to meet & exceed the latest building science recommendations and Energy Code requirements.
The new 3" Panels are a Better Value with almost 30% more insulation and 20% higher strength.
The key design features of the 3" Panels include:
- Higher strength for a worry-free concrete pour with internal vibration
- Wide-open cavity allows better concrete flow and easy consolidation, the critical requirement in all concrete forming
- Slots molded into tops and bottoms for 2" metal track reduces thermal bridging
- 3" Corner Panels (QPX3Corner) with pre-molded recesses speed up installation
The 3" Panels deliver another great option to get the insulation of the building envelope to the optimal value for the local climate and other job-specific requirements. For example, you can build R-22, 8" concrete walls for the basement and easily transition to R-28, 6" concrete walls above grade - with the same overall wall thickness throughout! 3" Panels work with most ICF accessories and Quad-Lock's standard Ties, 2" Metal Track, Wire Top Ties, and Corner Brackets.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is the 3" Panel already available?
Yes, it is available now from our plants in North America and is manufactured under the same ISO certified quality management systems.
- Why is the 3" Panel stronger?
Because of thicker EPS (Expanded Polystyrene), the 3" Panels (item QPX3) have about 20% more strength regarding deflection and breakage. Greater thickness results in much higher resistance to the strong bending moment that concrete under vibration exerts on concrete forms.
- What EPS density and Class is the 3" Panel?
The 3" Panels are the same density as the PLUS panels (nominal 1.44 lbs/ft3 or 23 kg/m3) which is EPS Board Type II per ASTM C578 (USA) or Type 2 per CAN/ULC-S701 (Canada).
- Are 3" Panels the same dimension as other Quad-Lock panels? QPX3 panels are 3⅛ inch [79mm] thick, but still 12 inches high by 48 inches long like our other panels. The 3" Corner Panels are about ⅛" longer.
- Do the same ties work with 3" Panels?
Yes. The ties fit the same way, and actual concrete thicknesses are 4", 6", 8", 10", and 12" using standard ties (¼" more than with QPX2 and PLUS panels). As with the R-30 configuration, use plastic ties 2" longer than with QPX2 (e.g. order Yellow “FTY8” ties for a 6" concrete thickness). Use our online ICF Quotes for quick take-offs.
- Do the Corner Brackets work with the 3" Panels?
Yes. On the outside of the corner, use the recessed QPX3Corner panels and the Outside Corner Brackets will fit. On the inside of the corner, normal QPX3 are cut to create the desired concrete cavity - same concept as usual. For angles, two QPX3 panels are mitered, just like other Quad-Lock panels, for the Angle Brackets and ties to fit.
- How many QPX3Corner panels are needed? QPX3Corner panels are used on the outside or 'long side' of corners and, as usual, they are cut in half for every other course (to start the running bond). So for a 8' tall corner, you need 1 bag or 4 panel pairs. Use our online ICF Quotes for quick take-offs.
- Is there a 3" metal track to go with the QPX3? No. All 3" Panels have special slots molded top and bottom to accommodate the standard 2¼" track size. Wire Top Ties can interlock with the top-track and need to be ordered 2" wider than the desired concrete cavity (e.g. order WTT8 for a 6" concrete thickness) - see online ICF Quotes.
- How do we figure out the track spacing with the 3" Panels?
Add 1 ¾ inches to the cavity size and space tracks from inside face to inside face.
- Can we still build radius and angled walls with the 3" Panels?
Yes, by following the same 'score & bend' method as with other Quad-Lock panels.
Will the 3" Panels interlock with the other panels?
- How are the 3" Panels packaged?
There are four panel pairs (8 panels) in a bag, which have Red print for QPX3 and Purple for QPX3Corners so it's easy to identify contents (all panel varieties have different bag colors).
- How much fits in a truck?
When stuffed full, around 5,100 sqft of QPX3, ties, and track should fit in a 53' Dry-Van trailer.
- Will the 2¼" thick panels (QPX2) still be available?
Yes. There are no plans to discontinue the 2" thick panels, however, the 3" Panels offers a much better value and a more robust concrete form, so we recommend the 3" Panels for most applications and customers.
- Do I have to use the QPX3Corner panels at all 90° corners?
- Do I have to order the QPX3Corner panels at all? No, if you can work around the 1/8" recess resulting from the 1-inch-cut method (see above). The QPX3Corner panels are intended to provide even EPS surfaces at corners and to speed up installation.
- Can the recessed QPX3Corner panels be used in areas of the wall other than the corners? It's not recommended, because they are a bit longer than all other panels, offer less insulation at the recesses, and concrete will protrude into the EPS and impede utility runs. Above openings with internal bucks, the recesses create a hole next to the buck that would need to be closed.
- Can the 3" Panels be combined with the other Quad-Lock panels on opposite sides of the wall? Yes, but it's not recommended because an odd cavity size (5", 7", etc.) and R-value will result. For example, with QPX3 on the interior and PLUS panels on the exterior, you get R-33 for the wall assembly and a nominal 7" concrete thickness using Green “FTG10” ties.
- How is the R-Value of the 3" Panel wall assembly calculated? The R-Value of a QPX3 wall assembly is R-28 as calculated per ASTM standards at 75˚F (per advertising laws). Please note that the ASHRAE Handbook allows using higher R-Values for EPS, especially under colder conditions, in contrast to many other insulation materials that perform worse than advertised when heating or cooling is actually required.