Foam Geometrix

At the tail end of Vankleek Hill’s industrial park, you will find one of Prescott and Russell’s most innovative companies: Foam Geometrix.

Back when it was founded in 2001, the appropriately-named company aimed at providing a new, modern solution to a long-existing need.

In the grand scheme of things, Foam Geometrix and its innovative way of doing things have impacted your life one way or another. You’re just not aware of it.

So, what does Foam Geometrix do, exactly? President Jeff MacDonald shed some light on the field of mold manufacturing.

“What we do is cut styrofoam, or expanded polystyrene (EPS), with hot-wire machines. The cut pieces have been designed and are then assembled to be used in pre-cast molds for the refractory industry.”

Foam Geometrix’s custom pieces come in all shapes and sizes. Once at destination, a special refractory cement is cast inside, creating a perfectly-designed, heat-and-abrasion resistant piece.

“The other thing we do is design and make formwork for construction projects. They are used for casting cement when building structures.”

Why use an EPS mold instead of the classic wood or steel molds?

According to MacDonald, what makes their product appealing is the simplicity it brings at the casting stage. Foam Geometrix’s molds don’t need to be disassembled, cleaned and put together again every time a new piece is needed. If a client needs to cast two pieces, two EPS molds will be made.

As for construction formwork, a grand example of Foam Geometrix’s work can be seen on the Ottawa Airport Parkway pedestrian bridge, with its unique concrete structure.

“That design was very tricky to do with traditional methods. It was much easier to do with our hot-wire equipment.”

Foam Geometrix’s pieces are cut using a large, computer-controlled wire that moves in X and Y axis. The wire is eight feet long and made of titanium.

This method is very precise, allowing for 1/16th of an inch of precision or more.

As of Spring 2018, Foam Geometrix’s team is comprised of five people.

“One nice thing about this place is that everybody pretty much does everything. We have a hot-wire cutter, we have a designer, someone for shipping and receiving… But I could run the hot-wire machine if need be. At lot of us are flexible that way.”

Even though their clientele is varied and scattered, Foam Geometrix has always been local. Their first offices were in Hawkesbury but eventually, as they grew, they decided to build their own custom space in Vankleek Hill.

“We always liked the area. We were well received by the township and the price was right. All the services we needed were already here.”

Being close to the 417 means the company is also conveniently close to trucking routes and their Montreal and Ottawa clients.

In terms of supplies, MacDonald stated that most of what they need could be found in Hawkesbury or L’Orignal, neighbours both.

“This is where we all live and this is where we want to do business.”

More information and pictures of Foam Geometrix’s recent endeavours can be found on their website, foamgeometrix.ca.
Bridge at the Ottawa International Airport which a FoamGeometrix structure was used
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