NCFI Polyurethanes and the Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Business

Using TerraThane products for lifting concrete pavement of I-85 in Atlanta, a Hayward Baker project.

Using TerraThane products for lifting concrete pavement of I-85 in Atlanta, a Hayward Baker project.

NCFI Polyurethanes’ TerraThane Product Line Quickly and Quietly Improving Bottom Line for North American Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Businesses

MOUNT AIRY, NC—The distinctly American company, NCFI Polyurethanes, is known for pioneering innovative, improved, and unique uses for one of their main product offerings: polyurethane foam. Since the company’s scientists and engineers began formulating polyurethane foam back in 1967, other chemical systems companies have been saying, “wonder what they’ll come up with next?” So, it was really more of a “holy cow” moment in the 1990s when NCFI began formulating foam systems for geotechnical uses: highway and roadway repair, bridge approach repair, concrete lifting, leveling and void fill. And it’s no surprise that like all NCFI product lines, TerraThane geotechnical foam is quietly changing the way entire industries work for the better.

TerraThane concrete lifting“We’ve replaced old-line products in many industries with TerraThane,” says Patrick Burchett, NCFI’s Geotechnical Product Manager. “In mudjacking we’re replacing the old ‘mud’ slurry with a pumped or injected polyurethane foam. Foamjacking is a much cleaner application, requires far less slab downtime for those companies doing roadways, bridge approach repair, and concrete slab lifting, leveling and void filling. They complete their jobs quicker and with less clean-up time. Most state departments of transportations have embraced the use of polyurethane. It’s making a major difference in how the bottom line looks to companies using the product in the field.

Example of using TerraThane as a trench breaker, or pipeline pad/pillow“In the pipeline industry, TerraThane replaces the old sandbag method of creating a trench breaker, or pipeline pad/pillow. TerraThane does it quicker, and doesn’t breakdown, or erode over time like sandbags. Plus, it’s monolithic with the pipeline and surrounding soil. TerraThane gives pipeline contractors a more efficient and financially effective tool to do their jobs.”

Burchett says he’s not surprised TerraThane is taking off the way it is, but he is always surprised when people call his company “revolutionary” or “groundbreaking.” He says NCFI’s involvement in changing the business of geotech is the same as how they changed home and commercial insulation businesses with their flagship InsulStar and InsulBloc closed-cell SPF products, “We don’t think in terms of how what we do will benefit us as a company, instead we think of how we can use our 45-plus years of experience, knowledge, and people to make work and life better for those we serve.” He adds, “People say we ‘quietly’ change things and I guess that’s closer to the truth. We’re not doing handstands saying hey look at us, we’re too busy studying ways we can use our knowledge of polyurethane to help customers save money and make money.’

TerraThane used as a substitute for conventional trench backfillBurchett says the NCFI executive team is focused on innovation. “I guess you see our success as a game-changer for entire industries from the 30,000 feet view, but down here we’re laser-focused on creating and/or innovating products to meet needs, and doing what is takes to support our customers. When we do that—like in geotech—customers come to us, and when they run through the product adoption lifecycle, TerraThane makes them more successful and the industry changes around them and us for the better.”

Besides the uses mentioned by Burchett, TerraThane is in high demand for backfill and void fill, soil and rock stabilization, encasement, post and pole setting, crack and joint sealing, and mine reclamation.

The company is headquartered in N.C., has manufacturing plants in UT, GA, and another in NC, and 14 distribution facilities across the U.S.


For more information or to arrange an interview on this subject contact Dale McGlothlin, (202) 341-8615


NCFI, headquartered in Mount Airy, NC since 1964, manufactures polyurethane foam chemical systems for spray foam-in-place insulation (SPF), roofing, geotechnical, marine floatation, packaging, specialty molding, and many other uses. The company also offers a complete line of flexible foams for furniture seating, transportation seating, bedding, carpet underlay, and packaging. NCFI also has manufacturing plants in Hickory, N.C., Dalton, GA., and Salt Lake City, UT. To learn more about NCFI please visit, or


  1. Way to go NCFI! Glad to see them finally talking about [b]TerraThane[/b], though I didn’t know it has been around since the 90s. It’s def the future of concrete highway lifting, and looks like void fill and pipeline services work too. I’m a big fan of this company. They’ve never let me down and their tech people show up on my job sites to make sure the application works.

  2. Hi, Raymond. You can get in touch with NCFI through their website, [url=][/url] or [url=][/url].

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