Cellular concrete is one of those products that seem to be made to solve a lot of structural problems and also meet the needs of the passionate hobbyists and DIY.
The cellular concrete is an innovative material which is obtained, in an autoclave, a mixture of water, silica sand, cement and lime.
The porous structure of cellular concrete makes it easily processable without the use of expensive tools and being also much lighter than the conventional bricks is relatively easy to transport while maintaining an enviable compressive strength; But these features are just some of those who make the cellular concrete is the ideal material especially for interior work (though with foamed concrete blocks you can also build supporting walls of a house).
As we said, the other features that make it an ideal material of cellular concrete are the high level of insulation, a good accumulation of heat that makes you that it always maintained a balanced temperature inside the house, a good vapor diffusion capacity , another very important feature for a pleasant and healthy climate in the home.
But the advantages are not yet finished: it is in fact a flame retardant material and resistant to heat, has a good absorption capacity of noises even without the use of other anti-noise insulating materials, has a low absorption of the Aqua, compared to other of capillary type structures, thanks to the closed pores of its inner structure, has a low sensitivity to frost and, finally, is a material that is destined to a long duration not feel i.e an organic material (such as wood).
This would be enough list of chemical and physical qualities to seriously consider the use of cellular concrete; But the feature that most interested the hobbyist is certainly its ease of installation and its easy workability.
Cellular concrete is a material that forgives mistakes and that is why it is a suitable material to non-experts; you can saw off the blocks with a simple wood saw, you can blunt scraping away the excess margins, glued with special glue almost without leaving visible seams, and if you did not succeed on the first try, you can simply start over!
We have already said that it does not require the use of expensive instruments to be installed nor special skills. Certainly you have to have no idea what are the steps to get a straight wall but once you know this is done by preparing the special glue, sawing our blocks with a normal Ripsaw, spread the adhesive with the special toothed trowel and you’re done .
The necessary amount of cellular concrete plaster minimum thanks to the almost perfect alignment of the wall that is going to get and the same applies to the glue for the tiles whose pose is, also in this case, greatly facilitated.
What then? If you have a project in the drawer to your home and have always left it airborne for example lack of funds or because you thought a bricklaying too complex, perhaps it is time to take it back in his hand.
What can be done with cellular concrete? We said from the main structure of the house as far as the internal partitions, you can create a library of masonry, built-in kitchen of your dreams and perfectly customized, angle bars and so much more, every project becomes accessible with cellular concrete.
The truth of standard and special sizes cover the most common needs; some manufacturers even provide arches already ready for the creation of arched doors and windows.
Developed in Sweden in the late 1920s, the aerated concrete is a lightweight building material precast concrete that is produced under high pressure in special ovens called autoclaves. Although the cellular concrete has been used successfully in most of the world since the end of World War II, only recently it has been made of a brand made a mark in the United States.
What makes this different material is that it contains millions of microscopic cells that are generated during the manufacturing process. In addition, the cellular concrete, unlike many other products in concrete, can be drilled, sawed, chiseled, nailed or screwed using conventional carpentry tools.
Although different formulas are used for the production, basic raw materials are Portland cement, lime, aluminum powder, water, and a large part of silica-rich material usually sand or fly ash. Once the raw materials are mixed into a dough and poured into molds, the aluminum powder reacts chemically to create millions of tiny hydrogen gas bubbles. These microscopic cells, forcing the material to expand to nearly twice its original volume, similar to the leavening of bread dough. After a setting time from 30 minutes to 4 hours, the material is transferred into an autoclave for curing.
The autoclave uses high pressure steam at temperatures of about 356°F (180°C) to accelerate the hydration of the cement and stimulate a second chemical reaction that gives this material for the building its strength, stiffness and dimensional stability. The final products are usually arranged on pallets and ready to be transported directly on the construction site.
Cellular concrete, which is about a quarter of the weight of traditional concrete, is available in blocks, wall panels and roof, door and ceiling. Each of these products can be realized in a varied range of sizes depending on the specific applications, allowing for maximum efficiency and flexibility in the construction. Cellular concrete can be used for all types of structures ranging from single-family houses to large industrial complexes.
The cellular concrete is an inert substance, non-toxic, which requires a low energy consumption of the manufacturing process and that does not release polluting substances. Perhaps the most significant advantage of the use environment of the cellular concrete is that the fly ash can be used as components rich in silica. The electric utility industry generates more than 50 million tons of fly ash every year, only a fraction of which can be recycled.
And also, reasonably resistant to frost and resistant to sulphates, this allows that it can be used around the world in all climatic zones and for a wide range of applications. When used outdoors, the cellular concrete is normally protected by stucco or other protective coatings.
The cellular concrete is also an inorganic material, to 100 percent at the test parasites and resistant to rot and mildew.