Material with the name “foam concrete” is used in construction for a variety of purposes. In this material we will consider the types of foam concrete.
Foamed concrete history
An architect from Sweden, A. Eriksson, received the technology of manufacturing concrete with parameters inherent in wood at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1924, this technology received an international patent and an official recognition. Industrial production of autoclaved cellular concrete in 1929 began in Sweden. Since that time the use of foam concrete in construction has begun. Today in the world there are more than 250 plants for the production of autoclaved aerated concrete in more than 40 countries. Which produce a variety of types of foam concrete. The volume of output exceeds 51 million cubic meters. m. of products per year. This branch of building materials is developing quite dynamically, which, in the conditions of fierce competition, led to the creation of high-quality building materials, which are in great demand all over the world.
Cellular concrete was used in Russia in the mid-fifties of the last century. But until recently, this material in Russia was used mainly as a heater for roofs and less often – in industrial construction. In private housing construction foam concrete began to be used only in the early 90’s. Residential houses, in which various types of foam concrete are used, are distinguished by a high level of comfort.
Different types of foam concrete
Foam is a lightweight cellular concrete obtained as a result of hardening of a mortar, which consists of cement, sand, water and foam. Foam provides the necessary content and even distribution of air bubbles in the concrete. Foam is usually obtained from a foam concentrate (foaming agent). As a blowing agent, various organic and inorganic compounds are used. They are obtained on the basis of natural protein, or in the production of detergents.
Foam concrete is inexpensive, economical, durable, environmentally friendly, biologically resistant, environmentally friendly to wood, but at the same time it is not flammable and durable. In many countries foam blocks are called “bioblock”, because only environmentally friendly and natural materials are used as raw materials for their production. Foam concrete combines the advantages of stone and wood: strength, lightness, heat resistance and does not need compatibility with other building materials. He plastered, finished with lining and other finishing materials, painted façade and interior paints. The ability to produce foam concrete of the required specific gravity, the given strength, the necessary heat resistance, the desired shape and volume make it attractive for the production of a huge kind of building products. Different types of foam concrete can be used as a structural or thermal insulation material. From the standpoint of durability, foam concrete unlike mineral wool or foam, losing its properties over time, improves its insulation and mechanical characteristics.
Different types of foam concrete are divided according to the following characteristics:
- According to their functional purpose foam concrete is divided into three groups: heat-insulating; heat-insulating-structural and constructional.
- By type of binder. In the technology of production of foam concrete as a binder, mainly use cements and lime, less often gypsum.
- According to the type of silica component. The most frequently used quartz sand, as well as fly ash – after combustion of coal, metal ash and waste of alumina production.
- The method of solidification is divided into non-autoclave, providing steaming, electric heating or other types of warming at normal pressure and autoclave, which harden at elevated pressure and temperature.
Advantages of foam concrete
Housing with the use of foam concrete has increased comfort and the following performance characteristics:
- in the house walls “breathe” and do not sweat
- in winter the walls keep warm, in summer – coolness
- there is no “cold bridge”
- excellent sound insulation up to 60 db.
- energy saving for heating
- energy savings for air conditioning
- perfectly-level surface for any type of finish
- high temperature resistance
- excellent workability
Materials for the production of foam concrete
The binder for cement foam concrete is usually portland cement. In the production of autoclave foam concrete, quicklime is also used.
The silica component (ground quartz sand, thermal power ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag) reduces the costs of binder, shrinkage of foam concrete and improves the quality of the final product. Quartz sand is usually ground by a wet method and applied in the form of sand slurry. Grinding increases the specific surface area of the siliceous component and increases its chemical activity.
All types of foam concrete are produced by mixing separately prepared mixtures of solutions and foam, which is air bubbles. The solution is obtained from a binder (cement or some kind of lime) of the siliceous component and ordinary water.
The foam is prepared in foam generators either by means of pumps with a centrifugal mechanism from a mixture of water and a foaming agent. The foaming agent contains surfactants. Just foam can be obtained directly using the installation for foam concrete. The different types of foam concrete contain glue-knifol, tarosapoin or aluminosulfo- naphthenic, organic and synthetic blowing agents.
Any questions or comments?
The production of modern building materials is not necessarily a large production hall, high pipes and clouds of contaminants. And the equipment for this production, too, need not necessarily be produced by the giants of the machine-building industry … Without reducing the merits of other building materials, I would like to draw attention to various types of foam concrete. Developed back in the early 30-ies of the last century, now this material is experiencing a second birth.
Our technical developments, the scarcity of staff and the almost complete absence of overheads make the cost of our equipment 30-40% lower than the cost of similar installations where it is possible to obtain various types of foam concrete sold on the construction machinery market today. The number of parts and automation equipment is minimized, therefore in the installation there are no nodes that create the danger of any frequent breakdown. We will be glad to answer all your questions and suggestions.
The first installation for the production of foam concrete we assembled in 2005 and since then we have been working on it without any malfunctions. Each installation for the foam concrete that we produce passes through our testing and running-in, which gives additional reasons to guarantee the reliability of our equipment in which there is practically nothing to break.