Miguel Prieto Rábade
During the last decades there is an increasing trend towards the use of lightweight materials in constructions and infrastructures. In that sense concrete is a material with an intermediate density of around 2400 kg/m3.
With a view of having lightweight concrete, different strategies to decrease its density can be adopted such as the use of lightweight aggregates or a controlled introduction of air/gas into the concrete mix. The latter is utilized for cellular lightweight concrete (CLC). In CLC the air is introduced in the form of a foam either created by proteins or tensides, which is then mixed with concrete or cement paste.
The density of CLC can range between 120 kg/m3 to 2000 kg/m3, depending on the amount of foam used. The mechanical performance of CLC decreases with the decrease of its density as a result of the increase in porosity. In order to take advantage of the physical properties of the lightweight CLC, such as good acoustic and thermal insulation, and to mitigate the weak mechanical performance, CLC can be mixed with different types of fibers. CLC can also be used to create a composite element using another materials to withstand the loads. These materials can be metallic (structural steel), fiber reinforced polymers (FRP), ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) among others materials.
CLC can be utilized in a variety of ways. It is used for making composites more lightweight but has also good thermal and acoustic insulation properties. CLC is non-flammable, can be pumped and is cost effective.
If you are curious we can give further information and provide the following expertise:
You will find a competent partner with RISE, which has an unique environment for research, development and certification of CLC and CLC composite materials being the owner of a testbed for such materials. Our expertise on these topics has been built up through years of research and development. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in this fascinating cellular lightweight concrete.