Foam Concrete Uses | Advantages and Disadvantages of Foam Concrete

Foam Concrete Uses | Advantages and Disadvantages of Foam Concrete

Foam Concrete Uses | Advantages and Disadvantages of Foam Concrete

Composition of Foam Concrete

Foam concrete, also known as Lightweight Cellular Concrete (LCC), Low Density Cellular Concrete (LDCC), and other designations, is a cement-based slurry that contains at least 20% (by volume) foam.

Because no coarse aggregate is used in the manufacture of foam concrete, the right term is mortar rather than concrete; it may also be referred to as “foamed cement.”

The density of foam concrete is typically between 400 and 1600 kg/m3. Typically, the density is regulated by replacing all or a portion of the fine aggregate with foam.

Composition of Foam Concrete

Foam concrete is created by combining foam with mortar. The mortar is a mixture of cement, sand, and water. As a result, you end up with a lighter mix than “standard” concrete.

The mass, or density (weight per cubic meter), of the mortar is dependent on the amount of foam supplied. The more foam we add, the lighter it becomes, but it also grows weaker.

The “ideal” mixture would have a minimum of 20 MPa and a density of 1000 Kg/m3, however the best results are obtained with 18 MPa and a density of 1200 Kg/m3.

A pure foam concrete without additions typically has a compressive strength of 5-8 MPa and a density of 1000 kg/m3.

The lighter the Foam concrete, the more effective the thermal insulation. Foam concrete is a good building material because to its combination of strength and insulating value.

Foam Concrete Manufacturing

Typically, foamed concrete is made out of a slurry of cement or fly ash, sand, and water, while some vendors propose using pure cement and water in combination with the foaming ingredient for extremely lightweight mixes.

In a concrete mixing plant, this slurry is further combined with a synthetic aerated foam. A foaming agent is combined with water and air generated by a generator to make the foam.

The foaming agent employed must be capable of producing extremely stable air bubbles that are resistant to physical and chemical processes such as mixing, putting, and hardening.

The foamed concrete mixture can be poured or pumped directly into molds or structural parts. Due to the thixotropic nature of the foam bubbles, the foam enables the slurry to flow freely, allowing it to be easily poured into the desired form or mold.

The viscous substance can harden in as little as two hours when steam cured at temperatures up to 70 °C, depending on variables such as ambient temperature and humidity.

When the molded produce has solidified, it can be removed from the mold. A new use in the manufacture of foam concrete is the cutting of large concrete cakes into blocks of various sizes using a cutting machine equipped with specific steel wires. Cutting occurs when the concrete is still malleable.

Foamed Concrete Uses and Applications

Foamed concrete is manufactured in dry densities ranging from 400 to 1600 kg/m3 (25 to 100 lb/ft3), with 7-day strengths ranging from approximately 1 to 10 N/mm2 (145 to 1450 psi).

Foam concrete is fire resistant, and its thermal and acoustic insulation features make it perfect for a variety of applications, ranging from floor and roof insulation to void filling.

Additionally, it is extremely beneficial for trench reinstatement.

Several usages for foam concrete include the following:

  • Pipeline abandonment / annular fill
  • As Precast blocks
  • Trench reinstatement
  • Sub-base in highways
  • Precast wall elements / panels
  • Cast-in-situ / cast-in-place walls
  • Insulation roof screeds
  • Insulating compensation laying
  • Insulation floor screeds
  • Approaches to bridges / embankments
  • Sunken part filling

Advantages and Disadvantages of Foam Concrete

Advantages of Foam Concrete

Foam concrete has many advantages, including;

  1. Foam concrete is a material that is lightweight, easy to work with, and easy to finish. Foam. Foam concrete is a material that is lightweight and easy to work with. For a home improvement project such as building a deck or other area on the property, foam concrete can be a wise choice.
  2. The foam concrete has higher resistance to freezing and thawing.
  3. It is not likely to crack or break easily. Many people have used foam concrete for their homes and the strength of the structure that was built with it is very strong.
  4. It cannot be damaged by welding and grinding as well as by cutting or chiseling process. Although foam concrete may require a few sharp tools (such as a hammers), it can withstand these cuts and grinds quite well without cracking or breaking completely.
  5. The foam concrete structure has excellent load spreading and distributing capability. It is light and can withstand high load spreading.
  6. The foam structure is pliable and easy to work with, therefore making it easy for the user to work on.
  7. It is very cost effective and economical to use foam concrete on building projects such as home improvement projects . Foam concrete does not have any smell like ordinary concrete, its mix can be mixed with any additives (such as color etc) in order to create more attractive colors or other patterns that fit your needs.
  8. The foam concrete has high resistance to fire.
  9. It has good water absorption property. Water absorption is a very good quality for foam concrete. The good water absorption property means that foam concrete is not likely to expand with rainfall or other moisture that may be present in the air around it. However, you can still use foam concrete to make structures.
  10. The foam concrete is waterproof and can withstand water easily.
  11. It does not absorb water when exposed to moisture in the air, thus you can save yourself from a lot of troubles related to molding, rotting or even mildewing issues when you use foam concrete to make your structures on the property.

Disadvantages of Foam Concrete

  1. Foam concrete is difficulty in finishing project.
  2. The process of mixing the concrete is difficult and costs more in terms of labor than that of normal concrete.
  3. The parts for foam concrete are harder to find when compared with ordinary cement or concrete, hence higher cost.
  4. It is difficult to mix and finish the project when it is not supported by proper tools or equipment for mixing and finishing purposes .Also, the pressure is low while mixing foam concrete and hence need special equipment to mix it to achieve an acceptable density during the process .
  5. It is difficult to trace the strength of finished structure during the completion phase.
  6. Since foam concrete is a mixture of different materials, it varies depending on each product (such as sand, cement, water and additives etc).
  7. It may have a problem when applied on uneven surfaces such as roofing, wood and brick etc due to the fact that it does not have a uniform density during the process and hence may splay out sometimes and causes problems in finishing or installation phases of these structures.
  8. Foam concrete has very low compressive strength and hence may not be as strong as normal concrete.
  9. Foam concrete is not as resistant to destructive agents like acid, oils and grease. In order to protect it from these issues, you have to apply protective coat on the surface of foam concrete before usage or installation phase.

Foam Concrete FAQs

What is Foam Concrete used for?

Foam concrete is fire resistant, and its thermal and acoustic insulation features make it perfect for a variety of applications, ranging from floor and roof insulation to void filling. Additionally, it is extremely beneficial for trench reinstatement.

How strong is foam concrete?

Foam Concrete is a versatile material that is potentially the perfect material for any construction. One of the many aspects that makes foam concrete great is how strong it is. The strength of FC is determined by different cementitious materials, cement dosage, mix proportion, water-cement ratio, foam volume, foaming agent, curing method, additive, etc

Foamed concrete can have a wide range of dry densities (400–1600) kg/m3 and compressive strengths (1–25) MPa.

Is foam concrete toxic?

Foam concrete contains no toxic substances that might be harmful.

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