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Foam concrete blocks – rather new material which thanks to the properties and technical characteristics has held a firm place in modern construction. Make blocks from cement slurry, water, sand and special foaming agent. Use of foam-concrete blocks allows to provide high warm and sound insulation of the building, and the various sizes and the prices of foam concrete blocks do it by one of the most convenient and available construction materials.
Advantages of foam-concrete blocks
In spite of the fact that there are also minuses, pluses of foam-concrete blocks have allowed to receive to this material great popularity.
Let’s consider in more detail positive characteristics of foam concrete blocks:
- high strength of material – foam concrete blocks without problems can be used for construction of buildings up to 9 m high. Their durability on compression can fluctuate from 3.5 MPas to 5 MPas depending on the brand of the producer and technical purpose;
- low density – foam concrete blocks by 2-4 times less dense, than, for example, claydite. It considerably facilitates their transportation, storage and also process of work with them. Technical indicators for this material fluctuate from 400kg/m to 1600kg/m that practically corresponds to wood array density;
- low heat conductivity is one of the main advantages of this construction material. The heat-insulating properties foam concrete blocks several times exceed clay bricks. The standard wall which is laid out from foam concrete blocks of the same kind at thickness from 60 cm to 80 cm, keeps heat also well, as well as brick;
- high sound insulation of material – foam concrete blocks have honeycomb thanks to what perfectly absorb sound. In big cities where noise – the constant irritating factor, it is big advantage before other construction materials;
- high moisture-proofness of material – according to the established standards, foam concrete blocks are produced so that they had no open time. Thanks to it they are capable to stay without damage in water more than 7 days;
- high resistance to frosts – the same honeycomb provides resistance of material to very low temperatures. In micropores water can freeze or migrate, without putting damages to foam concrete block;
- high fire resistance of material – foam concrete blocks do not burn, do not support burning process. Moreover, blocks show resistance to fire and are capable to constrain it till 8 o’clock. But even if to heat such block to very high temperature, the emitted substances will not be toxic and will not do harm to the environment;
- homogeneous structure of material – thanks to the finely porous structure on all material thickness, such blocks can be subjected to any machining, for example, to drilling, gouging and even sawing.
Now this construction material is widely used for:
- Constructions of designs of any complexity and also load bearing walls. Materials with the greatest density are for this purpose applied.
- Constructions of the constructional and heat-insulating products and designs which are not bearing on themselves loading. In this case necessary density fluctuates within 600-1100 kg/m³.
- Creations of heat-insulating products and warming of floors. Material consistency values for this purpose have to be minimum as in this case heat-insulating properties are highest.
Foam concrete blocks or gas-blocks. What it is better?
How to understand that it is better for construction: foam concrete block or gas-block? Both make of foam mortar – cellular material. But they have number of distinctive characteristics. To understand to what option to give preference, it is possible, having considered and having estimated differences between them.
Visually it is very simple to distinguish the gas-block from foam concrete block:
- Foam concrete block has smooth, plain surface of light color.
- The gas-block has relief, rough surface of white color.
For a start we will understand what components are part of gas-blocks and foam concrete blocks. And what defines differences in their characteristics.
Are part of foam concrete blocks: water, cement, lime, production waste, for example, blast furnace slag, and, of course, the component forming foam. Most often it is sulphidic leach.
Are necessary for production of gas-blocks: water, quartz sand, cement, lime, aluminum paste. Many with mistrust treat use of the last component in the course of production as this element is hazardous to health. But it is important to know that in processing of its part are dissolved therefore ready blocks do not pose any threat.
Production of these materials also has number of essential differences, than and different technical characteristics are caused.
Features of production of foam concrete blocks:
- All components mix up with addition of special filler for formation of foam. Mixing of concrete and foam happens mechanically.
- Hardening of ready structure happens under natural conditions.
Production of foam concrete blocks – process inexpensive. For this reason often businessmen of average link, persons interested to construct the business, but not really well understanding requirements to construction materials undertake it. As result – finished products quite often have essential deviations in sizes and uneven surface. It negatively affects quality of laying.
Features of production of gas-blocks:
- Honeycomb – result of chemical reaction between the main components.
- Processing in autoclave installation gives to finished products additional durability.
Production of gas concrete – the expensive process demanding large number of the equipment therefore make such blocks only at the specialized plants. All products turn out almost ideal that considerably facilitates and accelerates further construction.
Advantages of foam concrete:
- has close pores and absorbs moisture less;
- smaller cost of material.
Advantages of gas concrete:
- is more long-lasting;
- the best heat insulation;
- higher quality of the made products.
So, if you are ready for considerable expenses to build the long-lasting house, gas concrete – the fact that it is necessary for you. Expensively? Yes. Qualitatively? Too yes. But you should not forget that, having paid due attention to the choice of blocks from foam concrete and also having leveled insignificant errors by means of cement slurry, you can receive practically the same material on quality as gas concrete, but at the same time considerably you will save.
It is very simple to be convinced of it – to study in global network the offered sizes and the prices of foam concrete blocks apiece enough. To tell unambiguously that better – foam concrete or gas concrete – it is difficult, but anyway both materials are great options for construction.
Material selection. Sizes and prices of foam concrete blocks
When choosing foam-concrete blocks, the sizes and the prices – the first what usually pay attention to. How to orient in them and to choose quality material?
Depending on scope of application, blocks can be separated into two extensive groups – for wall construction and for creation of internal partitions. In the first case use of foam concrete blocks 20х30х60 is recommended. Piece price will depend on strength indices and heat-insulating properties specified on packaging.
For construction of internal partitions traditionally use blocks of 10х30х60 cm.
Having decided on the producer, the sizes and the prices of foam concrete blocks, it is possible to make the order. But how to understand what amount of material is necessary for you? In this case the quantity is measured by cubes.
As example, we will count how many pieces of foam concrete blocks 200х300х600 cubed. It is obvious that the sizes are specified in millimeters, but as we speak about cubic meters, and measurements of the block need to be transferred in meters – 0.2 m x 0.3 m x 0.6 m. Total, leaves that one block contains 0.036 m³. Simple calculations show that in one cubic meter of 27.78 pieces.
The house from foam concrete blocks: pluses and minuses
Having started construction of the house, first of all there is question: what material for this purpose to choose. Whether it is worth choosing foam concrete blocks if you want to construct full-fledged residential building? Having considered all advantages and shortcomings of this construction material, having studied photo and projects of houses from foam concrete blocks which are widely provided to Internet networks you will be able to decide on the choice.
Advantages of use of foam concrete blocks in construction:
- foam concrete is opportunity to save on construction. In addition to the low price of material, such house does not demand construction of the powerful base: blocks are very easy, and the weight of the building will be much less, than, for example, brick buildings;
- it is possible to build the house of foam concrete blocks very quickly and own efforts. Wall construction speed from this material is much higher, than from the same red brick, and does not demand special skills;
- foam concrete blocks – environmentally friendly material. The main making components for its production – water, sand and cement. Of course, special impurity are also used, but their percent is so small that it will not affect your health in any way;
- ease in processing. Use of foam concrete blocks for construction of the house allows to make easily adjustment of material for creation of difficult designs. Will not make big work to build in in such wall electrical wiring and even water pipes;
- excellent ventilation – thanks to high environmental friendliness and honeycomb of material, wall from foam concrete block will breathe;
- resistance to changes of temperature. Living in strip with changeable climate, in selection process of construction material it is necessary to consider its ability to resist to influence of external factors. Foam concrete equally well transfers impact of strong winds, frosts and big heat, at the same time maintaining indoors optimum temperature;
- foam concrete blocks provide excellent noise isolation that is important if you build the house in the city.
Helpful advice! After the construction is completed, for finishing of walls it is possible to use not only usual plaster or decorative structures for finishing of facades. Perfectly the special tile, natural or artificial stone looks.
Shortcomings of use of foam concrete blocks of construction:
- fragility and fragility. Of course, you should not calculate that the house from foam concrete blocks will stay 200 years. Over time, after shrinkage, in walls cracks can appear;
- fragility – this shortcoming is noticeable even prior to construction. When transporting blocks can be damaged easily;
- poor made foam concrete blocks can imbibe by water as sponge;
- there is probability that eventually material will change the structure. Impact of carbon dioxide on cement can lead to formation of chalk. Shrinkage in the block results, and the design becomes more brittle.
How to avoid possible difficulties and unpleasant effects of construction of the house from foam concrete?
In order that the built house has served to you as long as possible, even prior to its construction it is important to know several rules of the choice and work with this material. Considering these councils, you will be able to use most effectively merits of foam concrete block and to minimize shortcomings of its application.
Today there is a lot of producers of foam concrete, but, unfortunately, the purpose of most of them – easy money. It inevitably leads to production of huge amount of low-quality material. Therefore before buying foam concrete blocks for construction, study available information on the producer.
Helpful advice! Choosing foam concrete block, surely perform its careful inspection regarding cracks or oily stains. These are signs of poor quality of material. Having broken one block, be convinced of uniformity of its structure.
As for construction process, the shortcomings here existing can be neutralized by combination of materials. Perfectly the brick approaches for this purpose. From it it is possible to lay out load bearing walls that will allow to distribute loading evenly. In this case it is possible to use both normal, and decorative brick. So, the design will turn out stronger, and at the same time will keep all advantages of foam concrete. Also quite often do extensions of foam concrete blocks to wooden houses.
Further to avoid emergence of cracks in walls, special attention should be paid also to the base. It is better to put it from monolithic plate, using for this purpose special monolithic tape with small deepening. Additional reinforcing will also positively affect quality of construction.
For increase in durability of walls of future house use special glue which layer is put between blocks for their best fastening. At the same time it is not recommended to apply mix of sand and cement as thickness of seam should not exceed 3 mm instead of glue, otherwise sound-proof and heat-insulating material properties considerably will decrease.
Helpful advice! During laying you watch that between blocks there was no emptiness left. Carefully fill with glue all vertical and horizontal joints. It will help to avoid additional heatlosses.
Councils for construction and also projects of one-storey buildings from foam concrete blocks are presented on the specialized websites. In the same place it is possible to find the recommendations about the choice of construction materials, the sizes of foam concrete blocks and creation of the base.
It is important to understand that construction of the house begins at stage of the choice and purchase of construction materials therefore it is better to approach this process with all responsibility. Then, having considered all pluses and minuses of foam concrete blocks, having strengthened the base and also using accessory materials in work, you can not be afraid for quality of the built house. Foam concrete blocks will present to your dwelling heat, will provide you comfort and cosiness for many years ahead.
Construction of baths from foam-concrete blocks
Foam concrete blocks – the universal material suitable for construction not only residential buildings. Video of step-by-step construction of bath from foam concrete blocks the hands perfectly shows it. But use of this construction material for construction of highly specialized buildings has the features and is widely discussed at forums.
According to responses, the bath from foam concrete blocks demands additional waterproofing and heat insulation. Otherwise because of the increased humidity the risk of emergence of cracks in walls is high. Having read responses of owners of baths from foam concrete block, you will be able to gain complete idea of advantages and shortcomings of such choice.