Cellular concrete is a low-density, lightweight concrete made with cement, water and perforated foam. It provides several benefits over regular concrete.
Cellular concrete is made by replacing the stone aggregate used in standard concrete with air bubbles. These tiny bubbles are created by blending foaming agents into the concrete during the mixing process.
Qualities of Cellular Concrete
Cellular concrete offers several desirable qualities:
By controlling the foaming action, it’s possible to manipulate the density of cellular concrete, creating densities that range from 15 to 120 lbs. per cubic foot. Standard concrete has a density of about 145 lbs. per cubic foot and is not aerated like cellular concrete.
Easy to pump
Thanks to its high air content and low density, cellular concrete is easy to pump –even when long distances are involved.
Cellular concrete is light but strong. It is typically stronger than compacted fills or soils, even at its lower densities.
Permeable or non-permeable - cellular concrete offers a broad range of applications because it can be either formulated to stop water penetration OR allow it to drain through the material.
Cellular concrete has excellent flow characteristics. It performs well at filling voids and flowing to form a level surface.
The air bubbles captured in cellular concrete give the material much better insulating qualities than other masonry materials.
When to use cellular concrete
Standard concrete is a dense, heavy material – and those qualities are advantageous in many applications such as footings, foundation walls and floor slabs.
Cellular concrete is a very versatile material because it’s possible to control the material’s density and permeability. It can be precast and pumped.
Here are a few of the applications possible with this lightweight, but strong, material.
When weak soil is encountered, pouring or injecting cellular concrete enables technicians to significantly improve soil load-bearing qualities.
Cellular concrete can be injected into the soil or applied as a fill material, achieving a compressive strength as high as 3000psi.
Other geotechnical applications include:
- Backfill for tunnels and retaining walls
- Annular grouting for tunnels
- Fill for bridge approaches
- Fill for sinkholes and abandoned underground tanks
- Fill for pipelines and mines
Annular grout for tunnels, water and sewer lines.
Ground improvement for building structures.
Bridge approach and landslip repair fills,