Aerated concrete is a very popular building material for its many qualities. Excellent thermal and sound insulation, 100% non-flammable, light, easy to work, ecological and usable both indoors and outdoors, it never ceases to seduce construction professionals and individuals. However, despite its undeniable strengths, it can have some weaknesses. Let’s take stock of the characteristics of cellular concrete and its possible uses.
What is aerated concrete?
Aerated concrete is a building material composed of sand, cement, water, aluminum powder and air. Ecological in use, it is primarily intended for structural work for its properties. It is resistant, strong, but also very light. On the other hand, its manufacture is not neutral and has some impact on the environment, in particular because of its aluminum content.
Sold in blocks or in cardboard boxes, cellular concrete is made up of concrete microcells which protect it from humidity and prevent capillary rise. Its air-filled composition has earned it its nickname of petrified air and its incomparable lightness. This excellent thermal insulator helps to effectively regulate the ambient humidity. Aerated concrete is also non-flammable. Indeed, its melting point is around 1200 ° C.
Finally, cellular concrete is an affordable material compared to other materials, which is a definite advantage in the construction industry.
The advantages of aerated concrete
Aerated concrete is a material that has several advantages:
- He is light : light thanks to its air capacity, it is very easy to handle, cut and work.
- It is easy to use : its air content makes it possible to work cellular concrete with a large number of tools, but none of specific good. A basic manual saw is sufficient.
- It is an excellent insulator : cellular concrete is a good sound and thermal insulator thanks to its air composition. It is therefore not necessary to apply an additional layer of insulation.
- It is non-flammable : this insulation is completely non-flammable.
The disadvantages of aerated concrete
Despite its strengths, aerated concrete also has drawbacks:
- It is fragile and crumbly : its installation is more difficult than for other materials because of its fragility. In particular, it is essential to use specific fasteners to hang objects on it so as not to crack it.
- It is not neutral for health : some studies claim that cellular concrete is harmful to health and that it is responsible in particular for certain forms of cancer.
What are the possible uses of aerated concrete?
Cellular concrete can be used in many ways, in particular thanks to the fact that it comes in the form of panels, blocks or tiles, the thickness of which varies between 5 and 30 mm. These are assembled using mortar or clip together.
- Aerated concrete can be used for the construction of load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls, ceilings and interior and exterior partitions within the framework of the construction of buildings (individual houses, garages, schools, shops, industrial buildings, offices, hospitals, etc. .).
- It is used for the realization of load-bearing and non-load-bearing lintels.
- It is ideal for humid rooms like kitchens and bathrooms since it is insulating and does not fear humidity.
- Cellular concrete can be used as a support for all types of coatings (tiling, earthenware, paint, paneling, etc.).
- It is used for the design of finishes and fittings within the house. It is used in particular for the production of work plans.
- It is used for the design of original furniture since it is very easy to work and remains very light.