Aerated concrete is a building material that is highly valued for its many qualities. Excellent thermal and sound insulation, 100% non-flammable, light, easy to work with, ecological and usable indoors and outdoors, it continues to appeal to construction professionals and private individuals. However, despite its undeniable strengths, it may have some weaknesses. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of cellular concrete and its possible uses.
What is cellular concrete?
Aerated concrete is a building material made of sand, cement, water, aluminum powder and air. Ecological in use, it is primarily intended for structural work for its properties. It is resistant, solid, but also very light. On the other hand, its manufacture is not neutral and impacts the environment somewhat, in particular because of its aluminum content.
Sold in blocks or boxes, cellular concrete is made up of concrete microcells that protect it from humidity and prevent capillary rise. Its airy composition earned it its nickname of petrified air and its incomparable lightness. This excellent thermal insulator helps to effectively regulate ambient humidity. Aerated concrete is also non-flammable. Indeed, its melting point is around 1,200°C.
Finally, cellular concrete is an affordable material compared to other materials, which is a definite advantage in the field of construction.
The advantages of aerated concrete
Cellular concrete is a material that has several advantages:
- He is light : light thanks to its air content, 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 the specific ones. A basic manual saw is sufficient.
- It is an excellent insulator : cellular concrete is a good sound and heat 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 advantages, cellular concrete also has disadvantages:
- It is fragile and crumbly : its installation is more difficult than for other materials because of its fragility. It is particularly essential to use specific fixings to hang objects on it so as not to crack it.
- It is not neutral for health : certain studies claim that cellular concrete is harmful to health and that it is notably responsible for certain forms of cancer.
What are the possible uses of cellular 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 clipped together.
- Cellular concrete can be used for the construction of load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls, interior and exterior ceilings and partitions in the construction of buildings (individual houses, garages, schools, shops, industrial buildings, offices, hospitals, etc. .).
- It is used for the realization of bearing and non-bearing lintels.
- It is ideal for humid rooms such as the kitchen and the bathroom since it is insulating and does not fear humidity.
- Cellular concrete can be used as a support for all types of coverings (tiles, earthenware, paint, paneling, etc.).
- It is used to design finishes and fittings within the house. It is used in particular for the realization of work plans.
- It is used in the design of original furniture since it is very easy to work with and remains very light.