Foam concrete is a very fluid, lightweight cellular concrete fill material, produced by blending a cement paste (the slurry or mortar), with a separately manufactured, pre-formed foam. The density of foam concrete is determined by the ratio of foam to slurry and densities range typically between 300 and 1600 kg/m3. Sand, pulverised fuel ash (PFA), Lytag fines or limestone dust may be used to further enhance the properties of foam concrete. Foam Concrete Limited holds ISO 9001 accreditation for the manufacture, supply and installation of foam concrete, as well as for the formulation of foam concrete mixes to customer specification.
Void Fill and Reduced Construction Costs
In some cases, the placing and subsequent mechanical compaction of fill material can be difficult or hazardous to undertake with sometimes limited access or unstable conditions in which to work. Foam concrete affords easy and rapid installation, being easy to pump under relatively low pressures, over long distances. Foam concrete is an excellent void-filler. The naturally self-levelling material will reach and fill the smallest crevices, seams and cavities.
Foam Concrete Limited’s mobile batching plant produces over 100m3 of 400 kg/m3 density lightweight foam concrete from just one bulk powder tanker delivery. This means less disruption and increased safety for site-workers and residents in the surrounding area.
High-volume, rapid installation equipment makes foam concrete void fill an economically viable solution, particularly in large volume applications and the durability and settlement-free properties of foam concrete minimize future maintenance liability. Minimal lateral loading means reduced construction costs for earth retaining structures and the use of lightweight foam concrete when building on marginal ground reduces the need for piled foundations.
With densities as low as 300 kg/m3, foam concrete imposes little vertical stress on the surrounding sub-structure. This is particularly important in areas sensitive to settlement.
In excavations with poor soil, foam concrete form 100% stable lightweight foundations and can be designed using the principle of equilibrium: By replacing the weight of the excavated soil with a similar (or lower) combined weight of foam concrete foundation and construction, the completed structure will be stable and able to resist any subsequent movement of the sub-strata.
ConcreteFreeze / Thaw Resistance & Fire-proofing
Foam concrete offers good freeze / thaw resistance. This is primarily due to the low water absorption characteristics of foam concrete, whereby capillary water absorption into accessible pores of the material never reaches the point of critical saturation at which damage would occur.
Unlike some synthetic polystyrene foams used in construction, hardened foam concrete is not susceptible to breakdown due to the presence of hydrocarbons, bacteria or fungi. Foam concrete is insect, rodent and fire-proof.
Due to the dense cell structure of foam concrete, as the material is compressed during an impact, the resistance of the foam concrete increases, absorbing kinetic energy - especially useful in the design of aircraft arrestor systems at airports or roads for example.
Foam Concrete Benefits
Foam concrete offers many unique benefits over other forms of concrete. Foam concrete benefits include:
Loadings on foam concrete sections not deflected into adjoining ground / structures
- Will not break down when attacked by hydrocarbons, bacteria or fungi
- Highly fluid material, suitable for pumping over long distances\
- Self-levelling, no vibration or compaction is required
- Highly resistant to damage by freeze / thaw cycle
- Rapid, settlement-free construction
- Good thermal insulation properties
- Good energy absorbing properties
- Insect and rodent-proof
- Excellent fire-resistance
- Environmentally sound
Foam Concrete Applications
Foam concrete can be used for a wide range of applications as infill and insulation as well as lightweight foundations. Foam concrete applications include:
Secure old mine-workings, shafts, tunnels and other underground voids.
- Fill redundant sewers, pipelines fuel-tanks, culverts and subways.
- Rodent exclusion infill beneath railway station platforms
- Infill spandrel arches under bridges and viaducts.
- Roof screeds and floor insulation
- Soil stabilisation / replacement.
- Harbour retaining wall backfill.
- Airport aircraft arrestor beds.
- Annulus fill of pipelines.
- Tunnel-liner backfill
- Road foundations
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The Light Weight Solution to Heavy Weight Problems
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Advantages of Using Foam Concrete
What solutions does foam concrete offer? Read on to find out.