Light concrete is usually made of lightweight coarse and fine aggregate instead of standard types of aggregates. It also has an in-place density of 90 to 115lb/ ft³, which means it’s lighter and can be used in reinforcing building walls and other high-rise structures. It is more economical than normal concrete, so many building contractors use it in their projects.
Types of lightweight concrete
· Lightweight aggregate concrete
In the early 1950s, lightweight aggregate concrete was accepted in the UK as the main building material for the inner leaf of cavity walls. Through the years, concrete experts developed it into a material with high tensile strength suitable for structural work.
· Aerated concrete
This type of light concrete has the lowest thermal conductivity, density and strength. However, it can be sawn, nailed and screwed like timber, but its main feature is its capability to resist fire. Aerated concrete is usually used in stylised structures like villas and patios.
· No fines concrete
No fines concrete will most likely be composed of coarse aggregate only (19mm), but 95 percent of the material should pass the 20mm BS sieve, which means that this material will have many uniformly distributed voids throughout its mass.
Uses of lightweight concrete
Lightweight concrete has several general purposes like the thickening of floor roofs and other high-rise structures. It can also be used for casting structural steel so it can be protected against corrosion and fires.
This material can also be used to insulate roofs, water pipes, fixing bricks, and reinforcing concrete on several types of structures.
Local industrial waste can be recycled into lightweight concrete.
It is the most suitable material for precast products.
It is 30 to 40 percent more economical than normal concrete.
It can handle fire, freezing and thawing.
Compared to normal concrete it has less tendency to spall. This is the main reason why it has greater fire resistance than normal concrete.
It has lower thermal expansion than regular concrete.
Lightweight concrete can absorb sound better than ordinary concrete.
The only drawback of lightweight concrete is that the depth of corrosion that may occur inside its structure is twice that of normal concrete. That is why it needs to have sufficient cover, so it is protected against corrosion. Otherwise it is likely that you will need to invest in costly repairs.
Overall, LWC is an affordable alternative to normal concrete, especially if you want to reinforce an old structure on your property. It does not compromise the structures strength, and it can provide thermal conductivity – making it suitable for projects that may require insulation from heat or fire damage.
If you want to learn more about lightweight concrete, you can get in touch with Bendigo Concreting. We have a team of experienced and qualified concreters that can help you find the best type of LWC for your project.
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