Guide to Autoclaved Aerated Concrete

Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) is a popular precast form of concrete. There are many advantages to using this product over traditional concrete applications. The raw materials required for the manufacturing of AAC are water, lime, cement, sand and an expanding agent. Aluminium powder is generally used as the expanding agent. It causes the aeration of the concrete which results in the final product.

You can find AAC in a variety of forms today such as slabs that are used in Hebel flooring, blocks and panels. Because of the air bubbles trapped within the material, it is more lightweight. They can be used to construct walls, roof panels, floors, lintels etc. AAC panels in a variety of thicknesses and can go up to about 20 feet in height. The AAC blocks can be found in a range of 24”to 48”. You can inquire from the manufacturer if you are looking for a custom block or panel sizes for a large building project. The workability of AAC forms is very high as they can be used with conventional tools like saws and power drills. Make sure that you check for the moisture content, shrinkage, bulk density etc. when you are purchasing AAC.

Because of the lightweight of AAC, it provides greater versatility when used for walls, floors and roofs. Because of the porousness of the material and its other unique properties, it provides excellent thermal and sound insulation as well as fire resistance. It also has high durability because it is made of non-biodegradable material. You can increase the durability of this material by applying a finish to the AAC. It is best to have a waterproof coating when using AAC in basements. When used for interiors, the AAC can be finished with paint, tile, plaster or drywall. You can also expose the surface and leave it as it is. AAC is termite resistant and can be recycled as well. This provides a more sustainable building material. AAC has a high thermal mass; it will store heat within it during the daytime keeping the interior of the building cool and releasing the heat at night. This will reduce the utility bills of the buildings as the temperature inside can be regulated easily. It is very easy to transport AAC because of its lightweight.

zThere can be certain inconsistencies of colour when it comes to this material. However, if you are treating the surface with a different finish, this is not a pressing issue. The cost of AAC can be higher than the conventional building materials but you need to weigh the considerable benefits you get from it when comparing costs. The long term benefits such as higher efficiency need to be looked at as well. While AAC can be used in load bearing applications with reinforcement, the strength of AAC is still low than that of conventional concrete. But the climatic adaptability of AAC gives it a great value. They can be used in areas that are vulnerable to forest fire due to the fire resistant properties. And they can be used in flood prone areas as the material can absorb moisture and dry out without suffering lasting damage.

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