With the development of the construction industry, a significant part of the market of masonry materials was filled with lightweight concrete blocks. Today there are a sufficiently large number of their varieties, but the most famous of them are foam blocks and gas blocks. Both those and others are very popular among consumers. These materials have a number of differences, so a reasonable question arises: what is better than a foam block or a gas block? To give an answer to it, it is necessary to conduct a comparative analysis of that and other material on various parameters.
Production technology of foam concrete blocks
To understand the physical qualities of materials, it is necessary to know the technology of their production. All foam concrete blocks are produced by the formation of air bubbles in the concrete solution. The properties of the resulting blocks depend on the method of foaming and the composition of the mixture. The foam block of interest to us is produced using this technology:
- The mixture is kneaded in a special mixer with inclined blades. This is to prevent the disappearance of air bubbles. The working mixture consists of Portland cement M 400 D 20, sand fraction 0.02, without particles of debris and dirt with a moisture content of not more than 5%, a foaming agent (there are several types), water and fiberglass for reinforcement. At the same time, fiber is first dissolved in water for better reinforcement.
- The finished mixture is poured into molds of the required size.
- Drying products in natural conditions or in an autoclave. The latter method allows to obtain better products.
Gas blocks are made in another way. Here, instead of the finished foaming agent, gas-forming substances are added to the mixture. The most famous of these is aluminum powder PAP-1 and PAP-2. At the moment it enters the mixture, a chemical reaction occurs with the release of gaseous hydrogen. The solution is poured into molds. The mixture rises like yeast dough until it fills the entire volume of the mold. After 2 hours, the excess mass is removed and the products are dried in natural conditions or in an autoclave.
Features of bath projects from foam blocks, photos and technology
How to build a bath of foam blocks. Advantages and disadvantages of baths from foam blocks. Photos of foam blocks.
These minor differences in the production technology of the materials in question led to the fact that the finished products are very different in their consumer qualities. What is better foam block or gas block, we learn by comparing them.
Helpful advice! In the case of large construction, you can organize the production of lightweight blocks with your own hands. This will help save money, and maybe give a start to a home business.
Before you begin to compare these two popular building materials, you need to decide on what criteria it needs to be done. We list the most significant indicators:
- thermal insulation and waterproofing.
We will analyze the strength characteristics of both materials.
Foam blocks come in various densities. The strength of the material depends on this indicator. For the heat-insulating contour of walls, blocks of low density D400 and D500 with the corresponding strength class B0.75 and B1 are used. Foam blocks, which can serve as heat insulating and as bearing, have a density from B 600 to D1000 with a strength class from B2 to B7.5. Purely bearing products have a density of D1100 – 1200 and strength of B 10 – 12.5.
As for aerated concrete blocks, they also come in various grades, but with a slightly different range of density and strength. Their density starts at D300 and, in most cases, ends at D700. Strength ranges from B2 to B4.
As you can see, these two indicators of both products intersect, but in foam blocks the range is much higher. This means that it will be easier to choose the foam blocks of the necessary parameters. At the same time, aerated concrete is much better, since it is produced only at large enterprises.
Helpful advice! When choosing masonry material from foamed concrete, you need to pay attention to its density. The higher it is, the stronger the material, but the colder it is, since the content of air bubbles in it is less.
If we compare the geometric parameters, it can be found that both materials have the same range of linear dimensions. However, aerated concrete blocks have a smaller deviation from the standards, their faces and edges are ideally even. This is due to the fact that the material is not produced in an artisanal way, in contrast to foam blocks.
What is better foam block or gas block on environmental performance. Everything is simple here. There is such a term as the coefficient of environmental friendliness. So, in gas blocks it is equal to 2, and in foam blocks – 4. Therefore, according to this indicator, gas blocks go ahead.
From an economic point of view, it is necessary to estimate the cost per cubic meter of that and other material. Foam blocks are from 35 USD for m ?, and gas blocks from 50. But here it is worth considering that the construction of load-bearing walls is possible only from foam blocks with a high density class, the price of which is comparable to the price of gas blocks. In addition, the adhesive will cost much cheaper than making masonry mortar. Therefore, when choosing a material for construction, this parameter does not take into account.
Ergonomics is the degree of usability of materials. Since the specific weight of aerated concrete is somewhat less than that of an opponent, with identical dimensions, each block weighs less. This gives a lower load on the foundation and greater convenience in the implementation of masonry. When transporting it is also more convenient for this reason. Gas-blocks are much easier to process: they can be sawed, cut and drilled directly at the facility. The use of special glue when laying gas blocks, allows to reduce the thickness of the seam to 2 – 3 mm, against 2 cm in foam blocks.
Higher strength with the same density makes it easy to install fasteners for furniture on walls made of gas blocks. In terms of ergonomics from the above examples, it can be seen that gas-blocks are better than foam blocks or, at least, when their identical classes are compared.
Thermal insulation is the most important indicator on which the possibility of building an object in harsh winters depends. Thermal conductivity indicators are inversely related to the density of the material. Gas-blocks with a density of D500 have a thermal conductivity with a coefficient of 0.11 Vm * K, and foam blocks of the same density have 0.12 Vm * K. The difference is small, but you need to take into account the fact that D500 foam blocks are thermally insulating and cannot be used as carriers.
If the density is increased, then the rate of thermal conductivity will change upwards, and this adversely affects the insulating qualities of the material. Thus, a house of aerated concrete with walls of the same thickness will be twice as warm.
Helpful advice! A good solution is the construction of walls of insulating foam block, which is covered with brick. In this case, a normal combination of strength and heat insulation is obtained.
The waterproofing properties of aerated concrete are much worse than that of foam concrete. This is due to the fact that the first inside has a porous capillary structure, and the second has closed air bubbles into which water does not fall. Therefore, the foam block floats freely in the water without getting wet, and the aerocrete will eventually absorb water and drown. Worst of all, wet aerated concrete in winter can collapse and its insulating qualities are reduced. This problem, however, is solved by the device of the waterproofing layer.
Having considered all the features of the materials, everyone can answer for himself the question which is better than foam block or gas block. Both that and other material are in demand. Aerocrete more used for the construction of residential buildings, because their strength indicators, coupled with poor thermal conductivity can do it without fear for quality.
House of aerated concrete is more durable. At the same time, the price of gas blocks is much higher, but the total costs will be the same. Foam concrete is cheaper and can be produced independently, but it is worse in quality, and masonry mortar is more expensive for it than glue. That is, it is impossible to compare these two materials as a whole. People make choices based on criteria that are more important to them.