Foam concrete is the youngest member of the concrete family, and autoclaved aerated concrete is already a relatively mature product. Still, it is easy to confuse the two products in terms of external characteristics and product characteristics.
Below we will list the similarities and differences between the two materials and then have a clearer understanding.
The similarities between the foam concrete and autoclaved aerated concrete
(1) The structural characteristics are the same: foam concrete is the same as autoclaved aerated concrete, both of which are mainly closed pores. There are few connecting pores and closed pores, the pore size is uniform, and the vast majority of pores are less than 2 mm;
(2) Similar density: Although the materials used for foam concrete are different from those of autoclaved aerated concrete, the density classification is the same as that of traditional autoclaved aerated concrete;
(3) Mechanical properties: At the same density, the compressive strength of autoclaved aerated concrete soil is 10-30% higher than that of foam concrete;
(4) They are mainly based on inorganic materials.
Differences between the foam concrete and autoclaved aerated concrete
(1) Detailed structural features: Foam concrete is a product with heat insulation, sound insulation and heat insulation performance that is connected by countless closed holes. In autoclaved aerated concrete, the gas is emitted from the inside to make the cement slurry into a honeycomb, and the holes are through holes. Therefore, from the detailed structure, AAC blocks do not have the excellent performances of sound insulation, heat insulation and moisture resistance of foam concrete blocks;
(2) Can achieve smaller density: the density of AAC blocks currently on the market is above 500kg/m3, and the frequency of foam concrete blocks can be below 500kg/m3, and different frequencies can be customized according to different needs;
(3) The foaming method is more flexible: AAC blocks only use chemical foaming, while foam concrete uses a more flexible foaming method. In addition to foaming with a foaming machine and a foaming agent, Foam concrete can also be inflated by a high-pressure air pump. As long as it can achieve the purpose of forming closed pores in the concrete, foaming methods are diversified.
(4) The curing process is more diverse: Due to the variety of products produced by foam concrete, the diversity of oxidation processes is required. Natural curing, steam curing or other curing methods can be adapted according to different gelling materials.
(5) There are many types of production moulds: in order to reduce investment, increase the types of products, and increase the added value of products, small patterns, combination moulds, art moulds, etc. made of various materials can be used. It can also be poured directly on-site without the use of images.
(6) Production investment cost: The investment of autoclaved aerated concrete is several million to tens of millions, which is more than ten times that of foam concrete project.
Through the comparative analysis of the above aspects, it is not difficult to find that foam concrete not only has excellent performance but also can be scaled from an investment perspective. It is suitable for any building material manufacturer with entrepreneurial ideas and innovative and practical awareness to develop new building materials—the road to light.