A cement foaming agent is a substance that is added to a concrete mix to form air bubbles which help the formation of lightweight concrete. The foam concrete can then be used in a variety of applications including insulation and thermal energy projects. The foamed concrete can also be pumped over great distances and heights. cement foaming agents are able to withstand high temperatures and are highly resistant to corrosion.
A slurry containing cement, fly ash and sand is combined with a foaming agent to form the lightweight concrete. The concrete is then pumped to the desired application site. It is important to note that foamed concrete does not swell upon exposure to water and therefore requires little or no hydration time.
This is a key advantage of the cellular concrete compared to conventional concrete. Foaming agents produce very small air bubbles that create a larger volume of air in the concrete which increases its compressive strength and resistance to deformation. This makes the cellular concrete much stronger than conventional concrete and also allows it to be formed in much longer lengths without compromising its structural integrity.
The aqueous foamed concrete mixture is typically made from a mixture of the cement slurry, a foaming agent and a gas such as nitrogen. The gas is injected into the base slurry at high pressure to form the foam. The foaming agent acts as a surfactant and helps to increase the surface tension of the slurry to create the air bubbles. It is also responsible for the pore structure of the foam concrete. Depending on the type of surfactant used, the foam can have a large variation in its pore size distribution, permeability and connectivity.
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