Foam agent concrete, also known as cellular lightweight concrete, is a polymer-cement composite. Its high compressive strength results from the presence of air bubbles. However, this type of concrete is susceptible to deformation.
Researchers studied how foaming agents interact with cement, resulting in various effects on its properties. These effects ranged from increasing thermal conductivity to improving strength. Some of these factors included:
The amount of foaming agent and its compatibility with the cement particles are key to achieving the desired microstructure. Higher density samples were found to have a greater amount of dispersion, while lower density samples had smaller air voids.
One of the most important factors affecting the performance of foam concrete was its gas-liquid interface. Several experiments were carried out to evaluate this feature. Results showed that granulated blast furnace slag, as a foaming agent, controlled the temperature rise of foamed concrete and prevented cracking.
In addition, silica fume was found to increase the strength by approximately 20-30%. Fly ash also contributed to an improvement in pore structure.
A synthetic foaming agent was also studied. This agent contains nanoparticles, which prevent the collapse of air bubbles and ensure a stable foam.
Another study used a protein-based foaming agent to produce a lightweight concrete. This agent resulted in a spherical foam, which increased the compressive strength by about 80%.
An increasing quantity of foaming agent reduced the density of the mixture. For this reason, a superplasticizer should be used to achieve the workability required.
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