A foam concrete roof is a lightweight roofing material that can reduce the load on the structure and improve the insulation of the building. Foam concrete is made by adding a foaming agent to the cement mix. This foaming agent enables the cement to absorb water from the air, resulting in an increase in strength and durability over time.
The foaming agent is typically hydrolyzed proteins or synthetic surfactants and is applied in a spray process to a fine mesh. The spray creates a large number of bubbles in the material that are a few millimetres in diameter.
This method is a simple process that requires little equipment. It is also very cheap to produce.
A variety of supplementary materials may be used in the foam concrete slurry mix. For example, fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) or silica fume can be added to the mixture. These additions reduce the cost of producing the material while also enhancing its mechanical properties.
Foamcrete can be used to backfill voids under floors, sub-screeds, flat concrete roofs, culverts and road trenches. It is particularly useful in filling voids under concrete and mortar screeds, allowing the surface to be completely smooth and free from any dirt or other material.
Because foam concrete does not impose the large lateral loads that a traditional granular material does, it is an excellent choice for abutments. This reduction in lateral pressure means that bridge walls can be reduced in size and thickness, making them more efficient and less costly to build.
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