What is aerated concrete?
Aerated concrete, or gas concrete, is a steam-hardened mineral building material commonly known by its best-known brand name, Ytong. The components of aerated concrete are lime, cement, sand and water. As a builder, you benefit from important advantages when using the building material.
Advantages of aerated concrete
1. aerated concrete is loadable
The key advantages of aerated concrete include its good load-bearing capacity and stability, very good fire protection properties, very good thermal insulation properties and easy handling thanks to its low weight.
Aerated concrete is characterized by good load-bearing capacity, which is explained by the homogeneity of the building material. The small inclusions of air bubbles do not occur clustered in individual places. They are evenly distributed over the entire component. Therefore, for this reason, you can use aerated concrete well for walls, pillars and similar vertically supporting structures. In addition, the material can withstand high bending loads, so it can also be used without any problems for horizontal components such as ceiling slabs and lintels (Learn more about Poroton and expanded clay building materials).
2. aerated concrete is not combustible
Aerated concrete belongs to the building material class A1 and is non-combustible according to this classification. The building material does not show smoke development in fire, does not secrete toxic gases and does not show burning dripping of material. The duration of preservation of load-bearing capacity, room-closing function as well as thermal insulation in fire depends on the thickness of the structural element and concrete cover.
It is indicated in the trade with the abbreviation REI. For example: a typical wall panel made of aerated concrete with a thickness of 15.0 cm and a concrete cover of 2 cm has REI 90, which means that in the event of a fire it will successfully resist the fire in your building for 90 minutes.
3. cellular concrete insulates well
The homogeneous distribution of air bubbles in aerated concrete not only implies stability. It also provides optimal thermal insulation in buildings, thanks to the insulating properties of air, which is not surpassed by any other building material. With a solid brick construction, you can also avoid the dreaded thermal bridges. Thermal bridges lead to heat loss and drive up heating costs in winter.
Highly insulating exterior walls for KfW efficiency houses and passive houses as well as basement ceilingsand exterior basement walls can also be optimally constructed with aerated or gas concrete. As mortar, you should use thin-bed mortar, which is exactly matched to the material properties of aerated concrete.
4. aerated concrete is easy to handle
Aerated concrete belongs to the building materials with low density, which is also called bulk density. The low weight makes the handling of the blocks and other building elements particularly easy. By comparison, aerated concrete blocks are typically offered with an apparent density of 0.30 kg/dm³ to 1.00 kg/dm³. In the case of sand-lime bricks, the bulk density of the building elements is distributed in the range between 1.0 kg/dm³ and 2.20 kg/dm³.
Disadvantages of aerated concrete
1. sensitive to point loads
Due to its porous substance, aerated concrete is sensitive to point loads. The problem can be handled relatively easily by distributing the load. For example, if a heavy wall cabinet is to be attached, it is recommended to secure the weight with additional screws to prevent the material from tearing. (You may also be interested in: How to succeed in healthy and environmentally friendly interior design).
2. aerated concrete quickly absorbs moisture.
In terms of moisture absorption, aerated concrete is inferior to some other building materials. Walls or ceilings made of aerated concrete should therefore always be plastered to prevent moisture damage. Naturally, exterior walls are particularly affected. There are special lightweight plasters for aerated concrete. Use only these and not ordinary cement plasters. Against rising damp from the ground, about 2 cm thick layers of mortar provide reliable protection.
3. lack of sound insulation
Its lighter weight compared to other often used building materials undoubtedly distinguishes aerated concrete in terms of transportability and mobility. However, this is also accompanied by the disadvantage of poorer sound insulation. Unfortunately, the relatively light material does not allow for optimal sound insulation.
Advantages and disadvantages of aerated concrete at a glance
|Advantages Aerated concrete||Disadvantages aerated concrete|
|+ Load capacity||– Sensitive to point loads|
|+ Non combustible||– Fast moisture absorption|
|+ Good insulation||– Low sound insulation|
|+ Easy to handle|
Is aerated concrete = Ytong?
The clear answer is no. As already mentioned in the introduction, Ytong is a so-called generic brand name, which has, however, been used synonymously for the building material for decades. The Xella company has been producing aerated concrete under the brand name Ytong since the 1950s. Consider examples from other industries, such as “Tempo” as the established name for a handkerchief. However, aerated concrete is also produced by other brands.
The service of Almondia
Building a house in practice is often more difficult than initially thought. Besides some bureaucratic hurdles, choosing the right construction company is crucial for a happy outcome of the construction project.
The building experts of Almondia advise building-willing free of charge by telephone to all questions approximately around the topic building of houses. In addition, our builder consultants assist future homeowners in finding the right construction company and, if desired, throughout the entire building process.