What to choose, autoclaved and non-autoclaved aerated concrete

The sphere of construction has been developing since the advent of man. In today’s world, the development of this industry plays a critical role in the life of the current society. Concrete is the material that has proven its reliability and durability over its century-long history. It is these characteristics have allowed the aforementioned material to take its rightful place in construction. One of the varieties of concrete is the so-called aerated concrete.

Types of concrete

According to the method of formation of pores, cellular concrete is divided into the following types:

  • aerated concrete;
  • aerated concrete.

In terms of curing conditions, there is also its own classification. Subdivisions of concrete by curing conditions:

  1. Autoclave. Curing occurs in saturated steam and at pressures much higher than atmospheric pressure.
  2. Non-autoclave. Curing occurs in vivo, under electric heating, or at atmospheric pressure in a saturated steam environment.

Gas concrete

The main difference from the material that everyone is accustomed to is that it is cellular concrete. This material has found its application in the construction of walls of any type (bearing or non-bearing), reinforced slabs, as well as it is used to provide thermal insulation.

Advantages of aerated concrete

The distinguishing characteristics of this building material are:

  • high level of thermal insulation;
  • fire safety;
  • long service life;
  • relatively low cost.

It should be noted that the level of quality of blocks of aerated concrete, as well as buildings made of it depends on the raw materials used, the production technology and equipment of the enterprise.

Characteristics of aerated concrete

Aerated concrete is a cellular material (concrete), which has a huge number of air-filled pores, which significantly reduce the density of the material. In most cases, the percentage of air in aerated concrete can be as high as 90 percent of the total volume.

What types of aerated concrete are available?

Depending on what production technology was used during the production of the blocks, aerated concrete is divided into two types. Such as:

  • autoclave;
  • non-autoclave.

At the present time, quite often there is a question related to which of the above types is better. In order to understand this it is necessary to take a closer look at each of these types.

What is better autoclaved or non-autoclaved concrete

The process of steaming in metal capsules, so-called autoclaves, during the action of high pressure and temperature is called autoclave treatment. It should be noted that the pressure, sometimes reaching 12 atmospheres, and a temperature of 190 degrees Celsius to create a unique material that can not be obtained under normal conditions. The main task of performing autoclaving is not only to speed up the curing process of the mortar, but also under the action of extreme conditions changes occur at the molecular level, which leads to the formation of such a mineral as tobermorite. That is why autoclaved aerated concrete is an artificially produced stone, while non-autoclaved concretes, in their turn, are cement and sand mortars hardened in a porous state. It should not be forgotten that gas concrete of the above types (autoclaved and non-autoclaved) have a number of differences. Starting from the composition and ending with performance characteristics, autoclaved aerated concrete surpasses its rival in all respects. Let us consider this issue in more detail. First, one of the most significant differences is quality stability. Autoclaved aerated concrete block can only be made at a large production facility. As for its production, several dozens of the most diverse processes and parameters should be controlled. Plants engaged in the production of aerated concrete have a fairly high degree of automation (about 95%) and almost no human influence on the manufacturing process. If we consider GOST, then each batch of autoclaved aerated concrete has its own quality certificate. So the customer can be fully confident in its reliability. But many people will think that the manufacture of non-autoclaved aerated concrete does not require a huge enterprise, and this factor will affect the cost of this building material. However, can it be considered an advantage? Since, in its essence, it can be called “artisanal” production, which has quite unstable quality indicators. [ads-pc-1] Secondly, durability is also an important characteristic for absolutely any building material. The characteristics that affect the strength of the material are density and compressive strength. The most common are D500 and D600, in which case autoclaved aerated concrete has a compressive strength of about B2.5 and B3.5 respectively. The non-autoclaved concrete also loses out considerably in this variant, since at a density of D600 its compressive strength will at best reach B2. Thirdly, the possibility of fixing. Performing the autoclaving process makes it possible to achieve impressive strength characteristics of the material. Thanks to this, one anchor in the base of autoclaved aerated concrete can withstand an impressive load of up to 700 kilograms. Fourthly, environmental friendliness also plays a significant role in the choice of material. It is immediately worth saying that autoclaved aerated concrete is a completely environmentally friendly material. This characteristic allows you to create a comfortable climate for living in the house, which is quite similar to the microclimate of a house built from wood. [ads-pc-1] Fifth, the homogeneity of the material. The aerated concrete block during its production is filled with gas evenly throughout its entire volume. The material also hardens in parallel to this process. Thanks to this production strategy, the pores are most evenly distributed throughout the aerated concrete block, which guarantees the buyer the maximum index of quality and reliability. A non-autoclave block, on the other hand, is produced by introducing foam and gasifier into the solution, and then mixing them. In the end, it turns out that the air bubbles “float” to the surface, and all the remaining components settle to the bottom. This leads to a chaotic distribution of pores over the volume of the material, which does not allow to achieve the required quality on all blocks. Sixth, the properties of thermal insulation. Everyone will tell you that the thermal insulation characteristics are affected primarily by the density of the material. That is, the higher the density of the material, the lower the level of thermal insulation. This proves that foam concrete, non-autoclave and autoclave aerated concrete have the best thermal insulation properties due to their low density.

Conclusion. Based on all of the above, it can be noted that the construction of non-autoclave aerated concrete is much cheaper. But this should not be considered an advantage. Since the characteristics of this material are quite inferior to its competitor – autoclaved aerated concrete block.

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