- 1 What these building blocks are
- 2 Technical and operational nuances of the above building materials
- 3 Thermal conductivity and sound insulation
- 4 Fragility and crumbling
- 5 Compressive strength and ductility
- 6 Environmental conditions and moisture absorption
- 7 The miser pays twice: is this the case?
The future owner of a cottage or small house, even at the design stage, decides for himself what to build. Just a few years ago we could answer unequivocally – from aerated concrete. But today, a return to the construction of wood concrete, is firmly gaining ground in the market. This puts the consumer before the difficult choice of arbolite or aerated concrete?
What these building blocks are
The two “lightweight concretes” are very similar in nature. Regarding the composition:
- aerated concrete contains quartz sands bonded with gypsum and cement. Special gas formers added to the concrete mixture ensure the porosity of the blocks;
- arbolite is made of organic aggregates (often wood chips) bound with cement. The composition may include crushed reed, straw, hemp stalks. Special additives are added to the mixture to mineralize the organic matter and to make it harden quickly.
The geometrically made blocks of both one and the other building material ensure that they are fast, high quality and easy to masonry. Aerated concrete is slightly better, it has a more regular shape and clear angles.
Technical and operational nuances of the above building materials
The choice between these two materials is influenced by a careful assessment of their advantages and disadvantages.
Thermal conductivity and sound insulation
Here the leader is arbolite. It better performs the function of sound insulation, and it increases several times when the walls are already plastered. The competitor is slightly less good in this matter due to its porosity. It will not be difficult to heat a dwelling built of both lightweight concrete. But the heat still needs to be effectively retained. In this aspect, timber concrete is more effective than its competitor, its thermal conductivity is much lower.
Fragility and crumbling
Porous concrete “bears” some losses during transportation due to increased brittleness due to air pores. Arbolite is not prone to brittleness or crumbling.
Compressive strength and ductility
Construction of a house of aerated concrete requires a reinforced foundation, because at the slightest error, the subsidence of the base will lead to cracks in the wall. In the composition of arbolite, wood chips play the role of “reinforcement”, better providing resistance to any fluctuations and shrinkage.
These building materials based on mineral components absolutely do not burn. There is no need to fear that these raw materials will support independent combustion.
Environmental conditions and moisture absorption
Both of these materials are not susceptible to rot, fungus or destruction by parasites. In houses made of porous concrete it is necessary to organize the forced ventilation, arbolite – “breathes”. Due to the wood component, the material absorbs moisture from the room and does not prevent the natural circulation of air. But there is another side to the coin: the wood component draws moisture from the outside, so the material requires additional finishing and is contraindicated in regions with high humidity.
The miser pays twice: is this the case?
The most important indicator that determines the preference for aerated concrete over arbolite is its price. A house made of lightweight, porous material is cheaper. But given the fact that to achieve optimal thermal and sound insulation of aerated concrete will require additional measures to insulate it, the costs increase. Arbolite is more expensive than its competitor and also needs external finishing, albeit somewhat less expensive..