Choosing the best material among foam and gas blocks

When deciding to build a house, everyone asks the question – what material is better to use? More and more popular building materials are foam blocks and gas blocks due to their environmental friendliness and relative lightness. But what is better for building foam block or aerocrete? Is there a difference between them, and if so, what is it? In order to understand which of these materials is preferable, you need to study their properties from different sides. Let’s compare the compositions and characteristics of materials that are preferred by more and more people who are starting to build their homes.

Composition of foam and gas blocks

Both materials are made of cellular concrete – a wall material, on the surface of which the pores are evenly distributed. However, the basic components and production technology of foam – gas blocks are different.
Состав пеноблоков и газоблоков
The composition of foam blocks includes cement, sand, water, foaming agent, plasticizers, hardeners and fibers to increase the strength and improve the properties of the block. In the manufacture of foam blocks components are mixed mechanically, after which the mass hardens in natural conditions. Often the production of foam blocks takes place directly at the construction site.
Gas blocks consist of cement, sand, lime, water, and aluminum powder. Products are manufactured exclusively in the factory on high-tech equipment. The porosity of gas blocks is formed as a result of the interaction of cement with aluminum powder.

Both foam and gas-block products are initially created in the form of a monolith, and then cut into parts of the required size.

Characteristics of block products

Foam and gas blocks have a number of characteristics that must be considered when choosing one or the other material for building a house.

Structure

Foam concrete is distinguished by the fact that its pores are closed and located at a long distance from each other. As a result, the walls of a house made of this material are characterized by good sound and thermal insulation and low hygroscopicity.

Структура пеноблока и газоблока
Air cells of foam block (left) and gas block (right)

The difference between foam concrete and aerated concrete products is that the latter have smaller pores and have microcracks. As a result, aerated concrete absorbs moisture well, and this reduces the frost resistance. Therefore, walls made of this material require special treatment with a protective coating.

Durability

The strength of construction materials largely depends on their density.
The density of foam concrete is 650 – 700 kg/m3, gas concrete – 450 kg/m3. It suggests that foam concrete is stronger, but it is not quite right. Thanks to the special technologies used in the production of aerated concrete, aerated concrete with a density of 400 kg/m3 and a strength of 35 kgf/cm2 can withstand no less than foam concrete with a density of 700 kg/m3 or more.

Thermal insulation

As already noted, gas blocks have lower frost resistance. However, let’s not forget that these products are manufactured in industrial production, and their geometric data are superior to the geometry of foam blocks. Due to the smooth cut lines of aerated concrete products, it is possible to perform high-quality masonry, close to monolithic. As a result, cold bridges are blocked.

Foamconcrete also capable of storing heat, have high thermal resistance. This allows to reduce the cost of heating. However, to achieve such a result, the thickness of foam concrete walls should be almost 2 times greater than the walls of aerated concrete. Therefore, the question “what is better – penoblokov or aerocrete products in terms of thermal insulation properties?” should be answered, taking into account the predicted quality of future masonry, the level of professionalism of builders, as well as the wishes of the customer about the thickness of the walls.

Features of application

Both types of blocks are used for the construction of low-rise buildings.

Foam concrete is suitable for partitions, load-bearing walls and various types of fencing.

Aerated concrete blocks are used in the construction of load-bearing walls, partitions, to fill the framework in monolithic buildings. Aerated concrete blocks, which are characterized by high strength, can be successfully used for the construction of higher buildings with the condition of applying the stiffening belt.
Кладка стены из газоблоков

Price

Since the production of gas blocks requires special equipment, the cost of which often reaches hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the production technology itself is quite expensive, gas blocks, of course, more expensive. To be precise, then for 1 cu. m. gazobloka have to give 2045-2220r, and for the same amount of foam – 1330-1570 r. The price difference is obvious. However, the cost and consumption of glue used for masonry gas blocks, less than the price of a large amount of cement mortar, which will have to constantly smooth out the errors of foam blocks.

Making a choice – foam concrete or aerated concrete – should take into account the climatic conditions, where it is planned to build a house, as well as the budget of the one who is going to do it.

If the budget is not limited, and the weather is expected to be dry, it is advisable to start building a house of aerated concrete – it will save time and ensure the longevity of construction.

If a more economical construction is planned, then it is worth using foam block to build the house.

In any case, these building materials are close in their properties, and what to choose is up to you.

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