High Strength Lightweight Concrete
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High Strength Lightweight Concrete

High Strength Lightweight Concrete

2018-05-14 00:26:13

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In an article - Structural Concrete using Expanded Clay Aggregate: A Review - published in the Indian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 11 (16), Dr. R. Vijayalakshmi and Dr. S. Ramanagopal of Department of Civil Engineering, SSN College of Engineering, Chennai opined that expanded clay aggregates (ECA) is used in many different industries due to its technical features and numerous advantages when compared to many other industrial raw materials.

One of the materials with the greatest compressive strength among lightweight aggregates is expanded clay aggregates. This gives it a significant position in the construction industry. 20% may be saved in reinforcing steel while up to 50% may be saved in heating–cooling expenses in buildings containing Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA).

Given its favourable insulation properties, ECA was then incorporated into the mixture to strengthen the properties of concrete. According to a report from the Green Business Centre of India, the honeycombed structure of ECA has a high crushing resistance, favourable fire resistance, and excellent thermal and sound insulation properties.

From the structural applications point of view, Light Weight Aggregate Concrete (LWAC) mixtures have the advantages of being light with improved thermal and sound insulation properties. LWAC is a type of concrete in which Light Weight Aggregates (LWA) are utilized and it conforms to the criteria set forth in ASTM C 3303 Structural lightweight concrete instead of normal weight concrete can improve the structural efficiency of buildings.

Lightweight concrete shows a better thermal performance than normal concrete, and its application may significantly reduce the energy consumption in buildings. The application of structural lightweight aggregate concrete in buildings located in European countries could reduce heating energy consumption by 15% compared with normal weight concrete.

Why Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA) Is Preferred Against Other Aggregates

Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA) has great resistance against acidic and alkaline substance with a pH of nearly 7 which makes it neutral in chemical post reaction with concrete. 

Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA) has lightness, durability, non-decomposability, insulating capabilities, chemical resistance, pH neutrality and due to its structural stability it is considered as the best lightweight aggregate for concrete in roofing, flooring, bridge construction and many more. It has a density that is less than or equal to 460 Kg/m3.

Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA) is environment-friendly, natural, indestructible, non-combustible material, it’s highly impervious tao attack by insects, gnats and termites. Lightweight concrete can be basically classified into two:

  • Aerated Concrete: Has a very light weight and low thermal conductivity. It requires an auto-claying process to obtain certain level of strength and this involves special manufacturing plant and it in turns consumes high energy.
  • Expanded Clay Aggregate (ECA) Concrete: It has higher strength but exhibits higher density and it has a very low thermal conductivity.
- Gautam

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