Precast autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) is made with quartzite silica, sand, water, lime, cement, anhydrite and an expansion agent that makes the mixture rise like bread dough. This type of concrete contains 80% air. During installation, these cured blocks or panels of aerated concrete are joined with thin bed mortar.
At Del Zotto Products of Florida, we manufacture form systems for precast, dry cast and ready-mix concrete. We’re experts in the concrete field, and we want to teach you more about its many different styles. Keep reading to learn more about aerated concrete.
The Advantages of Aerated Concrete
Once the concrete is cured, it is fire resistant and offers excellent sound and thermal insulation. It resists water, rot, mold, mildew, insects and other common building hazards. In addition, the cellular properties of aerated concrete make it easy for the material to be cut, shaved or shaped, to accept nails and screws and be routed to create conduits for electricity and minor plumbing.
As far as sustainability goes, aerated concrete often contains recycled materials such as fly ash and rebar, which contributes to credits in LEED or other green rating systems. Because it incorporates such a large quantity of air, it also contains less raw-material, per volume, than many other building products. The best part about this type of concrete? Physical testing reveals heating and cooling savings of 10 to 20% compared to conventional frame construction.
The Disadvantages of Aerated Concrete
One downside to precast autoclaved aerated concrete is that it is not as widely available as other concrete products. Luckily, it is easy to ship almost anywhere because it’s so lightweight. It is worth noting that aerated isn’t as strong as other types of concrete. When used in load-bearing projects, it often must be reinforced. The porous material will deteriorate if left exposed, so it must have a protective finish.
There are many benefits to using autoclaved aerated concrete in your construction projects, such as insulation, sustainability and ease of transportation. Still, you should keep in mind that there are negative attributes as well. For example, aerated concrete often needs reinforcement and is not available everywhere. Before choosing which type of concrete to use for your project, make sure to do your research.
Our team at Del Zotto Products of Florida is proud to be part of America’s precast industry. Check out our high-quality forms for precast concrete, or contact us with any questions you might have. You can also reach out to us on any of our social channels.