Aerated Concrete or Foam Concrete: Which to Choose?

Aerated Concrete or Foam Concrete: Which to Choose?

Aerated concrete and foam concrete are popular wall materials widely used in construction. Both belong to the cellular concrete category. Their main difference lies in the production technology.

Aerated concrete is produced by aerating the concrete mix with aluminum powder. In foam concrete, foam is used as a foaming agent. This leads to differences in the structure and properties of these wall materials.

Comparison of Aerated Concrete and Foam Concrete Properties:

  • Density and Strength. Aerated concrete has a lower density (500-700 kg/m³) and, consequently, lower strength. Foam concrete is denser (800-1000 kg/m³) and stronger.
  • Thermal Conductivity. Aerated concrete has better thermal insulation properties (0.09-0.14 W/m°C) compared to foam concrete (0.15-0.20 W/m°C).
  • Sound Insulation. Aerated concrete also surpasses foam concrete in sound insulation.
  • Moisture Resistance. Foam concrete is more moisture-resistant than aerated concrete.
  • Frost Resistance. Foam concrete has higher frost resistance. Aerated concrete is less resistant to freezing.
  • Fire Safety. Both materials are non-combustible, but aerated concrete is more fire-resistant.
  • Eco-Friendliness. Both aerated and foam concrete are environmentally friendly materials, suitable for use in residential spaces.

Applications of Aerated Concrete and Foam Concrete

Aerated concrete is widely used for constructing load-bearing and self-supporting walls, particularly in low-rise construction due to its lightness. Foam concrete is often used for constructing internal partitions and for external thermal insulation of walls.

Cost of Aerated Concrete and Foam Concrete

Foam concrete is slightly cheaper than aerated concrete, though the price difference between these materials is not significant.

Working with Aerated Concrete and Foam Concrete

Aerated concrete blocks are easily processed - sawing, drilling, grinding. Working with foam concrete is more challenging due to its higher strength and hardness.

Conclusions: Which Material is Preferable

When choosing between aerated concrete and foam concrete, consider the construction and operational conditions. Aerated concrete is better suited for building warm houses with high requirements for thermal and sound insulation. Foam concrete is preferable in environments with higher humidity and when higher load-bearing capacity of walls is needed. Aerated concrete is easier to handle during construction. Foam concrete is cheaper. Overall, both materials have their advantages depending on application conditions.