Cellular Concrete for Engineers and Designers

cellularconcreteCellular foam concrete is a lightweight, very strong, cement product used as a soil/fill replacement.
Also referred to as:

  • Foam Cement
  • Aerated concrete
  • Lightweight cellular concrete (LCC)
  • Low Density Cellular Concrete (LDCC)
  • Low Density Controlled Low Strength Material (LD—CLSM)

Cellular Concrete is produced by substituting some or all of the aggregate particles with a uniform cellular structure of air cells (voids). The air cells are produced mechanically using special liquid foam concentrates and a foam generator, creating a prod-uct that we call Preformed Foam. It is the consistency of shaving cream. Foam concentrates must meet the standard ASTM C869 and C796 for use in cellular concrete.

The Preformed Foam is then mechanically blended with a slurry mix consisting of cement, fly ash, water and rarely some ag-gregates. This causes the base mix to dramatically increase volume and reduce density. The special air bubbles hold their shape until the cement sets trapping the voids in the material and creating a low density remarkably strong material. The density and strength of the material is a function of the mix design which can change with each and every job.

Designers have the ability to use the properties of this product in their designs in any way that makes sense. This product could be a simple replacement for more expensive fill. Why buy CLSM from the ready mix plant when this is often half the price. Or, and even better, a geotechnically structural replacement revisiting the entire design and saving huge money and time for the owners. See the project examples page for some ideas that may work for your project.

Why would I use this product on my project?

Cellular concrete has remarkable properties. Designers/Owners that understand the benefits of a light-weight, extremely strong product, that is poured into place and is relatively inexpensive, reap huge benefits. The cost and time savings for their projects can be huge.
For example Cellular Concrete used as a lightweight fill to reduce settlement can be performed for about the same cost as surcharging in only a tiny fraction of the time with no impact on adjacent structures.

Properties of Cellular Concrete

  • Low Density/Lightweight – Horizontal or vertical load reduction can be achieved without reducing strength or stability by using Cellular Foam Concrete.
  • Cellular Foam Concrete has High Load Bearing Capacity – Lightweight, yet stronger than soils or com-pacted fills.
  • Permeable and Non-Permeable – Cellular Foam Concrete is more flexible and helps to solve specific con-struction challenges.
  • Easily Pumpable – High air content makes Cellular Foam Concrete easy to pump long distances at low pressures.
  • Highly Flowable – Self-leveling and will flow into and fill any void or around arrays of pipes with no damage.
  • No Compaction needed – No compaction is necessary when using Cellular Foam Concrete. This product can be used when future settlement cannot be tolerated. Easy to place around existing utilities without damage.
  • Insulating Properties – Cellular Foam Concrete provides good / great insulation properties.
  • Absorbs Energy – As cellular concrete is compressed during impact, resistance increases and kinetic energy is absorbed.