What is Lightweight Concrete?
The conventional concrete is a heavy material having a density of about 2400 kg/ m３, and high thermal conductivity. Thus the dead weight of the structure made with ordinary concrete becomes large which ultimately makes the structure uneconomical.
The concrete whose density varies from 300 to 1800 kg / m３ is known as lightweight concrete. The lightweight concrete is prepared by adopting any or more of the following measures:
- By cellular construction.
- By entraining large quantities of air
- By using no-fines concrete
- By using lightweight aggregates such as expanded clay, shale and slate, fly ash, blast furnace slag, etc.
Advantages of Lightweight Concrete
The lightweight concrete has the following advantages:
a) Due to its low density, it helps in reduction of dead load, increases the progress of building and lowers the handling cost.
b) The lightweight concrete has low thermal conductivity. So, in extreme climatic conditions, the use of this concrete is advantageous.
c) The adoption of lightweight concrete gives an outlet for industrial wastes such as fly ash, slag, etc, which otherwise create a problem for disposal.
d) It has more resistance to fire.
e) The lightweight product can be easily sawn, cut, drilled, or nailed. This makes construction and repair work easier.
Uses of Lightweight Concrete
Different uses of lightweight concrete are as follows:
⇰ It is highly used as an insulator for exterior walls of all types of buildings.
⇰ It is used for the construction of load-bearing walls, filler walls, and partition walls.
⇰ It is used for making pre-cast floor and roof panels and composite walls.
⇰ Lightweight Concrete is also used for the construction of in situ composite roofs and floor slabs.