What it is, Pros & Cons, and Uses
Aircrete is essentially a mix of water, foaming agent, and cement. The foaming agent creates tiny air bubbles that, when evenly dispersed, provide many benefits (outlined in the website article).
The target amount of foaming agent depends on the intended application for the aircrete. As a rule of thumb, aircrete with more air bubbles offers greater insulation capacity but less compression strength.
Many builders tout aircrete as a low-cost option thanks to the relative cheapness of the materials used to make aircrete: water, foam, and cement. By this calculation, using aircrete to build a 1,000-square-foot building with 4-inch thick walls would cost under $8,000. (Read website article for details)
The foam or air bubbles dispersed throughout the aircrete naturally provide insulation properties. Aircrete is also very air-tight, allowing for much better heat consistency than permeable concrete blocks. Thermal mass is another key to aircrete’s insulation success. (Thermal mass refers to a material’s ability to absorb and retain energy from heat.)
By some estimations, aircrete could provide an insulation value of R-6 per inch. For comparison, popular insulation material loose fill cellulose offers up to R-3.8 per inch. Taken at face value, if aircrete offers an R-value of 6 per inch, a house in warm climates could easily meet the recommended R-30 with 5-inch thick walls.
Additionally, unlike concrete blocks, aircrete blocks can be cut with a handsaw and manipulated with other wood-working tools. Whether you need to carve, drill, or penetrate the material, this quality offers flexibility in construction.
The materials used to make aircrete – water, foam, and cement – aren’t typically known for catching on fire; this means that aircrete, like concrete, won’t catch fire even when exposed to extremely hot flames. Aircrete’s fire-resistant quality also results from its porous nature and material makeup.
The foam or air bubbles within aircrete blocks protect the structure against moisture accumulation. Thanks to reduced moisture accumulation, aircrete will not rot or deteriorate when exposed to water — even in cases of humidity.
more home & garden: natureofhome.com