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Foamed concrete is a versatile material.It is possible to produce with pigments, accelerators, retarders, fibres, fast setting cements, pozzolanic cements, recycled fillers and rheology controllers to tailor the workability, strength development rate and other properties to suit a wide range of applications.
Its traditional use is for trench reinstatements, as it is self-compacting (eliminating the ‘white finger’ vibration exposure problem of compacting conventional granular fill), does not settle and its load-spreading characteristics prevent direct transmission of axial loads to services. Its ability to flow easily under its self-weight has led to its use in void filling, including old sewerage pipes, wells, cellars and basements of old buildings, storage tanks, tunnels and subways.
Because of its good thermal properties, foamed concrete has been used as an insulating material on roofs, in housing foundations and floors. Its iinherent fire resistance has also been exploited in a wide range of uses, such as tilt-up firewalls, vaults etc. Foamed concrete has also been used successfully in bridge foundations, instead of other backfill materials or to provide soil stability on embankment slopes and enhance its bearing capacity with cast-in-place foamed concrete ‘piles’.
Other applications include precast elements, in raft foundations of houses, as a foundation-layer for sports fields and athletic tracks, for annulus grouting of segmental tunnels, backfilling the voids behind tunnel linings, providing base for storage tanks or as blinding material.
Acknowledgement: Dundee University
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