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Advantages of Building With Polystyrene Concrete Blocks

Polystyrene concrete is a relatively new building material that has a wide range of uses and resolves several issues that are associated with the use of conventional concrete blocks. It is constructed up of a variety of components to produce a finished product that is not only long-lasting but also lightweight and provides a wealth of opportunities for architectural design.

The finished product is something that can be utilised in building and has insulating qualities as well. The polystyrene bricks can be utilised purely as an insulation system for newly constructed or already existing structures, or they can be utilised in a number of other capacities as a construction material. The lightweight nature of the bricks helps to cut down on the amount of work necessary for the building of masonry walls, which in turn helps to boost the rate at which the walls may be built.

Polystyrene concrete was initially developed as an attempt to create a construction material that would not need extra insulation on the walls that were exposed to the elements. The polystyrene balls were mixed into the concrete mortar, which resulted in the material exhibiting remarkable heat-insulating qualities. The modern polystyrene concrete block is made up of cement, sand, water, polystyrene foam granules, special plasticizing and air-entraining additives, and sometimes surfactants, which increase the adhesion of concrete mortar and foam balls. Other components include air-entraining additives and special plasticizing additives.

Depending on the ratios in which the components were chosen for the block, the material can either be used for the construction of load-bearing walls, partitions, or as insulation.

These three uses are all possible with the same material. When one block of polystyrene foam takes the place of twenty bricks, correspondingly, the rate at which the building is constructed is increased dramatically.

Numerous material benefits may be discussed because of the characteristics of the production technique and the composition of the blocks, including the following:

  • Insulating properties that are second to none. According to the producers, a wall that is 20 centimetres thick will be sufficient to offer the requisite barrier to the flow of heat in areas of the world that have a climate that is quite moderate. A wall that is 30 centimetres thick is required in areas that have winters that are more severe; nevertheless, the most typical alternative in this instance is a wall that is 20 centimetres thick and is constructed out of polystyrene concrete and foam insulation.

  • The thermal conductivity coefficient of the material varies depending on the density of the material, but in any event, it is significantly lower than that of many similar materials, making it a great soundproofing material.
  • A wall that is twenty centimetres thick has the ability to block out sound at a level of seventy-two decibels; the light weight of the blocks combined with their vast dimensions make it possible to substantially simplify and speed up the process of building the house. There is no longer a requirement for highly advanced heavy equipment. 

  • Great resistance to moisture, resistance to mildew and rodents, as well as high resilience to freezing temperatures. The material can withstand up to 100 freezing and thawing cycles, which is three times more than the same foam concrete; the material belongs to the flammability class G1, which means that it is practically non-combustible.

  • The material can withstand three times more temperature extremes than the same foam concrete. Experiments demonstrate that a wall made of polystyrene concrete can withstand a temperature of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit without cracking even after being exposed to it for an hour.

  • It is also true that another aspect to take into consideration is its resistence to fire. If there is a fire in the structure, there is a good chance that it will survive, but it will no longer be appropriate for continued use since the walls will no longer have the necessary level of strength;

  • The lightweight nature of these polystyrene concreate blocks makes it easier to move them about the construction site, which allowed the engineers to reduce the amount of weight loaded onto the hanging concrete slabs.

  • The production of these blocks has a direct and beneficial effect on recycling rates since it prevents enormous amounts of post-consumer polystyrene from being dumped in landfills in South Africa.