Any modern construction – individual , municipal or commercial – today needs materials that allow the construction of warm, economical, ecologically clean and fire-safe buildings in a short period of time. Among them, polystyrene concrete stands out favorably. It has long been used forconstructions of various countries, including France, Italy, Spain, etc. Ukraine was no exception. According to a number of experts, “today, this is practically an alternative material, it clearly fits into the ideology of heat and energy resource saving.”
Polystyrene concrete is a type of light concrete that has a uniform cellular structure and has the lowest density – up to 150 kg / m3 (gas silicate concretes that are widely known today are two or more times heavier). The material was developed about 25 years ago at the National Research and Development Institute, and was created, first of all, in order to exclude from the construction of the outer wall such short-lived and non-technological materials as foam plastic and various mineral wool plate insulation. However, for a number of reasons, it was not sufficiently used in domestic construction at that time.
A renewed interest in polystyrene concrete arose in the early 90s of the last century in connection with increased requirements for heat transfer resistance. And the interest is sustainable, because polystyrene concrete, thanks to its unique qualities, meets these requirements as best as possible: it is more durable (unlike polymer materials, which age and break down much faster); has a low density (D200-D350), satisfactory strength o =l (compressive strength – up to 1.5 mPa), very low thermal conductivity (0.06-0.08 W / m ° С), fire-resistant – group G ( it would be more accurate to say non-flammable – when the entire foam is destroyed by fire, the matrix remains, which retains almost all the properties of the material); environmentally safe (food trays are made from expanded polystyrene today);
Recently, more and more attention is paid not only to the thermal characteristics of bay area siding wall structures, but also to the comfort of living in the house. And here it is difficult to find a competitor for polystyrene concrete. According to parameters that determine comfort, such as vapor permeability and thermal inertia, polystyrene concrete corresponds to wooden materials (!), and by varying its thickness, you can achieve the necessary heat transfer resistance. It should be noted that the combination of polystyrene concrete in the wall with ordinary foam neutralizes these properties.
Polystyrene concrete perfectly shows its excellent properties both in a monolithic structure (elements are poured on the construction site) and in the form of masonry products (blocks and slabs produced in factory conditions). For example, in residential construction, including high-rise buildings, polystyrene concrete blocks are now widely used for the manufacture of fencing structures. Plates are widely used for insulation of facades of existing and newly constructed buildings, dry processes of insulation of roofs and floors. And individual builders willingly deal with these products, since their use allows for a significant gain in heat conservation, despite the fact that the prices of blocks and slabs are practically comparable to the prices of softwood lumber.
The technology of pouring polystyrene concrete is no less successful. The material is produced directly on the construction site using special installations, delivered to the work site using a concrete pump and poured into a fixed formwork using the best concrete forming supplies. This technology allows you to easily build walls of any geometric shape and with the desired thermal characteristics. Using this technology, you can create three-layer load-bearing walls that meet the most modern requirements for both heat preservation and design, as well as fill cavities in the walls. Recently, the technology of insulation of floors and inter-floor ceilings with polystyrene concrete has become especially popular – a layer thickness of 5 cm is enough for insulation (the noise level is reduced by at least 12-15 dB).
The use of polystyrene concrete for insulation of large areas of roofs is of even greater interest. For this, you can use both ready-made slabs and poured polystyrene concrete. Both the one and the other method combine the insulation of the roof and the preparation of the surface for waterproofing, which, in combination with the high durability of the material, gives a high economic effect. Monolithic poured polystyrene concrete is usually used – it is cheaper than ready-made slabs. However, slabs make it possible to insulate roofs with a large slope, and also exclude “wet” processes, which reduces the cost of work.
It is also important that the economical insulation of floors, ceilings and roofs using polystyrene concrete is cheaper than the same operations performed using standard technologies and materials.
High manufacturability, gains in heat conservation and noise insulation in the absence of additional financial costs also attract the attention of large housing construction companies to polystyrene concrete. And companies that have already applied this technology help to win the tough competition for the buyer.