Insulative Lightweight Concrete for Building Walls

by Martha G. Van Geem, Construction Technology Lab, Skokie, IL, USA,
Albert Litvin, Construction Technology Lab, Skokie, IL, USA,
Donald W. Musser, Construction Technology Lab, Skokie, IL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Construction Research Applied to Practice


Research is currently being conducted to develop a portland cement concrete for use in low-rise building walls that will combine the structural, thermal insulating, and heat storage capacity functions of building walls. Concrete used as a structural material is generally in the unit weight range of 115 to 150 lb per cubic foot (1850 to 2400 kg/m**3). Such concretes while solving the structural and heat storage functions, have relatively low resistance to heat transfer. A concrete weighing about 50 lb per cubic foot (800 kg/m**3), with a strength of 1000 to 1500 psi (6. 9 to 10. 3 MPa), and a thermal conductivity of about 1. 5 Btu multiplied by (times) in. /hr multiplied by (times) ft**2 multiplied by (times) degree F (0. 22 W/m multiplied by (times) k) will meet the objectives of this study. This concrete can be used as a complete wall system in low-rise buildings and will eliminate many thermal bridges commonly associated with walls. Use of this concrete in an 8-in. thick wall will provide: 1. Sufficient strength 2. Adequate thermal resistance 3. Beneficial thermal storage properties.

Subject Headings: Building insulation | Lightweight concrete | Concrete structures | Walls | Low-rise buildings | Thermal properties | Compressive strength | Load bearing capacity

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