Foamed concrete, also known as lightweight or aerated concrete, has become increasingly more popular in the construction industry due to its unique properties. As a lightweight material, foamed concrete provides a number of benefits that make it an attractive option for various construction projects. In this article, the EasyMix team will explore the advantages of foamed concrete and address the common question of whether it is strong enough for commercial work.

In short, the answer is yes, it is strong enough, but of course there’s a caveat, which is it still depends on the application in question.

What are the benefits of foamed concrete?

Before we dive in and answer the question in full, let’s first take a look at the benefits of foamed concrete.

Low density: Foamed concrete is characterised by its low density, making it significantly lighter than normal concrete. This property results from the incorporation of air bubbles (or foam) into the mix. The reduced weight makes it easier to handle and transport the material, which leads to more efficient construction processes overall.

Thermal insulation: Foamed concrete possesses excellent thermal insulation properties. Its low thermal conductivity helps regulate temperature, making it a great choice for projects where insulation is a key. This benefit can contribute to energy efficiency, reducing heating and cooling costs in commercial buildings, too.

Versatility: Foamed concrete is versatile and can be used in a wide range of applications, including filling voids, insulating roofs and constructing walls. Its adaptability makes it very suitable for both residential and commercial projects, offering architects and builders a great deal of flexibility in both design and construction.

Reduced environmental impact: The production of foamed concrete typically needs less raw material and energy compared to normal concrete. This results in a smaller carbon footprint, which aligns with the growing trend towards sustainable and eco-friendly construction processes.

Fire resistance: Foamed concrete boasts enhanced fire resistance due to its insulating properties. This makes it a desirable material for commercial buildings, where fire safety is arguably the most important consideration.

Is foamed concrete strong enough for commercial work?

As we touched on earlier, the question of whether foamed concrete is strong enough for commercial projects depends on the specific requirements of the project itself. While foamed concrete offers numerous benefits, it may not be suitable for every application, especially those that demand high compressive strength.

Compressive strength considerations

Foamed concrete typically has lower compressive strength compared to normal concrete. Commercial projects, such as high-rise buildings or structures subject to heavy loads, may need materials with higher strength characteristics. It’s important then for engineers and architects to carefully evaluate the structural requirements before deciding on whether foamed concrete is suitable or not.

Reinforcement and structural design

In certain commercial applications, foamed concrete can be used effectively when combined with appropriate reinforcement techniques and structural design. For example, engineers may incorporate additional elements such as steel reinforcement to enhance the overall strength and load-bearing capacity of foamed concrete in a given structure.

Appropriate application

Foamed concrete is best suited for applications where its lightweight and insulating properties can really shine. It is commonly used in non-load-bearing walls, insulation layers and, as mentioned earlier, as a filling material. With this in mind, understanding the specific role of foamed concrete in a commercial project is crucial for ensuring its suitability.

EasyMix Concrete is one of London’s most popular concrete suppliers. As foamed concrete specialists, we’re perfectly suited to be your go-to supplier. Have any questions about foamed concrete? Give us a call!