Foam diatomite brick: properties, characteristics, differences from other materials

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From the article you will learn about a modern refractory and heat-insulating carrier material – diatomite foam brick. We will tell you about how it is produced and where it is used. In the article you will find a comparative analysis of diatomite foam brick with other materials close to it in properties..

Foam diatomite brick. Properties, characteristics, differences from other materials

Foam diatomite brick is a wall block with a size of 246x122x64 mm, intended for laying into walls, covering structures and thermal insulation. According to the method of application, it is no different from clinker or dry-pressed bricks – the masonry is carried out on any type of cement mortar or glue (preference is given to heat-resistant compounds). When installing stoves and fireplaces, it is laid on clay or clay solutions..

How and from what is efficiency made

The raw material for this brick – diatomite – is mined in Russia, in the large Inzenskoye deposit. It is there that it has the least amount of impurities, which allows it to be put into operation without preliminary purification (enrichment). The diatomite contains oxides:

  • 85% silicon;
  • 6% aluminum;
  • 3% iron;
  • 6% calcium, titanium, sodium, magnesium and potassium.

Foam diatomite brick. Properties, characteristics, differences from other materials

The block is produced by mixing with clay and firing the foamed mixture in molding furnaces. Clay is added to give baking strength, improve refractoriness and adjust bulk density. In general, the process resembles the production of foam concrete, but with the participation of firing in a press furnace.

For the production of this building material, the standards TU 5764-001-87745488-2010 and TU 5764-002-25310144-99 apply.

Difference of efficiency from materials closest in properties

Refractoriness. This material has been developed as an inexpensive and economical (in terms of raw material) alternative to fireclay bricks (CB). Disadvantages of CS are known to everyone who has encountered it:

  1. Large block and masonry mass.
  2. Does not adhere to cement mortars, installation – only on clay or expensive special mortars.
  3. Fragile block – may crack from falling.
  4. Large consumption of natural raw materials.

In efficiency, all these drawbacks were eliminated by using diatomite and a foam-porous structure, which gave the necessary adhesion. The volumetric mass of the block also decreased by 2-2.5 times due to foaming of raw materials.

Load bearing capacity. The closest “competitors” are red clinker and white silicate bricks as a load-bearing element. These honored participants in the construction have indisputable indicators of strength and bearing capacity, which have become benchmarks. At the same time, there is one drawback for all – a large volumetric weight, which forced engineers to develop an alternative.

Foam diatomite brick. Properties, characteristics, differences from other materials

In practice, it turned out that rarefied (foamed) materials lose their bearing capacity – their crystal lattice changes. Here, diatomite again came to the fore, containing a huge amount of silicon, titanium, aluminum and iron. This balance allowed the foam block to retain its competitive bearing characteristics. At the same time, the volumetric weight was only 450-500 kg / m3 against 1800-2200 kg / m3 from “competitors”. The bearing capacity of the efficiency repeats the capabilities of the red and silicate “brothers”, except with a higher starting threshold:

  1. Red from M75 (0.75 MPa) to M300 (3 MPa).
  2. Silicate M110 (1.1 MPa) to M150 (1.5 MPa).
  3. Foamed diatomite – from efficiency-400 (1.5 MPa) to efficiency-500 (2.5 MPa).

Thermal insulation. Here, the closest rival of efficiency is aerated concrete, which also serves as a construct, while possessing significant heat-insulating properties. Thermal conductivity of these materials:

  1. Aerated concrete – 0.12 W / m ° С.
  2. Efficiency-400 (at t less than 100 ° С) – 0.05 W / m ° С.

As can be seen from the comparison, the efficiency significantly exceeds aerated concrete in terms of thermal insulation. At the same time, they have similar performance properties – vapor permeability, sound insulation. Compressive strength (bearing capacity) varies greatly – for aerated concrete it is 0.35-1.1 MPa.

Disadvantages of aerated concrete, eliminated in efficiency:

  1. Fragility. Foamed diatomite is baked with silicates and clay, which makes it much stronger than the material that hardens in the natural environment. This gave great advantages in terms of simplifying transportation conditions..
  2. Hygroscopicity. Any kind of aerated concrete “draws water” if it is not insulated. As a result, the material gradually collapses – a large percentage of lime affects, which is easily washed out. Thermally hardened efficiency does not have this problem due to the stronger (“sintered”) crystal lattice.
  3. High volumetric weight for high strength grades. Strengthening of aerated concrete is achieved by introducing a larger percentage of quartz sand and compaction of the structure. As a result, the volumetric weight reaches 1200 kg / m3. The efficiency has only three brands, the numerical values ​​of which mean the volumetric weight of the block:
    • Efficiency-400 kg / m3
    • Efficiency-450 kg / m3
    • Efficiency-500 kg / m3

At the same time, aerated concrete remains the unsurpassed record holder for simplicity and accuracy of processing. Another advantage is the variety of sizes and forms of release (including jumpers).

Scope of efficiency

This material is used in all areas of industry and residential construction. It is absolutely environmentally friendly (however, like its “competitors”), while it has impressive load-bearing, heat- and noise-insulating and fireproof properties. The maximum operating temperature of all three grades is 900 ° С.

In industry. With the help of efficiency, furnaces are created for melting at a relatively low temperature – glass melting, firing and baking of polymers, cooling chambers (cooling chambers). It is more widely used for the thermal insulation of high-temperature furnaces. Any kind of high-temperature equipment can be named here and diatomite will be appropriate as a heat insulator.

Foam diatomite brick. Properties, characteristics, differences from other materials

In construction and everyday life. The area of ​​private use coincides with full and hollow red bricks – there are practically no restrictions. In addition to the sufficient bearing capacity of the foundation, but here, too, efficiency wins due to its low weight. Another nuance: while observing the norms of brickwork of load-bearing walls, it is necessary to use different brands of bricks – on the first floors the most durable and heavy, on the upper ones – in decreasing weight and strength. The efficiency has equally good properties over the entire height of the masonry.

Wall block characteristics table

Name Volumetric weight, kg / m3 Block size, mm Compressive strength, MPa Thermal conductivity, W / m ° С Price 1 m3, at. e.
Red brick 1800-2200 245х125х65 from 0.75 to 3 0.34-0.43 85
Silicate brick 1200-1600 250x120x85 from 1.1 to 1.5 0.28-0.42 80
Aerated concrete 300-1200 different 0.35 to 1.1 0.12 60
Efficiency 400-500 246x122x64 from 1.5 to 2.5 0.05 380

Of course, the issue of price is of decisive importance for a private developer. The efficiency received its excellent properties thanks to a rather complex technological process, which is always paid for when purchasing products. In this sense, it is difficult to compete with brick factories, of which many have been built, and handicraft production of foam and aerated concrete. But at the same time, it is worth thinking about the costs of the foundation and insulation (for bricks) and waterproofing (for aerated concrete), as well as noise and heat insulation and fire safety provided by foam diatomite brick.

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