16 Blocks of Sand and Aluminium

Blocks of Sand and Aluminium


This is aerated concrete, have you seen such material? It is quite popular in Russia. Several times cheaper than brick.

This material seems to be a modern one but in fact it started to be produced back in the USSR, in the 1930s.

Aerated concrete is modern energy-saving material used in individual construction. The main thing about it is that anyone can build a house using foamed concrete without any help. The photos below were taken at Ytong factory in Mozhaisk city that started functioning in 2008. This is the largest factory producing aerated concrete in Russia.

House built from aerated concrete

The material is related to cell concrete as it contains gas bubbles. Aerated concrete is very light material which can be processed easily.

They use safe material for production of aerated concrete such as 20% of cement, 20% of lime, 60% of quarts sand, 1% of aluminum paste and water. All the components are mixed in certain proportions depending on the necessary firmness of the final product.

Sand forms the basis of aerated concrete concrete that needs to be well-processed.

They use grinding mills for that. The balls you see turn sand into dust to facilitate the treatment process. After grinding the raw material is stored for some time. Storage is followed by mixing of sand, cement and lime. Water and aluminum paste suspension is added to the mixed components. The mixture is put into a special rectangular tray covering 2/3 part of it.

When the paste reacts with lime, hydrogen is produced. Due to that a great number of pores is formed in the raw material. The tanks are moved slowly in a room with high humidity until the mixture is increased in volume.

In some time the tank with the frozen mixture is taken to the next stage of production. The tank has no bottom and holds the mixture due to vacuum.

The frozen mixture is cut into equal blocks.

External surface of the block is polished. Then the blocks are pressed towards one another.

A crane catches a tray and carries it to the next stage of production.

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16 Responses to “Blocks of Sand and Aluminium”

  1. Fatmanwho says:

    Probably same or similar to hebel blocks in australia !!

  2. Kent of Sweden says:

    Yet another swedish invention, the name now used by german company
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ytong

  3. regulator says:

    “s 20% of cement, 20% of lime, 60% of quarts sand, 1% of aluminum paste and water.”
    Ah, so it’s 101% of awesome?

    • Afrodite says:

      The aluminium reacts with calcium hydroxide, and form hydrogen which forms the airbubbles and is vented into the air, and is replaced by heavier air.
      Also the percentage of aluminium paste hardly exeeds 0.8% of the total mass they start production process with.

  4. Testicules says:

    Deffinately an American invention

  5. Marked Two says:

    Noone minded that aluminium is carcinogen as heavy metal particles? Yeah nevermind its everywhere…

  6. MAC says:

    so when high winds or tornadoes it falls down…

    no thanks REAL concrete, wood and not some man made chemical garbage

    • Tiger says:

      Natural stone walls, oak and chestnut wood in the interior is the best combo for a good house that lasts generations. This stuff however, not sure how it would stand the test of time. Then is the chemicals you have there that start evaporating over the years. Not everything that was invented by a Swede and sold by a German is a good thing.

  7. MAC says:

    don’t forget the chemicals I guess it is ‘green’ to get cancer

    God put trees and other natural resources to be used not to invent some new chemical that later on will be banned.

    I have never seen a tree cause cancer from ‘heavy metals’…

  8. Tovarich Volk says:

    I used to have a couple of big blocks of this for a bedstand. It’s definately lightweight, and I’m sure it would be an excellent insulator which is a consideration for Russian winters, but the bare material by itself is fairly crumbly. –It would need some form of outer coating for protection.

  9. CZenda says:

    Of course. This is the most common building material where I live. It is commonly covered with styrofoam plates from the outside for better thermal insulation, which are then covered with thin silicate coating. The US system of frame houses did not catch up here, although it may have similar insulating properties – it is seen as too “cardboard” and temporary.

  10. Charles Greene says:

    This is why I come here. CZenda say frame style didn’t catch on here as to flimsy. Where I live there are 200 year old houses made that way so I find it interesting that others don’t care for it. Not bad, not good, just different. Like a Dutchman telling me Americans bathe to much, a holdover from the puritans who thought ” cleanliness was next to Godliness”.

  11. Afrodite says:

    When AAC is mixed and cast in forms, several chemical reactions take place that give AAC its light weight (20% of the weight of concrete) and thermal properties. Aluminum powder reacts with calcium hydroxide and water to form hydrogen. The hydrogen gas foams and doubles the volume of the raw mix (creating gas bubbles up to 3mm (⅛ inch) in diameter). At the end of the foaming process, the hydrogen escapes into the atmosphere and is replaced by air.

    No chemicals deriving from the material afterwards.

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