Aerated concrete: Tackling urgent environmental protection issues and landfill challenges with intelligent concepts

Close up of aerated concrete
© Fraunhofer IBP

Aerated concrete (or gas concrete) has excellent thermal insulation properties, superior acoustic properties, and is also very hardwearing. For this reason, the lightweight, inorganic and highly-porous building material has been a material of choice in housing construction since many years and is helping to steadily improve the energy efficiency of buildings in the interests of sustainable resource utilization.

Optimizing insulation properties, increasing recyclability

A major goal of our research is to further improve the insulation properties without impairing strength. We want to use alternative raw materials in order to conserve primary sources of raw materials and to make aerated concrete easier to recycle. In view of ever-stricter requirements governing environmental protection and landfill policies, this is where we see the biggest challenges for the future.

To sustainably reduce the carbon footprint of aerated concrete, we are exploring ways to minimize or even eliminate the use of the primary raw materials that are responsible for these high carbon emissions (e.g. cement) without impairing the advantageous properties of the autoclaved building material. Among other things, we use advanced machine-learning methods to calculate or optimize formulations for making aerated concrete. This, in turn, makes it possible to systematically plan experiments for evaluating formulations / mixes, which saves a considerable amount of time and money. 

Pilot-scale production of aerated concrete with saturated steam autoclave

To make the autoclaving process as energy-efficient as possible, we work with a saturated steam autoclave on a pre-industrial scale. This, together with our extensive experience, makes us a competent partner to assist customers from the aerated concrete industry with issues regarding formulation and process optimization. We can also help you develop new aerated concrete products, characterize and test materials for you and conduct basic research.

At Fraunhofer IBP, we have both the necessary skills and technical equipment to further develop autoclaved aerated concrete from its formulation right through to its production on a pilot scale. Our services: 

  • Pilot-scale production of aerated concrete with a saturated steam autoclave
  • Development of aerated concrete formulations according to your specifications or in collaboration with you
  • Evaluation of mechanical parameters according to DIN in a testing laboratory
  • Evaluation of material parameters according to DIN (bulk density, shrinkage, thermal conductivity)
  • Analysis of the microstructure of aerated concrete using SEM and micro-CT
  • Raw materials analytics

Have we aroused your interest? Get in touch with us!