I am still looking for more info on foam entrained lightweight concrete as I believe it will benefit this industry.
A few years ago I stumbled across a website of geckostone. I dont think the owner has made much progress, but foam entrained concrete is being used. I am interested in what experience or knowledge anyof you have regarding its use and potential for vertical application.
The main advantage is low cost lightweight mix and no need to pay shipping for heavy pre mix bags.
Assuming this should work, it would leave more room for profit and expenses put into other areas of your bussiness.
Hopefully someone can share their insioght into this.
Thank you, Paul
Well I do have a video up on the Free Videos section of Vertical Artisans. As far as I know, I'm the only artist using the this technology. I hope that's not the case but I can tell you what I have discovered.
First the foam works great! It really lightens up the mix but there are some things you need to know. It reduces the PSI of the concrete. In my strength tests, the mix started at 1400 - 1600 psi and after adding a cubic foot of foam (approx 7 gallons) to 150 lbs of a bag mix it reduced to around 700 - 800 psi. So it reduced the strength about half. That may not be factor where facades are the goal. I have used it on over head arches, high pillars, and light weight structures where psi is not a real big factor and its has proven to be an asset.
Secondly - when you do add foam the dynamic of carving changes a bit as well. The mix becomes very sticky. You need a real clean trowel and move at a steady pace. Carving can be a challenge at first until you are use to the way the material responds. Because there is so much air entrained into the mix it is a cellular product. That means that it will collapse if over troweled or if to much pressure is applied.
I have done several projects with the foam and plan on using it more and more. With time I feel it will be a staple and more innovations will be developed. I hope Vertical Artisans develops those first :)
I did not make it...it is from RichWay. I'm not sure about Carpenter Stone and you do not mix with less water. You get the mix right where you normally would get it. Even though you are technically adding water it is predominantly air that is being added.
On the subscription site there are several videos showing the use and fabrication using cellular vertical concrete. In the tools and equipment page on Vertical Artisans there is a company called Richway...they sell the crete foamers specially made for our industry.