Professionals consider foamglass to be the material behind which there is a serious resource for reducing the cost of housing being built and increasing energy saving. This material has recently been used in mass construction, but you can’t call it “young” - foam glass was invented back in the 30s of the last century, and they began to be used in practice in Canada a few years later.
However, only half a century later, he took his place in a number of popular materials - it was then that the technology was thoroughly worked out, and the cost of its production was reduced.
When two different substances are combined in one material, this can give a very interesting effect. It happened exactly the same way with foam glass - here classic silicate glass was combined into one, which in the past years stood in most windows, and foam consisting of small bubbles interconnected by thin layers of liquid.
The material is obtained by heating a silicate substance into which a gas-forming substance is introduced. Under the influence of elevated temperatures, it begins to melt, in parallel with the blowing agent decomposes, emitting small bubbles, they are "caught" by the hot melt and firmly fixed in it.
Foam glass has unique consumer properties:
- light weight:
- water tightness;
- fuel and heat resistance;
- inertness in relation to chemical reactions.
Foam glass receives part of its characteristics from silicate raw materials, and part from gas. For example, the material loses transparency, but acquires high sound-absorbing and heat-insulating properties.
Separately, we should dwell on the physical and technical indicators of the composition.
Foam glass has a fairly low density, which is 100-250 kg / m3. For comparison, the density of wood varies from 550 to 700 kg / m3. By the way, this is precisely why foamglass has been repeatedly tried to be used as a floating building material.
The volumetric weight is approximately 70-170 kg / m3, and the sound insulation of a 10 cm thick block is 52 dB.
The material is resistant to burning: fire resistance class A1 (non-combustible compounds). It does not decompose under the influence of adverse atmospheric factors, and also does not emit harmful and toxic substances.
The foam glass has a rather high compressive strength - the material easily withstands pressures of up to 100 tons per 1 m2, other characteristics are also encouraging for craftsmen who intend to use foamed glass for construction work.
Thermal conductivity at standard temperature is 0.04 W / mS, which is higher than that of wood (its value is only 0.09 W / mS), but the ability to absorb sound waves is comparable only with mineral wool and is 45-56 dB.
Water absorption coefficient does not exceed 2%. This means that the foam glass practically does not absorb moisture, while the vapor permeability is almost zero - 0.005 mg / (m / h Pa). This material can be called an ideal vapor barrier.
The blocks can withstand elevated temperatures, retaining their properties even at 300 ° C, and if special additives are present in the composition, then the temperature resistance threshold can reach even 1 thousand C. At the same time, the material is not afraid of low temperatures and easily tolerates contact with liquid nitrogen (-200 C) without any sign of destruction.
Chemical inertness is a rather valuable quality along with high environmental friendliness. Perhaps, there are not many modern heaters that would be equally harmless.
Another plus is durability . For comparison, polymers quickly age, losing their operational characteristics, and begin to release toxic substances into the environment. Foam glass has no such drawbacks - its use is more justified than the use of PVC plastics or expanded polystyrene. The service life of foamed glass blocks reaches 100 years.
Advantages and disadvantages
Exceptional physical properties “awarded” the material with a large number of advantages:
- simplicity in processing - the material is easily attached; installation work can be done with your own hands, even without a lot of experience in construction and decoration;
- corrosion resistance - foam glass does not form rust;
- biostability - the material is resistant to life products of representatives of flora and fauna, as well as to microorganisms of all types;
- chemical inertness - foam glass does not react with acid-base solutions;
- the constancy of the sizes of blocks - throughout the entire period of use, the blocks do not shrink, do not stretch and do not shrink, their dimensions are unchanged in any conditions;
- resistance to mold and fungus - foamed glass is not an environment in which mold and other dangerous microorganisms propagate, so you can always be sure that fungi do not penetrate the room and do not harm the health of households;
- high degree of resistance to fire - the material does not spontaneously ignite and does not support combustion, protecting the walls from damage in case of fire;
- hygroscopicity - the product does not absorb moisture;
- vapor tightness;
- environmental friendliness;
- sound absorption.
The material is recommended for use in rooms with increased hygiene requirements.
Throughout the long period of use, the blocks do not change their shape, they are not destructively affected by seasonal temperature drops and precipitation, the material reliably protects the structure from the occurrence of any cold bridges due to compression or sagging of the insulation coating.
If we talk about the shortcomings, then the most basic of them can be called high cost. This is due to the fact that the technology of glass production is associated with high energy costs. In addition, the firing itself is a rather laborious and technological process. All this significantly affects the final price of the product.
The second minus is a low mechanical damage resistance. However, this indicator cannot be considered critical, since insulation is quite rarely subjected to shock.
Foam glass is characterized by low elasticity, therefore, during installation, it requires reliable fixation. In addition, it is very important to observe the exact technology of laying, otherwise the blocks will begin to crack.
Foam glass in the construction market is presented in two versions - these are granules of foam glass chips and blocks. They have a different production technology.
As you know, foam glass is obtained from the waste of simple glass, which is crushed to a powder state and then heated with the addition of gas-forming components to 850 C.
Granular material is made in metal tunnel kilns and after processing it is sawn into blocks of the right size. It is a bit like expanded clay.
The technical properties of foam glass made in the form of granules can be considered unique - it is a lightweight material that is absolutely not subject to corrosion, mold and fungi do not take root in it, and destruction does not form. It has a very long “life span”.
Granular foam glass is most often insulated with frame houses - it is added to the glue and knead. The result is a composition with high thermal insulation properties.
Blocks are most often used for insulation of the ceiling. These are tough, but at the same time rather light materials, which in their properties resemble polystyrene boards or products made of mineral wool.
Scope of application
The scope of foam glass is due to its physical and technical properties. The material is widely used in almost all areas of life.
- In housing . The material is used as insulation of utilities, roof and floor. They are covered with basements and foundations, basement and attic floors, and are also often used to warm facades from the outside and from the inside.
- In the construction of sports facilities - granular foam glass is suitable for the arrangement of sports arenas, as well as swimming pools and sports grounds.
- In industrial facilities . Built-in glass can significantly reduce the cost of using objects due to their increased thermal resistance. Its use is justified not only in ground structures, but also in underground facilities, for example, in buried tanks.
- In the national economy . On wetlands, crushed foam glass is often used - that is why the material is optimal for the construction of farms that are designed for breeding cattle and birds.
- In landscaping works. Bulk foam glass is often used in the construction of greenhouses and greenhouses, as well as in the formation of garden paths. The material found its application in the construction of the drainage system.
Manufacturers and reviews
In Russia, several companies are engaged in the production of foam glass. Below are some of them.
- “Saitaks” (Moscow region) - production of block and granular foam glass has been established here.
- "Neoporm" (Vladimir) - the material is produced in the form of tiled material and shaped products (shell, knees).
- “Penostek” (Moscow region) - mastered the production of granular insulation.
- "Izostek" (Krasnoyarsk) - produces foam glass in the form of plates.
- “United Industrial Initiative” (Kaluga Region) - produces foam glass rubble.
- "Thesis" (Sverdlovsk region) - sells foam glass chips. Unclean material - contains astringent additives, due to which vapor permeability increases.
- "Thermoisol" (Yaroslavl region) - granular glass.
- Penosital (Perm) - plate and block coating is produced.
Manufacturers of Integra, Etiz and Neftezol are also known to Russian consumers.
It may seem that in Russia there are a large number of enterprises that have launched a serious production of foam glass that meets all quality requirements. This is not entirely true. There are production capacities in our country, however, production volumes are negligible, and the quality is seriously inferior to foreign analogues.
The situation with glass production in other countries, for example, in the CIS, is slightly better. The fame throughout the world was received by the products of the Ukrainian enterprise from Zaporizhia and Shostka. The consumer parameters of their products almost come close to world requirements, but the volume of production is small, therefore, products are usually fully sold in Ukraine.
Slightly lower performance characteristics of the Belarusian Gomelsteklo. However, its production volumes are sufficient to provide foamed glass to its country and neighboring Russia - in our country this brand is considered the absolute leader in sales. By the way, this company is one of the first to start producing foam glass in the middle of the last century.
The products of the Chinese company NeoTim, as well as Pittsburgh Corning, whose capacities are located in the USA, Czech Republic, Germany and Belgium, are very popular.
According to consumer reviews, it is the products of this concern, manufactured under the Foamglas trademark, that maximally correspond to all the declared parameters of foamed glass.
Tips & Tricks
Below are some tips on how to increase the effectiveness of foam glass.
When purchasing this material, the thermal insulation parameters of the product should be taken into account. For example, for walls built of brick or concrete, slabs 12 cm thick are used, and for structures made of wood - enough material of 8-10 cm.
For internal work, it is worth stopping at 6 cm plates. They are attached with glue and reinforced with steel brackets and thin dowels.
If foam glass is used to create a warm floor system, then it is worth giving preference to granular material, which effectively fills all voids and creates the necessary degree of thermal insulation.
Today foamglass meets all the requirements that apply to building materials in terms of their reliability and safety.
See how to insulate the floor with foam glass in the next video.