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Technology

Can LithoPore® Aerated Concrete - LPAC be used just as normal concrete?

No, LPAC can’t be used as normal concrete. LPAC is meant mostly for non-load bearing applications (besides very few applications) whereas normal concrete is for load bearing applications. Using LPAC, one can achieve at the maximum 20 MPa for the density of around 1400 Kg/m3, whereas normal concrete can achieve 20 MPa and above.

What are the raw materials required to make LPAC?

Usually it consists of cement, filler (sand or flyash or calcium carbonate powder, etc.), water, foam and any other additive for the stability of the foam or any property enhancing additives (fibres, hydrophobic additives, strength enhancers, etc.)

What is the production process?

At first water, stabilizer (optional) cement, networkformer (enhancing the stability of the foam and increasing compressive strength, optional) and filler (if any) are mixed together thoroughly in the mixer and then foam is added at last to mix with the slurry till a homogenous mix is achieved. Larger plant machineries are having separate mixers for slurry and foam embedding.

Why is the filler so important? What quality must the filler have?

Filler is necessary to reduce the cement content and for cost reduction. Normally it´s not recommended to use more than 350 kg of cement per cubic meter of LPAC for producing densities above 400 kg/m³. To compensate the weight required for particular density, fillers are the only option. For densities less than 300 kg/m³, filler is not at all required. As far as the quality of filler, the particle size is very important and then the composition. It is recommended to use as fine particle size of filler as possible, usually less than 1 mm size, optimum is 50 to 200 micron only. The lesser the size, the higher will be the compressive strength of LPAC. If fly ash is available in any country, the first choice is to use fly ash as it is very fine and it has got few cementitious property.

What densities are possible?

Using LPAC technology dry densities from 75 kg/m³ till 1400 kg/m³ are possible to be achieved.

What can go wrong if you just buy the foaming agent and try to figure the process out by yourself?

Our foam generators are designed to suit our foaming chemicals. For example, LPAC technology uses low-pressure air compressor to produce foam, whereas competitors use very high-pressure air compressor and so the foam quality may not be the same. Without achieving a good quality of foam, it is not possible to produce good and consistent quality of LPAC

Next to this the mixing is very important, so an appropriate mixer system is necessary.

What is the strength of the foam concrete in comparison to conventional concrete?

It depends on the density of the foam concrete. It varies from 1 MPa till 20 MPa for a density of 400 kg/m³ till 1400 kg/m³. LPAC is meant mostly for non-load bearing applications (besides very few applications) whereas normal concrete is for load bearing applications.

Foam concrete has a little bit of a bad reputation.... why is that?

Due to low investment, many try to produce in a small scale and failed to achieve good and consistent quality.

Many think this is quite simple technology of mixing foam with cement slurry, but it is one of the most complicated technologies to understand the behavior of the foam and its mixing with cement slurry. Many use foam generator with conventional mixer used for mixing high density concrete. The problem with conventional mixer is that the blades are designed to mix high-density raw materials. All the high-density raw materials submerge in the water and so mixing is simple. Whereas in foam concrete, foam always floats in the water and stays on top of the mixer. There is no mechanism in the conventional mixer to push the foam inside the cement slurry. That is the reason why we provide mixers and mixing systems that are designed especially for low density concrete so that the foam concrete is homogenously mixed and of uniform quality.

Compared to autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), this technology has not evolved with standard production process and so many produces foam concrete in different ways using different foaming chemicals and equipment. As the failures are more than the success one, this technology has bad reputation. We are standardizing the production with high quality equipment and foaming chemical after many years of R & D and have entered this successful path already 15 years ago.

Machineries

Do I need special equipment to manufacture foamed concrete?

Yes, it is recommended to use a special mixer to produce a homogenous and consistent foam concrete quality.

Pumping also requires special pumps as conventional concrete pumps use very high pressure and impact force, which destroys the foam bubbles easily. One should respect that there will be 1% of loss of volume for every 1 m of vertical pumping. Because of this, it is still a challenge to use special pumps beyond certain heights as the pressure build up is too high and so the loss in volume of foamed concrete increases the final density at the discharge end. To compensate it one has to add the equivalent amount of foam extra prior to pumping.

Can I produce every density with the same equipment?

We recommend to use our three stage mixer system LPS1500, LPS2250, LPS 500M etc., for producing all densities of LPAC. If someone uses our mobile system LPS / LPS XT, they can produce from density range of 200 to 1400 kg/m³.

What are the technical details of the machines?

Kindly refer to the technical data sheet of each machine to know the details placed on our machinery website .

What type of equipment is required to set up a plant?

Generally a foam generator, mixer system, dosing system and conveying , moulds, cutting system and curing system for block manufacturing is necessary. Kindly refer to know the details described on our machinery website .

What if I don’t want to use the cutting machines but individual block moulds, so called cassette type of moulds?

Luca Industries International recommends using standard cutting machine with our standard moulds as it is assuring the final quality of blocks. Cassette moulds have lots of disadvantages such as it takes more labour to assemble, demould and oil it, blocks are not uniform in sizes, top portion of the block will be undulated due to manual finishing after pouring, etc. In addition demoulding oil remains on the surface of some blocks and may cause problem with plastering to be done later on.

What is the time frame for setting up a plant?

Luca Industries takes from 4 weeks to 8 months for manufacturing the equipment, which depends on the size of the plant, current order situation and the transportation time will be separate depending on the country and type of transportation (air or sea). Kindly write to us to know exactly the time frame.

Installation is another 1 week to 3 months

Commissioning varies between 1 week and 4 week

So, all together for small machinery it might take from date of order to final production just 2 months whereas for larger plants it can result into 12-15 months also.

Do you supply foam generator, mixer, cutting system separately, if someone needs individual parts?

No, Luca Industries International supplies only turn-key based plants to assure our customers the quality of the end product.

How would we manage the repairs of LPAC plant or a foam generator? What kind of support can we expect from Luca Industries?

The equipment of Luca Industries is built for low maintenance. If there are any other technical problems especially damage of parts, Luca Industries can replace the same as quick as possible through worldwide express courier services. Luca Indudstires also provides email, phone and chat services through WhatsApp or Viber. Apart from this, if the customer need personal visit, it can be arranged as quick as possible as Luca Industries has readily available technicians. Luca Industries also offers annual maintenance contracts to inspect the plant twice a year and to maintain it.

Will you train our personnel thoroughly in operation of the plant and equipment and the various mixtures for various densities?

Yes, Luca Industries International gives thorough training until you get the confidence of producing by yourself. Also, we provide complete support via email and WhatsApp if the customer faces any problem in operation of the machine.

What dimensions of the blocks can be made using your cutting system?

One can produce the blocks of following dimensions using our cutting system:

600mm (L) x 200mm (H) x 200/100 mm (W) or

600mm (L) x 200mm (H) x 300/150/75 mm (W) or

600mm (L) x 400mm (H) x 200/100 mm (W) or

600mm (L) x 400mm (H) x 300/150/75 mm (W).

Other are also possible but on request.

Can foam concrete be prepared on the site itself?

Yes, it can be manufactured on the site also as Luca Industries has mobile machinery that can be transported to any site. Kindly refer our mobile machinery page .

Additives

What is LithoFoam®? What are the characteristics, properties and advantages of it?

The trade name LithoFoam® includes several foaming agent types as well as other additives such as networkformers and stabilizer. LithoFoam® foaming agents are molecular engineered protein based active components, developed especially for the building material industry. Diluted in water and processed in a foam generator with compressed air it produces very fine and stable high-quality foam.

Standard protein based foaming agents, are made with protein hydrolyzate from animal proteins out of horn, blood, bones of cows, pigs and other remainders of animal carcasses. This leads on the one hand to a very intense stench of such foaming agents on the other hand to a broad range of molecular weight of the proteins because the raw materials are always changing.

The new innovative foaming agent technology by Luca Industries however, is not based on the unattractive protein hydrolysis but on a biotechnological procedure.

Luca Industries is offering a wide range of various foaming agents and other chemicals for the manufacturing of foam concrete.

Is the LithoFoam® foaming agent hazardous?

No, LithoFoam® foaming agent is not hazardous. It consists out of molecular engineered proteins.

How much chemical agent is needed per cubic meter of foam concrete?

The amount of chemical agent depends upon the density of foam concrete one wants to produce. For higher densities of foam concrete, less foaming agent is consumed and for lower densities of foam concrete, more foaming agent is consumed. Normally, it ranges from 1 Kg to 5 Kg per m3 of foam concrete. For more, kindly visit our additive website .

How does Luca Industries make sure that their foaming agent works together with their concrete and that the right properties are met?

Due to our versatile R & D facility, we test all the raw materials that are going to be used to produce LPAC and find out the correct mix design that is suitable before-hand so that the producer is prepared to arrange suitable filler and cement type and quality required for producing LPAC on a long term basis.

How about the availability of LithoFoam® additives? Do you have any dealer in our country?

There are no local dealers at the moment. All the additives are manufactured and available from Germany. Normally, Luca Industries is keeping ready stock for most of  the chemicals. They can be shipped within one week from the confirmed order and payment from our clients.

What is the shelf life of the LithoFoam® foaming agent and other chemicals?

The shelf life LithoFoam® foaming agents and other chemicals is limited to 12 months.

Can we buy foaming agent less than full container?

Yes, foaming agent can be purchased in less than full container loads. You can buy in 50 Kgs barrels or in 1000 to 1200 kgs IBCs also. The higher the quantity you purchase, the lower the price rate.

What are the other LithoFoam® additives that you supply other than foaming agent?

The advanced registered brand LithoFoam® includes more than 30 different foaming agents and other additives. Please be referred to our additive website .

Advantages of choosing Luca Industries

Why I should choose the technology of Luca Industries?
  • The major advantage of working with Luca Industries is that we provide a complete system. In the sense starting from dosing till the final product output we supply all the equipment and chemicals to produce high quality LPAC. We guarantee the end product quality by this.
  • Due to our versatile R & D facility, we test all the raw materials that are going to be used to produce LPAC and find out the correct mix design that is suitable before hand so that the producer is prepared to arrange suitable filler and cement type and quality required for producing LPAC on a long term basis. This also helps the producer to budget and prepare detailed investment plan and evaluate financial viability of the project.
  • We work closely with the industries to suit their needs, look back on nearly two decades of track records and several partnerships with reputated universities in the field of construction, architecture and engineering.
  • Most of our competitors don’t provide the above.
What are the advantages of Foam Concrete compared to AAC?

Initial investment is small

More eco-friendly due to less energy consumption and avoiding transportation when produced at site.

Flexibility to vary the density from 75 kg/m³ till 1400 kg/m³

Can be produced both at site as well as in the factory

Savings in transportation cost when produced at site.

Very wide range of applications that can be chosen compared to AAC.

Applications - General

What are the possible use cases for LPAC?
  • Blocks – Standard blocks, Interlocking Blocks, Shoulder Blocks
  • Insulation – Insulation Boards, Insulating Basement, Roof Insulation, Hollow Block Infill
  • Wall Elements – Cast at site using Form Work, Cast at site using LGS Frames, Sandwich wall panels, Facade Element, Precast Wall Panels using LGS Frames, Modular wall systems
  • Filling Applications – Road Sub-base, Geo Fill, Pipe cementing, Floor sub-filling
  • Other applications – Fire Safety vaults, Sound wall on Highways, Bullet traps for Army and police training, Decorative Elements.
  • For more, please click here .

Application - Blocks

What is the setting time of blocks? After how many hours of casting the LPAC in the mould, can cutting take place?

This depends on the ambient temperature and density of LPAC. If the ambient temperature is around 30 Deg. Celsius and the wet density of the LPAC is around 800 kg/m3, it will take 6 to 8 hours for demoulding and then sawing and then at least 10 hours after cutting to handle the same.

What is the curing time of blocks?

Normally it will take 14 to 21 days of wet curing and 7 days of drying before dispatching to the end user, if water cured. If steam cured, after 10 hours of steam curing under 60 to 70 Deg. Celsius under normal atmospheric pressure blocks are dried for 7 days and then dispatched to the customers.

Does Luca Industries also manufacture foam concrete blocks? What will be prices for the same?

No. We are basically a service provider of LPAC Technology and supply only the machineries, foaming agent, other additives and know how to manufacture foam concrete blocks.

Are the LithoPore® Aerated Concrete blocks useful for high rise building?

It is most suitable for high rise buildings as it reduces the dead load of the super structure and so there are good savings in concrete and steel for foundation. The higher the building is, the more the savings are. Also since these blocks are big enough (1 Block of 600 x 200 x 200 mm is equivalent to 13 bricks of normal size 230 x 115 x 70 mm), there is faster in construction, less consumption of bed mortars and thickness of plastering is also much lesser than brick masonry due to even sizes of the blocks)

Is there any advantage of the blocks apart from lightness?

Advantages of foam concrete products in opposite to other construction materials:
Reduces the dead weight of a structure
Can be manufactured to precise specifications of strength and densities.
Possess excellent workability
Can be nailed, planed, drilled and sawn.
Provides excellent heat and sound insulation.
Can be applied with all traditional surface finishes - paint, tiles, carpets etc.
Moisture resistant and Fire resistant

Are there any other constraints or disadvantages of foam concrete blocks?

Only constraint is that it has got higher drying shrinkage than normal concrete for which if the blocks are dried sufficiently, it will be taken care of, as much of the shrinkage takes place during the initial 28 days period.

Does a wall of LPAC mortar bonded blocks withstand strong wind flow when it was just laid?

Lightweight concrete blocks of density 600 to 800 kg/m3 achieve a compressive strength of 2.5 to 4.5 N/mm2, which is equivalent or better than clay bricks. Regarding bonding, since both mortar as well as the blocks are made of cement, the bonding is good. In fact, the bonding strength is much better than clay bricks. Lightweight doesn't mean that it will be flowed away by wind. Each block of dimension 600 x 200 x 200 mm (equivalent to approximately 13 nos. standard size of bricks) will weigh roughly around 14 to 19 Kgs, which is very difficult to flow away by wind.

As nailing and cutting is easy in LPAC, can a person breaks open an LPAC block wall easily?

LPAC walls have got strength equivalent or better than clay bricks and so it performs same as that of clay bricks regarding strength is concerned. It is like in wooden structures, it is easy to nail and cut but at the same time it is not easy to break the solid wooden wall of 200 mm thick.

Do you provide wet or dry sawing machine?

We provide only dry sawing machine using wires.

Application - Wall Elements

What are the general requirements for the in-situ LPAC Wall casting?

For in-situ LPAC Casting, one need a strong and very good leak-proof shuttering/ formwork as this concrete is very liquid in nature and its water-cement ratio is more than 0.45. Because of this liquidity, it occupies nook and corner of the shuttering, thereby avoiding the vibration or compaction of the concrete. Regarding the equipment, one can choose LPS or LPS XT or LPS 500 M. Normally for in-situ LPAC wall casting, the density of concrete used is in the range of 800 to 1200 kg/m³.

Can it withstand wind pressure at 60 m altitude (in coastal area) if used with cement sheet skin on both the sides?

Normally, the walls should be given good reinforcement to withstand the wind pressure as wind pressure gives mainly tensile stresses to the concrete. We recommend using light gauge steel frames attached with cement sheet and in-fill with LPAC for such application. For conventional steel reinforced walls, the type and amount of reinforcement has to be consulted with a professional structural engineer as our experience is limited to LPAC.

Applications - Others

Can LPAC be used for Roof concrete with steel reinforcement?

Yes, theoretically LPAC of density of 1400 Kg/m3 can be used for roofings along with steel reinforcements in single storey or two storied buildings. But practically it is not viable as conventional concrete is stronger and cheaper than LPAC for structrual application. LPAC is not a common one for structural applications like slabs, columns, etc. though it can be used.

If we lay walkways in public place using LPAC, will it withstand impacts by sharp tools like spear?

Lightweight concrete can be used for road sub-base but not as a road surface as the shear strength will be very less compared to conventional heavy weight concrete.

Economics

Are the costs of the chemicals high in comparison to the total concrete mix?

The final cost of the LPAC depends not only on chemicals but also on other raw materials and the desired density of concrete to be produced. In some countries, filler costs are much cheaper that can replace cement. In general, the chemical cost is around 20 to 40% (for density of 400 kg/m3 and above) depending on the density and the amount of filler to be used. For very low density (below 300 kg/m3), chemicals are the major ingredient as the cement content is very less and so the chemical cost is around 60 to 80% depending on the density. For more details kindly click here .

What is the cost of machine, which will prepare Lightweight Concrete?

Cost of the machine depends on the type of the machine and the production capacity that is needed. Normally it starts from EUR 60,000 for small size equipment upto several Million Euros for large plants. Kindly write to us to know more in detail about the same.

Do you provide your machines in rent also?

No, there is no rental or leasing service.

What is the cost for setting up a LPAC block making plant with the capacity of 80 to 100 cubic meter per day?

It costs around 1.0 to 1.5 Million EUR. depending on the layout and components required. Kindly write to us to know more about the same to understand more about you and your requirement in detail.

What is the cost of foaming agent in bulk quantities?

Costs between EUR 2 and 3 per kg depending on the type and the region where you are located. Kindly write to us know about the exact cost of our foaming agent.

Marketing

Is there a way of testing the market first, before making a big investment?

There are smaller mobile solutions available, which can be used as stationary solutions.

Is there a Client list who is using your machine/technology?

Few of our clients include, Rausch Therm-Stein GmbH, Germany, Fixit AG, Switzerland, Atlantic Modular System, China, Vicat Group, France, Vision Modular Systems UK Ltd., England, Antopus, Sweden, Velde AS, Norway, Kindly write to us to get the entire list of our customers.

Others

Where are your offices worldwide?

Apart from the Headquarters in Germany, we are present at the moment in Argentina, Balkan, Bolivia, China, India, Iran, Mediterranean, Mexico, Middle East, Nepal, USA.

Kindly click here fo details . Please select the region and the country for regional representative of ours. If your country is not represented, kindly contact our German Office.