Expanded Clay Making Choices for You
Expanded clay is an artificial aggregate widely used in construction for its many qualities. Not very widespread, because it is entirely manufactured and requires heavy installations for its manufacture, expanded clay nevertheless has many performances making it essential in the construction and hydroculture. The clay making singapore service is perfect in this case.
Expanded clay balls are made from clay extracted in the natural environment, transported to an industrial environment; it is progressively kneaded and brought to controlled humidity content. This operation gives it the homogeneity and the plasticity necessary to extrude it in the form of small cylindrical rods cut to the chosen dimension, according to the required particle size. These small elements are then heated to approximately 1100 to 1200 ° in a rotary oven which will give them a ball shape.
It is the rapid rise in heat in this flexible material that will create the expansion of tiny micro-bubbles of air included inside each ball and which gives it its lightness. Passing through a cooling chamber will allow solidification and stability of the product. The beads are then calibrated on a sieve to obtain a homogeneous particle size.
Manufacture of expanded clay
This material, which consumes energy in its manufacture, however, thanks to its porous and light structure, has many advantages in the construction and agricultural fields.
Its low density from 350 to 800 kilos per M3 depending on the grain size, which is up to 75% less than a traditional aggregate, makes it a lightweight aggregate widely used when the supports are insufficient and cannot withstand too much load heavy. It is then used for lightweight concrete and embankments or embankments behind retaining walls to limit lateral loads.
Its high-temperature curing also allows great compressive strengths from 1 to 80 N / mmM2 which are excellent assets in the manufacture of lightweight concrete from 500 to 1500 KG per M3 depending on the compositions. Expanded clay is also used in the manufacture of lightweight concrete blocks for insulating construction.
Indeed, its microporous structure trapping multitudes of immobile air balls with a lambda coefficient of thermal conductivity between 0.10 and 0.16 W / mK allows insulation performances close to those of monomer terracotta bricks. Its mass also allows for interesting acoustic performance.
Its low density and its round structure make it an easy material to transport and very fluid to install when using underground voids filling: tanks, old pipes, etc. its rounded shapes allow easy pouring as well as the almost total filling of hard-to-reach areas.
Entirely natural, expanded clay is completely incombustible it is classified M0, does not settle and remains completely rot-proof over time. Completely stable, expanded clay does not reject volatile organic compounds and is biologically neutral. Inert for the environment, it is infinitely recyclable.
With its spheroidal structure, expanded clay has a draining capacity of 450 litres per M3 between the balls, which allows it to be used in water retention, especially during the construction of rainwater reservoirs. These air voids also allow use in a drainage where the performance will be much higher than a conventional aggregate.
Use in the garden terrace
In addition to its lightness, its acoustic and drainage performance, expanded clay can be mixed with potting soil to constitute a growing substrate for green roofs and terrace gardens. Indeed, the alveolar structure of the crushed expanded clay allows the retention of approximately 400 litres of water per M3 inside the grains, which greatly facilitates good humidity regulation.