What is Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC)?
Autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC), also known as autoclaved cellular concrete (ACC), autoclaved lightweight concrete (ALC), autoclaved concrete, cellular concrete, porous concrete, Ytong, Hebel Block, Aircrete, Thermalite, or BCA, was invented in the mid-1920s by the Swedish architect and inventor Johan Axel Eriksson. It is a lightweight, precast building material that simultaneously provides structure, insulation, and fire- and mold-resistance. AAC products include blocks, wall panels, floor and roof panels, and lintels.
It has been refined into a highly thermally insulating concrete-based material used for both internal and external construction. Besides AAC's insulating capability, one of its advantages in construction is its quick and easy installation, because the material can be routed, sanded, or cut to size on site using standard carbon steel power tools.
Even though regular cement mortar can be used, most of the buildings erected with AAC materials use thin bed mortar in thicknesses around ⅛ inch, depending on the national building codes. AAC materials can be coated with a stucco or plaster compound to guard against the elements, or they can be covered with various siding materials including brick or vinyl.
AAC has been produced for more than 80 years, and it offers several significant advantages over other cement construction materials, one of the most important being its lower environmental impact.
- Improved thermal efficiency reduces the heating and cooling load in buildings.
- Workability allows accurate cutting, which minimizes the generation of solid waste during use.
- Resource efficiency gives it lower environmental impact in all phases of its life cycle, from processing of raw materials to the disposal of waste.
- Light weight saves cost & energy in transportation.
- Light weight saves labor expenses.
- Light weight increases chances of survival during seismic activity.
- Larger size components lead to faster masonry work.