Composed of cement, water and small, discrete air cells, cellular concrete is a lightweight material that solves many heavy-duty construction problems. Used beneath roadways, bridge ramps, buildings and other structures, it reduces soil loading while adding compressive and shear strength. Contractors and engineers also use the material as backfill for tunnels, waterlines and sewers, to provide shock absorption in earthquake zones, to fill voids in silos and abandoned mines, to reduce hydrostatic pressure on walls, and for a myriad of other uses.
Contractors can produce cellular concrete quickly and easily onsite by mixing a preformed foam into a portland-cement slurry. The first step is to make the preformed foam by diluting a foam concentrate with water. This mixture is then pumped through special equipment that adds fixed volumes of air at fixed pressures to create a material having the consistency of shaving cream. Next, the material is mixed with cement and water in a conventional rotary mixer to distribute the air voids uniformly and form a highly stable cellular structure.