Concrete is a modern building material, which is used on nearly every construction site worldwide and which has obtained high acceptance among planners and users, thanks to its varied field of application. Due to its high density, standard concrete only has insufficient heat insulation, which implicates that residential buildings made of concrete need additional heat insulation.
The light cellular or foam concretes with a good heat insulation produced to date, are hardened by means of costly and energy-intensive processes under high pressure and high temperature in autoclaves. Or their technical applicability is strongly limited due to their low strength.
The team Prof. Dr. Bernhard Middendorf, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Neisecke and Dr. Armin Just from the Chair of Building Materials at Technische Universität Dortmund had the plan to develop a building material made of concrete, which combines the strength and flexible applicability of standard concrete and the low density and the good heat insulation of cellular and foam concrete. The result of their research: ‘Ultraporcrete’, a high strength, chemically expanded, air hardened construction concrete with excellent heat insulating properties.
‘Ultraporcrete’ is worldwide the first foam concrete with the physical properties allowing to be used as construction material for load bearing building components. Due to the high rate of air voids, the building material also has excellent heat insulating properties. Another advantage of ‘Ultraporcrete’ is the low dead load of just about one third of a comparable structure made of conventional concrete. Above that, the tailor-made adjustment of the air void distribution allows the properties like, for example, compressive strength and density to be flexibly adapted to the requirements of the building object.
“Therefore, ‘Ultraporcrete’ opens up totally new possibilities in concrete engineering. It is also possible to use this building material to produce, for example, economic load bearing roof constructions for which wood is still preferred today due to a variety of reasons”, Middendorf and Just explain.
TU Dortmund applied for a patent for ‘Ultraporcrete’ and the industry is already very interested. Together with the patent marketing agency PROvendis GmbH, the Dortmund scientists expect the building material to be used in numerous innovative building projects.