Vol 7, No 7 (2016) > Civil Engineering >

The Effects of Foam Beads and Kaolin on Physical and Thermal Properties of Concrete Blocks

Korb Srinavin, Patipat Tunming


Abstract: It is widely use of
air-conditioning systems in Thailand due to its location. It is located in a
tropical zone with relatively high temperatures all year round, with high
humidity and high intensity of sunlight. In order to save electrical energy for
air-conditioning systems, preventing heat transfer into the building is
required. The objective of this study is to investigate the physical and
thermal properties of concrete blocks. An attempt is made to increase heat
resistance of concrete blocks. Foam beads (0-0.30% by weight) and kaolin (0-70% by weight) were
added in concrete block mixture to increase discontinuous voids in concrete.
Compressive strength and water absorption of concrete blocks were tested. The
testing results indicated that compressive strength decreased when foam beads
and kaolin were added. Water absorption increased when foam beads were added.
In contrast, the more kaolin added the less water absorption. The thermal
conductivity coefficient of concrete blocks was also investigated. The results
confirmed that the higher the amount of foam beads or kaolin added, the higher
the thermal resistance of concrete blocks. Thermal time-lag behavior was also
investigated. The results indicated that concrete block with kaolin took the
longest time in heating and took the shortest time in cooling. These properties
are good for heat prevention in hot climate regions. These concrete blocks
which were developed and tested in this research conform to the Thai Industrial
Standard. Finally, it can be concluded that because of its thermal behavior,
concrete block with kaolin is a suitable energy-saving concrete block for hot
and humid climates.
Keywords: Concrete blocks; Foam beads; Kaolin; Physical properties; Thermal properties

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