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aerated concrete blocks - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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  • aerated concrete blocks


    I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on the suitability of using aerated concrete blocks instead of fb or vermiculite concrete for the insulation hearth.

    Any guidance would be great.

    Cheers Ross

  • #2
    Re: aerated concrete blocks

    In wiki it says it is used for insulation and that it is fire resistant.

    Aerated autoclaved concrete - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Has anyone used these before?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers Ross


    • #3
      Re: aerated concrete blocks

      I also found this website

      Aerated Concrete, Lightweight Concrete, Cellular Concrete and Foamed Concrete

      Which seems to suggest to me that they could even be used instead of firebricks.

      'In tests undertaken in Australia, a LITEBUILT® aerated lightweight concrete wall panel, 150 mm (6") in thickness was exposed to temperatures in the vicinity of 1200°C (2192°F), with the unexposed surface only increasing by 46°C (115°F) after 5 hours. '

      Is this the panacea of pizza oven builders in the uk?

      Cheers Ross


      • #4
        Re: aerated concrete blocks

        Haven't heard of anyone using it. Although it's structure looks ideal for oven insulation (http://web.dcp.ufl.edu/stroh/AAConcrete.pdf), it's tolerance of thermal cycling isn't apparent, nor is it's compressive strength. It might be acceptable to use under 2" of insulation board, but why not just go the vermicrete route?

        The desired properties of firebricks is to load them with heat so they can return the energy via radiation into your food. How long did the wall stay hot?
        Last edited by GianniFocaccia; 06-22-2010, 01:12 PM.


        • #5
          Re: aerated concrete blocks

          Hi Gianni,

          This is what it says about compressive strength

          Density Kg/m3 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1400 1600
          Sand - Cement
          Ratio 0:1 0:1 0:1 0:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 1:1 2:1 2:1 2:1 3:1 3:1 3:1 3:1
          7 Days
          Mpa 0.3 0.8 2.0 3.5 0.8 1.4 2.5 3.0 1.4 2.2 3.8 3.0 4.0 8.0 10.0
          28 days
          Mpa 0.7 2.0 3.5 4.0 2.0 3.5 4.5 5.0 3.2 5.2 8.5 7.0 10.0 12.0 18.0

          Unfortunately it means nothing to me

          I also found this

          Having high thermal mass means that blocks have a capacity to absorb and release energy slowly over time. It is a very important element for providing high indoor living comfort because it prevents rapid temperature swings caused by extreme daily outdoor temperatures and eliminates constant cycling of the heating or cooling system to maintain the preset temperature.

          AAC modules feature an R-value of approximately 1.25 per inch but exact R values vary by thickness and geographical location of construction. From my research I found out that there are tables that illustrate what Equivalent R-Values would be for different thicknesses of the AAC block and the geographic location where they are being installed. This data is compiled by AACPA (Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Products Association). Refer to their site for more information. For example, a 10" AAC installed in Denver provides an Equivalent R Value of 20.16.

          Again doesn't mean much to me.

          They're only a quid for a brick, so cheap in comparison to buying and having to mix etc the vermicrete. However, im more interested in their suitability for the dome. It didnt say in that test how long it stayed hot for. I'll need to do a bit more research.


          • #6
            Re: aerated concrete blocks

            AAC was used in this build:

            My 34" WFO build

            Weber 22-OTG / Ugly Drum Smoker / 34" WFO


            • #7
              Re: aerated concrete blocks

              There have been many discussions on this topic.
              It's kind of moot to us because they are not available at retail in the US.

              The bottom line: they are not quite as good an insulator as vermiculite concrete, but in europe they are a cost effective solution if you have the space for six inches of insulation. They are brittle, and easily damaged. And no, they won't do inside of the oven, as they can't have thermal mass and insulation qualities both.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


              • #8
                Re: aerated concrete blocks

                Hi Ross,

                As mentioned above, I used AAC here in Australia. They were cheap and quick, and they seem to insulate really well. I can't feel any warmth under my oven for several hours when it's firing, so I don't think you can fault the insulating performance. After 5 hours I can feel warmth, but it's not hot.

                They were definitely really brittle - transport with care, because the edges and corners chip easily. You couldn't use them anywhere that they could get knocked; mine are hidden away under tiles.

                I also don't know what happens to them long-term from the heat. But perhaps not much different to vermicrete; both of them are depending on portland cement.

                Cheers, Mick.
                My Clay Oven build:


                • #9
                  Re: aerated concrete blocks

                  Nice one. Cheers guys. Think I'll definitely go down the aac route for the insulation hearth and cover them with tiles.

                  Thanks again