High performance cementitious materials with thermal insulation property

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Foamed concrete, Silica fume, Polypropylene fiber, Compressive strength, Thermal conductivity


In Hong Kong, buildings are responsible for 89% of the total electricity consumption at end-uselevel. For a typical office building, air conditioning is the largest component of energy use whichconsumes nearly half (48%) of the total energy. With increasing concerns of the greenhousegas emission arising from electricity consumption and the rising energy cost, the demand for better thermal insulation in building enclosures has drastically increased over the past fewyears. To improve thermal insulation of composite wall panels, it is not practical to increase thewall thickness significantly, and our research in this area aims at reducing the overall thermalconductivity (k) of the envelopes of buildings. For a given wall thickness, the thermalconductivity could be reduced if normal weight concrete is replaced by foamed concrete. Withincreasing porosity, the decreased thermal conductivity is accompanied by reduction of strength. In order to meet the structural requirements while achieving satisfactory thermalinsulation property, methods to improve compressive strength of foamed concrete areinvestigated. Specifically, the effect of adding silica fume and polypropylene fiber oncompressive strength and thermal conductivity of foamed concrete is summarized. The resultsshowed that with 40% and 30% foam content, the addition of 0.9% polypropylene fiber increases compressive strength by 150% and 50% respectively. On the other hand, the use of silica fume did not show significant improvement in compressive strength but was effective inreducing the thermal conductivity.

Source Publication

The 11th International Conference on Concrete Engineering and Technology, 2012 Jun 12-13, Putrajaya, Malaysia

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