Q. How much does it weigh?
A. The most popular products weigh 32 pounds per cubic foot. This is about 1/5 the weight of concrete. Thermacrete AAC reinforced panels have a mass density of 37 pounds per cubic foot.

Q.What is the compressive strength of AAC?
A. 580 psi (lb/in2)

Q. Can AAC products be made at the construction site?
A. No. AAC products are manufactured in a factory employing a carefully controlled process. The key to AAC's strength and durability is steam curing in an autoclave, which cannot be readily accomplished at a construction site.

Q. How do you build with AAC?
A. AAC products can be used for walls, floors and roof decks of buildings. There are two types of products for walls: blocks and panels. AAC blocks are used much like regular concrete blocks. Panels are two feet wide, up to 20' long and from 2" to 12" thick depending on the needs of the building. Special panels for floor and roof decks are available as well as panels to build interior partitions. Panels are set in place with thin-set mortar.

Q. Will an AAC building last as long as other buildings?
A. Yes. The durability of AAC has been proven in every type of climate in the world -from Northern Finland to the deserts of the Mid-East for over 80 years.

Q. How are AAC products made?
A. A mixture of cement, lime, water and quartz (sand or ash) is mixed and placed in a steel mold that is 20' long, 4' wide and 2' high. A tiny amount of aluminum powder is injected into the mixture and millions of tiny bubbles are formed causing the mixture to rise in a manner similar to bread rising. After the casting is set, it is cut into the panel or block dimensions by pulling it through wires strung on a loom. The casting is then fully cured in a large steam chamber called an autoclave.

Q. What are the main advantages of AAC over other building materials?
A. AAC is highly fire resistant, has excellent thermal insulation value, is decay and rot proof, has good sound reduction properties and is cost effective. AAC performs well in seismic situations and high wind areas. Building with AAC can reduce the quantity of materials used and labor needed to build a building.

Q. How is AAC finished?
A. Standard elastomeric paint, traditional or synthetic stucco, thin brick facing, tile, siding materials or any other building finish can be used on the outside of AAC walls. Inside, AAC walls can be finished with textured paint, plaster, gypsum drywall or any other interior finish. AAC floors can be carpeted, tiled or finished with wood flooring.

Q. How do you hang heavy items like cabinets or shelves on AAC walls?
A. Fasteners are available that easily drive into AAC walls and are capable of securing heavy items. These fasteners are similar to standard concrete "spread-fast" anchors. Since AAC is less dense than standard concrete, fasteners can be driven in with a hammer. Specialty drills are not required. Unlike stud walls, fasteners can be placed anywhere in AAC walls. No need to explore to find studs for hanging heavy objects.

Q. Why is AAC a new product in the USA?
A. AAC manufacturing plants are more expensive to build than manufacturing plants for concrete block, dimension lumber or steel buildings. This does not mean the products are more expensive. AAC plants will produce very large quantities of products so unit pricing is competitive with other building materials. To be competitive, however, a large plant - and a large capital investment - is needed. This fact, along with the ever increasing costs of field labor compared to factory labor, make AAC more attractive now than it has been in the past.

Q. Where is AAC manufactured?
A. There are over 350 AAC factories world wide, mostly in Europe and Asia. In North America, there are factories operating in Mexico, Florida, New Jersey, and Arizona.

Q. How safe is AAC?
A. AAC is probably the safest building product available. Tests conducted by independent laboratories show that AAC is not hazardous or toxic. It does not emit fumes or emit radiation above that of familiar foods. There is no waste produced during manufacturing.

Q. Is AAC environmentally friendly?
A. Yes. AAC is a non-toxic product which does not pollute the air, land or water. During the manufacturing process, waste from the cutting process is recycled back with raw materials and used again. During construction, there is virtually no waste generated. AAC products were designed to respond to the urgent need to conserve and protect the earth's precious natural resources.

Q. Is AAC cladding like EIFS?
A. No. Autoclaved aerated concrete is the European construction method that EIFS imitates; however, construction and performance are entirely different. EIFS consists of layers of polysterene insulation board, mesh, and base coats followed by an acrylic top coat. AAC is more practical, efficient and durable than EIFS. AAC requires no surface preparation, no mesh, employs natural, mineral-based products, is termite resistant, water resistant, breathable and prevents moisture build-up. There is no peeling or rotting. and it does not burn, melt, or off-gas AAC is virtually maintenance-free and typically less costly than EIFS systems.

Q. Is a vapor barrier required in exterior applications?
A. No. AAC construction provides a solid, monolithic wall system with an enclosed, non-connected cellular structure. Exterior finishes are designed to complement this structure, providing a healthy balance between moisture resistance and vapor diffusion. The positive pressure of the air conditioning system pushes water vapor out through the walls, while preventing moisture penetration from the outside.

Q. How is wiring installed in AAC walls?
A. Easily. There are 3 standard methods for installing wiring in autoclaved aerated concrete walls. Many installers use a combination. Routing: Build the walls first. The electrician draws directly on the block to indicate where the wires will go. The AAC installer uses a manual or electric router to cut channels on the inside of the walls. After the electrician installs the wiring, the wall is plastered or sheetrocked. Requires no pre-planning, and changes are easily made. Conduit usually required.
Behind Sheetrock: If sheetrock is being attached to the AAC wall with furring strips, then installing the wiring between the sheetrock and the block requires no conduit; however, wires and cables must be protected when crossing the furring.
Inside the Wall: With this method, the majority of the conduit is installed as the wall is built. For example, the installer may use a course of U-block at the height where the electrical receptacles will be, filling in the cavity with concrete after the conduit is installed. Wiring may also be run in the vertical cores. Pre-wired conduit is typically used to reduce the hassle of pulling wires. Wiring is deep in the wall and surrounded by a fire retardant material. Extra switches and receptacles can still be added by the routing method.

Q. Why is AAC considered a "green" building product?
A. Non-polluting Manufacture- Autoclaved aerated concrete manufacturers use a closed-loop manufacturing process, so that nothing is ever released other than clean steam. Product trimmings, slurry and water are reprocessed, and steam is reused whenever possible. Resource Efficiency- The end product is approximately 80% entrained air and 20% mass. Thus 5 parts AAC are produced from just 1 part raw materials. Low Energy Consumption throughout Lifecycle- The total energy consumption to produce AAC is 1/3 to 1/2 that of comparable building materials. When installed, AAC results in tremendous energy savings for heating and cooling the building. Healthier Indoor Air Quality- AAC products are an excellent choice for the chemically sensitive because autoclaved aerated concrete does not offgas. AAC does not promote the growth of mildew and mold, and cannot be infested by termites. Rats and other pests find no home, since there is no cavity in an AAC wall. Pestacides can be reduced, and the occupants can breathe easier.

Q. Are vertical cores required?
A. Yes, vertical cores are an integral part of the AAC block system and are required. Cored blocks may be used for this purpose, or installers may core standard blocks using a 3 or 4 drill bit kit or core drill. Rebar is inserted into these cores and is tied to both the foundation and the rebar in the bond beam. Cores are then filled with conventional concrete grout. Vertical reinforcement cores lend additional strength to the AAC structure, and are required in all regions. Minimum code requirement is one reinforcement core on either side of each opening, in each corner, and wall intersections. For more information see ICC code for AAC construction.

Q. Does AAC construction qualify for LEED certification?
A. AAC materials are environmentally-friendly, and LEED does recognize this. Please note however, that LEED certification is based on the construction project, not a single material. LEED recognizes autoclaved aerated concrete products in the following manner: Recycled content (applicable to AAC blocks containing fly ash and copper mine tailings); Reduced energy consumption; locally sourced products (if applicable to project), and locally sourced raw materials

Q. What is the lead-time for my Thermacrete order?
A. The lead time for standard products is typically one to two weeks. Lead time for custom products such as special length panels may require additional time for manufacturing. In either case, we encourage you to contact us with enough advance notice to provide ample time for your required delivery date. We will be pleased to assist you with estimating, design recommendations, choosing appropriate products, and locating additional resources for your project.

Q. What type of surface treatment is required for AAC floor panels?
A. All autoclaved aerated concrete floor systems should be finished. Common commercially-available products such as carpet and pad, ceramic tile, wood flooring, marble, and industrial surface treatment may be used.

Q. What type of roofing material can be used over AAC roof panels?
A. Any commercially-available roofing system may be used. When AAC roof panels are installed flat or near flat, they are typically covered with a membrane system such as built-up or EPDM. On a pitch, the panels are often covered with shingles, tile or concealed fastener metal roofs.

Q. Can gypsum board or sheetrock be used on AAC walls?
A. Yes.Gypsum board or sheetrock may be attached directly to AAC walls with construction adhesive and screws, or it can be attached to furring strips. The AAC should be dry before the sheetrock is applied.

Q. What type of mortar is used with AAC?
A. Thin-bed mortar designed especially for AAC is used to install Thermacrete AAC blocks and lintels. It is sold in ready-to-mix powder form. Thin-bed mortar is polymer modified Portland cement specifically designed to bond AAC blocks or panels for interior and exterior wall construction. Just 1/8 inch mortar bed is needed to adhere the products. This extremely thin joint prevents heat loss and speeds installation. For best results, apply thin-bed mortar with a notched trowel. For AAC block installation, choose a trowel the same width as the block.