The thermoconcrete is a reinforced concrete panel element made of sheets of welded steel wire mesh with a core filled by insulated expanded polysterene sheets and concrete and plastered on the surface.
A galvanized steel wires are inserted through the EPS panels through the Polystyrene core with some offset and inclination for better strength and they are welded to parallel wire mesh at the outer layers. Concrete is poured on both the sides of the panel by means of shotcrete. The average life span of such highly insulated thermoconcrete structure is 50 years and above.
Construction applications include single, double and mutilstorey building panels as Masonry walls, metal framed walls, flooring system and roofs as wells as in stairs and boundary wall
There are various concrete elements such as single wall panel, double wall panel, slab and roof panel, Non load bearing wall panel and staircase panel.
Single wall panel consists of a polystyrene sheet that is sandwiched between two welded wire mesh mats. The polystyrene sheet can be designed as per any dimensional and structural requirements of the building. These panels are used for building not like walls, floors and roofs with smaller spans as well as for partitions and cladding. Upto four storey these panels can be used as load bearing walls. They serve both residential and commercial purposes.
These panels can be used for either new or renovation of walls as a curtain wall and partition in large-sized industrial and commercial buildings.
Double wall panel acts as an excellent insulation material. It can be used as for RC walls such as load bearing and retention walls. It consists of two evenly spaced panels connected by means of horizontal connectors. The intermediate space between the two panels are filled with concrete of specified design mix. The outer surface is plastered as per need.
Floors, roofs and slabs are constructed by using slab panel. As per the requirement of the section of the structure the dimensions, thickness and geometry can be flexible. The reinforcement and concrete can be placed either On site or Partially on site as per convenience.
Non load bearing wall panels can be used for partitions, floorings, external wall claddings. Interior and decorative aspects can be imbedded with these panels
Staircase panels are made up of polysterene core which are arranged with risers and tread as per design requirements and two electro welded meshes are connected on the sides as to cover it joined by means of connectors. Reinforcement arrangement for this stair is done on site.
Transmission of external temperatures such as heat and cold are significantly reduced by 50% to 70%. It has enhanced sound insulation properties enabling the occupants a calm space. As Use of materials, labor is reduced and precast members lead to speedy construction it is economical and saves traditional construction cost by high margin. Minimized capital investment is plausible as only minimum labors and minimum equipment are required Thermocrete Panel requires few mason and skilled people. As this method of construction does not deplete forest resources and much of brickwork is eliminated in addition to the fact EPS has no Ozone damaging effects both in production and Utilization it is a environment friendly. These materials can also be recycled. Building constructed with this technology can be certified by the Leed certification for a passive building but the Green Building Council.
Maintenance and Rehabilitation is minimal compared to conventional mansonry work. It is resistant to wind of upto 200 miles per hour and extreme weather and temperatures. Hence Reduces Maintenance cost. As these structures are thermal insulated the lower heating and cooling loads results in 50% to 80% reduction in electricity consumptions. They are termite proof. These structures possess excellent seismic resistant behaviour and they have proved to be resistant upto 7 in Richter Scale.
One or more floors can be raised in any existing building with thermoconcrete materials without any fear of safety or stability as they are light weight materials.They are highly adaptable to any design criterias and accessible for construction in remote areas where construction materials are not readily available.
Finney H Wilson
Department of Civil Engineering