CSIRO develops lighter and stronger concrete

Australian scientists have developed HySSIL, a low-cost, aerated cement-based product that is as strong as normal concrete but half as heavy.

Scientists at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have developed a low-cost, lightweight, concrete technology that could lower costs and speed up construction projects.

HySSIL (High-Strength, Structural, Insulative, Lightweight) panels are manufactured using a new low energy, process developed by CSIRO Novel Materials & Processes.

“HySSIL is a revolutionary aerated cementitious (cement-based) product that is as strong as normal concrete but is only half as heavy. It provides up to five times the thermal insulation of concrete and is also impact and fire resistant,” said Dr Swee Liang Mak, who leads the HySSIL development team at CSIRO.

“Significant savings are achieved because CSIRO HySSIL technology uses readily available raw materials in smaller quantities and the-low cost and low-energy technology developed by CSIRO,” added Dr Mak. “Unlike certain processes used to manufacture aerated products, HySSIL production does not require expensive autoclaves”.

HySSIL is also said to offer the extra bonus of being easily recyclable.

“The use of lightweight building materials such as HySSIL will contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, by increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and reducing the energy used during transportation and construction,” claimed Dr Mak. “For example, HySSIL wall panels are light enough to assemble on site without the need for heavy lifting equipment.”

Dr Mak described HySSIL as a platform technology for the development of a range of new products, including structural and non-structural elements such as walls, roof tiles, floor systems, decks and noise barrier panels.

According to CSIRO, HySSIL panels are expected to be a competitive alternative to bricks, blocks, prefabricated wall panels, precast wall panels, aerated lightweight blocks and similar product currently used in the building and construction industry.

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