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Lafarge launches new range of insulating concretes

World Cement,

Lafarge has launched a new range of insulating ready-mix concretes: Thermedia™. Together with Bouygues Construction, Lafarge has developed and tested the first new product of the range: Thermedia 0.6 B. The product has already been used in several social housing sites, where its behaviour in the structure has been observed and analysed.

Thermedia 0.6 B, which conforms with the guidelines of the French Grenelle Environment Forum, is made for the French market and meets an environmental and financial requirement. This concrete improves construction systems that integrate interior thermal insulation (ITI) by contributing to heat loss reductions through the building's envelope. This now affects 90% of apartment blocks built in France.

Thermedia 0.6 B combines strength and lightness, mechanical performances and thermal properties. It is 40% less dense than a standard concrete. Its specific mix design, patented by Lafarge, divides its thermal conductivity by three compared to a standard concrete; this significantly limits heat losses in buildings. Therefore, in cases of interior thermal insulation, this new concrete reduces the impact between building facades and intermediate floor by 35% in terms of thermal bridges.

Thermedia 0.6 B is produced at a batching plant and then cast on-site; it requires no changes of building methods. Its fluidity and very good workability make it a material that is easy to use in traditional construction methods. Its intrinsic properties (mechanical, durability and shrinkage, as well as its fire behavior, acoustics and seismic strength) have already been tested and certified conforming with the NF EN 206-1 standard.

The contributions from each partner were as follows:

  • Lafarge mobilised a team of approximately 20 researchers to determine the mix design, providing the ideal balance between the thermal and structural requirements, then testing it in the laboratory and validating the properties of the material;
  • Bouygues Construction carried out building engineering studies, did the implementation tests, as well as the acceptance tests for all its characteristics.

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