Gravel cellular glass insulation

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The practice of recycling is spreading also in the world of construction, cellular glass gravel is the example, ideal for insulation and ecological.

Gravel cellular glass insulation
Ing. Gilda Montesano
Ing. Gilda Montesano

From what can we obtain cellular glass?

The cellular glass is a light insulating material used in construction. It is a product of recycled glass of common use, for this it has a low environmental impact and is economical.

vetro cellulare (Bacchi Spa) Cellular glass, is obtained from the collection of recycled glass, which undergoes processes of cleaning, sterilizing and grinding, then move on to the cooking stage at a temperature of up to 950°C after the addition of a 2% yeast pure mineral.
Thus forming the foam glass, which is extracted from the oven and cooled.

During the cooling phase we can obtain two separate products: the cellular glass plates, used as insulation panels for walls and floors and the granulated cellular glass, used as the insulating element in the floors and in crawl space and as a lightening element.

To produce the plates, the mass of molten glass is made to cool gradually up to reach the room temperature.
ghiaia in vetro cellulare (MISAPOR) After the complete cooling the shapeless mass is cut to the required size and then surface-treated and packaged.

The granulate instead, is obtained by following a sudden cooling, in fact, the sudden change of temperature generates tensions within the vitreous mass, which is fragmented into many pieces by the size and irregular shape, similar to gravel.

You get in this way a raw material 100% natural, environmentally friendly and sustainable, gravel cellular glass.

Characteristics and uses of gravel cellular glass

The gravel or granulated glass foam is then used in construction as insulation and also as aggregate lightening. The grains of gravel cellular glass as those produced, by NORDTEX with the product MISAPOR, are composed the 98% of glass, the 2% of minerals and they contain within them a large amount of air. In fact it is exactly this air that allows you to optimally combine the insulating capacity with an extreme lightness.

The cellular glass gravel has good compression strength, it also waterproof, crushproof and fire retardant.

It is widely used in the construction field because it preserves the natural energy resources, it is harmless to people and the environment, it does not release any gas emissions since it is made of recycled materials and is itself recyclable, finally it has a good resistance to mold and mildew.

Another company that produces cellular glass gravel is Bacchi Spa; the product is called B/ GLAS and it is used in the production of substrates for floors, thanks to the insulation capacity of the gravel, dictated by its characteristic closed cell structure, typical of cellular glass.

ghiaia vetro cellulare MISAPOR (NORDTEX) The granules of gravel, by virtue of its resistance to compression, during the laying and following the compaction step, fit together forming a stable support and high stress resistance.

Among a granule and the other, some interstices are formed approximately equal to 30÷35% of the volume, through which the possible infiltration of water can drain easily avoiding stagnation.

The glass closed cell structure  makes the granule completely waterproof, preventing any rising damp from the soil.

Stages of laying of cellular glass gravel for foundation

The first thing to do is to run the excavation and compact the soil with a vibrating plate, the base of the excavating must be at least 30 cm above the maximum height of the water table. On the bottom of the excavation will have to lay the geotextile so as to form a separator layer of about 10 cm.

Then it will be installed in work the layer of gravel or granulated glass foam, which will then be level with the mechanical shovel, until reaching a thickness of not more than 40 cm.

schiuma compatta di vetro granulato GEOCELL (SCHAUMGLAS)

After performing this operation, the level will drop by about 30%, so if you need greater thicknesses you will need to make an additional layer.

ghiaia in vetro cellulare (Bacchi Spa) After the compaction step, the entire surface will be covered by PE sheeting, overlapping of at least 10 cm in the junctions. These sheets constitute a real separation layer from the subsequent cast concrete, above which may then be laid in the floor.

This type of substrate is not to be used only on the ground floor but also in coverage, if you want to build a roof garden.

Crawl space with gravel in cellular glass

ghiaia in vetro cellulare MISAPOR (NORDTEX) The gravel cellular glass can also be worked to create a crawl space, both in new buildings and in old buildings, for situations requiring a number of requirements, such as:

- Protect the flooring from the capillary rise of moisture;
- Design a suitable thermal insulation according to the Energy Class building;
- Provide membrane anti-radon, if this gas is present in the subsurface;
- To ensure the stability of the floor with adequate load resistance.

For protection from rising damp and moisture that forms in the tubes closed, each crawl space must provide connections with the outside world through the creation of suitable openings along the perimeter.

It is true aeration vents to the outside, placed at a distance of between 2,5 - 3 meters, generally positioned in north-south direction to cause natural ventilation and dispose of the presence of radon gas.

The filling volume of the crawl space can be run with the gravel cellular glass, GEOCELL®, produced by SCHAUMGLAS.

crawl space with granulated glass foam GEOCELL? (of SCHAUMGLAS)

This granulate is a great option for those who design, because it guarantees the insulating performance, resistant to loads, is not subject to aging, is breathable and capillary moisture lifts.

Post: Gravel cellular glass insulation
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