Production and Durability of Autoclaved Building Materials

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The process of thermally treating materials through autoclaving was invented in the 17th century. Building materials were first autoclaved in the mid-19th century. Despite over 150 years experience with the manufacture, not all problems and questions have been answered. The selection of raw materials and different parameters during production greatly influence the mechanical and chemical-mineralogical properties. The latter effects the durability of autoclaved building materials. Assurances must be made that the mechanical properties will not be compromised over time.

Additionally, the working group concerns itself with changes in the microstructure that are investigated through the use of modern natural science methods of analysis. The influence of manufacturing conditions on building material products is also investigated – for example, whether targeted steam control can positively influence the chemical and mineralogical properties.

The durability of autoclaved building products is a topic that is rarely investigated in academic research. The institute possesses a lab autoclave enabling the working group to simulate manufacturing processes. The influence of chemical and physical attacks on autoclaved building products can potentially effect the strength and load-bearing capacity as the products age. The working group, founded in 2013, give attention to basic research in this field so that the phase formation of different building products can be better understood.