the Best Aircrete Recipe – a Lightweight Portland Concrete Formula

Make your own Aircrete Garden Boxes! This is PART 3.6 of my series, showing ways to make your lightweight garden boxes using my best aircrete recipe.  You can build these forms and precast your own 48″, 36″, or 24″ reinforced lightweight concrete panels that link together to make long lasting and durable concrete garden boxes. #aircrete

See the Youtube Video and download the Plans.

For reference, Here is the weight of 3 cured panels made from regular concrete: . 48″ – 69lbs, 36″ – 50lbs, 24″ – 33lbs.

the Best Aircrete Recipe – a Lightweight Portland Concrete Formula #aircrete

This is another follow up post to Part 3 of my series on making garden box panels from lightweight concrete. And in this episode I’ll be pouring the best aircrete I have made.
I’ve been making these linkable concrete panels for rot-proof garden boxes for a few years now.
In Part 3, I worked on concrete blends to find a mix that was light, strong, and durable. And the aircrete that I made in that episode had some issues and it failed the durability test. And it also cracked and distorted as it cured and dried.

Aircrete Garden Boxes PART 3.6 - Air Crete Lightweight Foam Concrete from Portland Cement
Watch this video on YouTube.

So in this video I’ll make another attempt at casting a strong and durable garden panel from air crete. And also try some colour additives to see have that looks. And it (spoiler alert) has worked out the best!
I’ll show the foaming agent, mixing the cement, pouring, and finally un-molding. Then look at the weight and durability results as compared to regular gravel-based concrete.
If you haven’t seen part 1 and 2 of this series then you might get more from this video if you watch them first. As I won’t be covering all the steps needed to make the forms and prep them for casting.
I’ll be using the plywood forms I built in part 1 of the series.

Best Aircrete Ingredients

The aircrete is made from only a few ingredients: Portland cement, shampoo to generate a foam, and a little glass fiber for extra strength.

main ingredients for the aircrete
Best Aircrete Recipe main ingredients
Anti-crak fiber additive for concrete
Glass fiber additive for concrete to increase crack resistance

Make the Foam Dilution

So I begin by diluting the shampoo in water. 15 fluid ounces of (a very specific) shampoo to 2.5 gallons of water.

formula for the shampoo dilution I used
My Shampoo dilution for making aircrete

This will be the dilution that I’ll use to create the foam. I use Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo as my foaming agent. This is the best (cheapest) option I’ve heard of.

Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo make a great inexpensive foam
Suave Shampoo Bottle

DIY Simple Foam Creation – no foam generator used

I like it as it makes a very good dense foam, it’s cheap, and it’s widely available.

dissolving the shampoo in water to make the foam dilution
Blending foaming agent dilution for aircrete

I stir this with a paint mixer attachment for my drill on a low setting — just to dissolve the shampoo in the water.

making foam in a pail with a paint mixer attachment on a drill
DIY Aircrete foam creation on the cheap

In Part 3 of this series I was able to make foam with window screen attached to an egg-beater type mixing attachment on my drill.

making foam in a pail with a paint mixer attachment on a drill
Easy way to make foam in a pail

I simply poured some of the shampoo dilution in a pail and whipped it up into a foam with the mixer.

making foam in a pail with a paint mixer attachment on a drill
Thick foam made with a drill
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