“I have a vision that eventually this product [precast concrete fences] could be for do-it-yourselfers if it was manufactured in lightweight concrete,” states the CEO of a leading precast fence producer. This vision is now a reality with the introduction of lightweight concrete fence panels.
Cellular lightweight concrete (CLC) is produced by taking a mixture of cement, sand and water and combining it with a foam made through the action of compressed air and a chemical foaming agent. The foam leaves a multitude of tiny non-interconnected air pockets within the concrete mix. One can control the density of the final cast concrete shape by controlling the amount of foam introduced in the mix.
Fence panels made by this technique typically have half the density of regular precast panels available on the market. Some panel styles weigh as little as 39 lb.For maximum strength, the posts used in conjunction with the panels are made from regular high strength concrete. These concrete fence systems are designed to meet wind speed ratings of 110 mph or more.
The lightweight panels make it possible for two people to install a 6′ tall concrete fence without the need for heavy equipment. Installation in confined or sensitive landscaped spaces is easy to accomplish. The lighter panels mean more product can be hauled on trucks resulting in less freight cost, less energy cost and less pollution. The sound absorbing qualities of CLC (versus sound reflecting qualities for regular concrete) result in quieter enclosed spaces.
Other applications for lightweight concrete fences and fence panels include siding, planters and enclosures. CLC represents a great opportunity for the do-it-yourself crowd to easily build long lasting concrete structures.