Masters Thesis

Using Loose-fill Perlite with Normal Weight Precast Wall Panels to Lower the Cost, Time of Construction Projects, and to Provide an Alternative to Lightweight Concrete.

Lightweight concrete has been used in construction because of its properties, such as thermal, and fire resistances although it is more expensive and less available than normal weight concrete. One way to save time, cost, and to provide an alternative to lightweight concrete in construction projects is to reduce the number of installed insulations on precast wall panels and to improve the properties of normal weight concrete panels, respectively. These goals can be achieved by improving the four properties of precast panels, such as thermal resistance, fire resistance, heat capacity, and sound insulation by using perlite as insulation. The main goals of this research are getting buildings constructed or modified in less time and cost by producing superior wall panels and improving the properties of normal weight panels. Superior wall panels are new panels that provide the four properties listed above. Precast panels with different cross sections, concrete type, and different amounts of perlite will be investigated to observe the impact of each factor on the mentioned properties. The cost of each panel will be studied, and analytical methods will be used to find the optimum panel that provides the four mentioned properties with least cost. Moreover, theoretical methods will be applied to calculate the four properties for each panel.

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