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Home > Main Index > Markets > Construction Applications > Construction Uses of Perlite

Construction Uses of Perlite
Original Report by: Bruce Schundler

Perlite has been used for years as an aggregate in lightweight, insulating concrete and plaster, and as a loose fill insulation material for concrete masonry blocks, cavity walls, and in residential homes. It is also are used in a variety of specialty applications ranging from fireproofing sprays, chimney fills, interstitial floors, acoustical sprays, etc.

Concrete
Concrete Aggregates are manufactured to meet ASTM C-332, Type 1 specifications.  Literature on some specific applications is available below.

            Perlite Concrete Insulation Roofdecks

            Reroofing with Perlite Concrete

  
           Perlite Insulating Floor Fills

  
           Transit Mix Perlite Concrete

  
           Sound Deadening Concrete

  
           Lightweight Fiber Reinforced Perlite Cement Plasters

  
           Air Entrainment and Pumping Equipment

Plaster
As with concrete, perlite has been used as lightweight aggregates for plaster too. When mixed with either gypsum or portland cement (with or without sand), the final plaster is lightweight, fireproof, and insulating. Perlite is a basic ingredient in a number of commercially available premixes of both plaster and plaster patching compounds designed for the professional and amateur plasterer.

            Perlite Cement Plasters

            Perlite Aggregates for Lightweight Tile Mortars

Loose Fill Insulation Masonry Insulation
Perlite is used as loose-fill insulation in the construction of modern, insulated masonry wall systems. And not only do they significantly increase the tested "R" values of these walls, they also can help change the fire rating of many walls from a basic 2-hour fire rating to a 4-hour rating.

            Comparison of Perlite Loose-Fill to EPS Inserts and EPS Beads

            Perlite Block and Cavity Fill
           
            R-Values and U-Values for Concrete Blocks w/Perlite Block Fill
           
            Shifting Peak Energy Loads with Concrete Masonry Construction
      
Fire-Proofing and Fire-Protection with Perlite Products
For decades, perlite has been used in fire-proofing and fire-protection. Most of these products are patented and sell under brandnames, but this page gives a basic outline of why and where these two lightweight, fire-proof aggregates are used.

Under Floor Sound and Thermal Insulation
In Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands, perlite loose fill is used on new and existing floors for both accoustical insulation and thermal insulation. Sometimes called a "floating floor," these floor systems are used extensively in these Northern European countries, but not yet in America.

            Underfloor Accoustical Insulation

Information given herein is from sources considered reliable, but no guarantee of accuracy can be made or liability assumed.  Your supplier may be able to provide you with more precise data.  Certain compositions or processes involving perlite may be the subject of patents.
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