Disadvantages of cellular glass. Thermal insulating materials

There are many options available when it comes to insulating your home, and each has pros and cons of its own. Cellular glass is one such material that has attracted interest lately. This resilient and lightweight insulation option has been praised for its moisture resistance and thermal efficiency. Before making a choice, homeowners should be aware of the material’s drawbacks, just like with any other material.

The comparatively high cost of cellular glass in comparison to other available options is one of its main disadvantages as a thermal insulating material. Installing cellular glass insulation can require a substantial initial investment, despite the fact that it does provide excellent thermal performance and durability. Some homeowners on a tight budget might be discouraged from selecting this option for their insulation needs due to its cost.

Cellular glass insulation’s restricted availability in some areas is another drawback. Cellular glass is not always as widely available as more widely used insulation materials like fiberglass or foam board. This can present problems for homeowners who want to replace damaged insulation as soon as possible or who want to work on insulation projects quickly.

Moreover, even though cellular glass insulation is well-known for being moisture-resistant, improper installation or maintenance can make it vulnerable to damage. Installing cellular glass requires more precision than with fiberglass, which is easily cut and shaped to fit tightly into wall cavities. This is because cellular glass requires a proper seal to be achieved. Moisture infiltration can happen if the insulation is installed improperly or if cracks appear over time. This can reduce the insulation’s effectiveness and possibly result in problems like the growth of mold.

Cellular glass insulation is still a good choice for people who want to increase their home’s energy efficiency in spite of these disadvantages. It can offer long-term advantages in terms of comfort and energy savings thanks to its superior thermal performance and durability. Before making a choice, homeowners must carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages as well as aspects like cost, availability, and installation requirements.

Disadvantage Explanation
High Cost Cellular glass can be more expensive compared to other insulation materials.
Fragility It can be fragile and prone to damage during handling and installation.
Moisture Absorption Cellular glass can absorb moisture over time, affecting its insulation properties.
Limited Availability It may not be as readily available as other insulation options, limiting its accessibility.
  1. Features
  2. Where the material can be used
  3. Technologies of foam glass installation
  4. Scope of application
  5. 1 Features of cellular glass
  6. 1.1 Form of production
  7. 2 Properties of cellular glass
  8. 2.1 Installation technology
  9. 2.2 Feedback from users
  10. 2.3 Disassembly of the process of foam glass production (video)
  11. Rules of thermal insulation of the house foam glass
  12. Price and manufacturers of cellular glass
  13. Application of cellular glass
  14. Advantages and disadvantages
  15. Peculiarities of production
  16. How Styrofoam was created history of technology
  17. Advantages of the material: figures and facts
  18. Foam glass plant LLC "Granulin": high quality at favorable prices
  19. Peculiarities of slabs production
  20. Foamed glass what it is
  21. Instructions for using foamed glass as a heat-insulating material
  30. Technical characteristics of cellular glass
  31. The methodology of insulating walls and floors with foam glass
  32. Advantages of cellular glass
  33. What are the advantages and disadvantages of cellular glass?
  34. Types of foam glass insulation
  35. Production of expanded glass
  36. Coated foam glass blocks
  37. Coated (laminated) blocks for subsequent surfacing of roll waterproofing:
  38. Video on the topic
  39. Thermal insulation boards Foam glass – do not burn, do not melt, service life from 100 years
  40. THE BEST INSULATION THAT HAS NO EQUAL! Styrofoam glass production. How to insulate a house. House construction
  41. Foam glass insulation, review of samples.
  42. Foam glass insulation for the house. Does not burn or get wet. All the truth about this material.
  43. Foam glass slabs
  44. Insulating foam glass. Foam glass – what is it. Peculiarities of foam glass installation.
  45. Foam glass – the best insulator for the house! How to choose insulation? Foamed glass for thermal insulation
  46. Better, cheaper and warmer than foam glass… Building materials exhibition 2024


Combining two different substances to create a single material can result in some really intriguing effects. This is precisely what happened with foam glass: tiny bubbles of foam connected thin liquid layers to one another, forming a single piece of traditional silicate glass that was once seen in most windows.

The material is made by heating a silicate material and adding a substance that reacts to form gas. High temperatures cause it to start melting while the gas-forming agent breaks down and releases tiny bubbles that are "caught" by the hot melt and solidly embedded in it.

Foam glass offers special qualities for consumers.

  • low weight
  • durability;
  • water resistance;
  • flammability and heat resistance;
  • inertness to chemical reactions.

Foam glass derives some of its properties from silicate raw materials and some from gas. For instance, the material loses its glass-like transparency but gains strong heat- and noise-insulating qualities.

It is essential to focus on the composition’s technical and physical indicators separately.

The density of Styrofoam glass is between 100 and 250 kg/m3. In contrast, wood has a density that ranges from 550 to 700 kg/m3. This is, incidentally, the reason foam glass has been tried and tested a lot as a floating building material.

A block that is 10 cm thick has 52 dB of sound insulation, and its volume weight is between 70 and 170 kg/m3.

Class A1 fire resistance (non-combustible compositions) indicates that the material is resistant to burning. It doesn’t release any toxic or hazardous materials, nor does it break down in the presence of unfavorable atmospheric conditions.

Foam glass has a fairly high compressive strength; it can easily withstand pressure of up to 100 tons per square meter. This and its other qualities give masters who plan to use foam glass for construction projects hope.

Although wood’s index is only 0.09 W/mS, its thermal conductivity at standard temperature is 0.04 W/mS, higher than that of wood. Additionally, wood’s 45–56 dB sound absorption is only equal to that of mineral wool.

The coefficient of water absorption is not more than 2%. This indicates that foam glass has a nearly zero vapor permeability (0.005 mg/(m). ̇. Pa) and essentially does not absorb moisture. One could refer to this substance as the perfect vapor barrier.

Blocks are resistant to high temperatures; they hold their characteristics at 300 C. If specific additives are added to the composition, the heat resistance threshold can be raised to 1,000 Ρ. In addition, the material is tolerant of low temperatures and does not show any signs of deterioration when it comes into contact with liquid nitrogen (-200 C).

A valuable attribute is chemical inertness combined with high environmental friendliness. This is probably one of the safest insulation materials available today.

Durability is an additional benefit. By contrast, polymers age more quickly, losing their functionality and starting to leak harmful substances into the environment. These drawbacks are absent from foam glass, making its application more sensible than that of polystyrene or PVC plastics. Foam glass blocks have a 100-year service life.

Where the material can be used

Energy conservation is very important in today’s world. It is related to the increase in energy costs, which is why choosing building materials that minimize heat loss has become essential.

Are numerous, but we can highlight the following as some of the most significant ones:

  1. Foam-glass slabs are safe for people and the environment.
  2. Quick reshaping after completion of the installation work.
  3. Strength under load. Impact resistance.
  4. Absence of large labor costs when laying the material.
  5. Low coefficient of thermal conductivity. The material must retain heat well.
  6. Durability.
  7. Resistance to high temperatures. Fire safety.

While foam glass satisfies many of the requirements, it can be substituted with another insulator for a number of other properties. It is important to discuss the benefits of gas glass in addition to its drawbacks.

Blocks can be used in harsh climates because they can tolerate large temperature fluctuations. The boards are not prone to erosion because the material’s composition contains no materials that could be removed by water. Since there are no oxides in the makeup of the products, they do not oxidize.

When it comes to strength, foam glass outperforms foam plastic by a significant margin. As a result, fasteners are not required to be added to the material.

Styrofoam glass is comparable to brick and concrete in that it does not change in size. Grain and vegetable storage facilities can have their interiors finished with the slabs and blocks.

The substance is entirely safe for human use and friendly to the environment. When the temperature in a fire rises above 1000º, foam glass melts but doesn’t release any toxic fumes.

There is almost no vapor permeability in foam glass. This advantage can occasionally turn into a serious drawback. Fungi may grow on any damp surface beneath the insulation.

The nuclear industry uses the material because of its resistance to high temperatures. Foam glass is more expensive in other areas and is therefore used less frequently. The blocks are often used in construction to insulate the exterior walls of the building, shield pipes, and cover furnaces and foundations. Many customers choose to purchase foam glass for home insulation; choosing is made easier by the photo.

Glass granulated foam is a good choice for ceiling insulation. It is also used to seal wall cavities and attic ceilings. Filler is available in construction stores to be added to bulk mixtures used in construction. For instance, it insulates the roadbed in northern countries.

One versatile material that can be utilized in the building of prefabricated homes is foam glass. The sections are sufficiently thick—30 cm—to support construction in arid climates. You can save money on specialized equipment because cranes are not required to lift the blocks.

The level of insulation is an important consideration when purchasing gas glass. It’s important to differentiate products made by foaming soluble glass from those made from foam glass.

At 200º C, the product known as liquid glass is made foamy by eliminating water from the mixture. The mass becomes viscous as a result. As a result, foam glass is created, and builders are familiar with its properties. Even regular water terrifies this kind of material. However, foam glass is made using an entirely different technology. It can hold onto heat and is resistant to chemicals.

Foam glass insulation is simple to work with; it can be cut and drilled.

However, it’s crucial to avoid damaging the block’s smallest gas-containing cells during this process.

Technologies of foam glass installation

  • Insulation of the wall under heavy cladding. In this case, it is necessary to glue the foam glass slabs to the concrete or brick surface according to the above described rules. After that, it is necessary to perform additional fixation of the material with dowels 4-5 pieces per one slab. The metal profile for the stone cladding must then be installed and the stone cladding must be assembled.
  • Insulating the wall under plaster. Here, the foam glass boards must be glued onto the brickwork or the surface of the wall made of aerated concrete blocks. They should be covered with reinforcing mesh with 10 cm overlap and fixed with umbrella dowels. After that, plaster mortar can be applied to the wall in a layer of up to 30 mm.
  • Insulating the wall with brick cladding. In this case, the basic brick surface should be covered with foam glass boards. It is easier to install the flexible ties after the insulation has been installed. After that, the outer masonry should be laid with facing bricks. Instead of boards, granulated cellular glass foam can be used, pouring it between the base wall and the cladding as it is installed. The distance between two masonry bricks should be at least 250 mm.
  • Wall insulation under metal profiled sheeting. For this purpose, the base surface should be covered with foam glass, and on top of it should be made a batten from a profile or wooden laths. The fasteners should be selected taking into account the type of wall material. The profiled sheets are fastened to the battens over the insulation from bottom to top and overlapped.
  • Insulation of partition walls. It is practically no different from exterior wall insulation with foam glass. In this case, the insulation is also covered with a plaster layer. It is necessary to install aluminum profiles under plasterboard sheets.
  • Insulation of roofing under waterproofing roll material. In this case, the concrete floor slab should be treated with bituminous-polymer liquid composition, then the foam blocks of insulation should be glued or hot bituminous mastic, and then fix them with gentle pressure on the base surface. After that, the finished flooring should be treated with heated bitumen and with the help of a torch, waterproofing and roll roofing material should be melted on it.
  • Insulation of the roof of the house under the sheet covering. In this case, the foam glass blocks should be glue-mounted on the concrete slab. Then the insulation should be treated with bituminous-polymer composition, to cover it with roll insulating material and to make a crate on it for mounting on it a sheet covering.
  • Insulation of wooden roofing. Prior to its implementation, the rafters should be covered with a continuous plank flooring, and over it lay a layer of waterproofing on a bituminous base. After that, it is necessary to perform thermal insulation made of foam glass and cover it with a waterproofing film. After that, any roofing material can be installed.
  • Floor insulation. On top of the base it is necessary to tightly lay the foam-steel boards, then cover them with two layers of polyethylene film and pour the whole construction with cement-sand mortar. After its setting, the floor will be ready for finishing with parquet, linoleum and other materials.

Author: editorial staff at TutKnow.ru

Scope of application

The physical and technical characteristics of foam glass dictate its range of applications. The substance is extensively employed in practically every aspect of daily life.

  • In residential construction. The material is used as an insulator for utility lines, roof and flooring. It is used to cover basements and foundations, basement and attic floors, and is also often used to insulate facades from the outside and inside.
  • In the construction of sports facilities – granulated foam glass is suitable for the arrangement of sports arenas, as well as swimming pools and sports grounds.

  • In industrial facilities. Embedded glass allows you to significantly reduce the cost of using objects due to their increased thermal resistance. Its use is justified not only in above-ground structures, but also in underground facilities, for example, in buried reservoirs.
  • In the national economy. On waterlogged soils it is quite common to use crushed stone from foam glass – that is why the material is optimal for the construction of farms that are intended for breeding cattle and birds.
  • In landscaping work. Bulk expanded glass is often used in the construction of greenhouses and greenhouses, as well as in the formation of garden paths. The material has also found its application in the construction of drainage systems.

1 Features of cellular glass

Fascinatingly, foam glass was not originally intended to be an insulator in the form of the material itself. It was unintentionally created in the 1930s during a period of extensive experimentation with different waste materials.

Although mineral wool was already available, it was not as well-liked as foam plastic and penoplex at the time. A similar destiny and glass wool were in store. However, the ability to melt glass and minerals in high-pressure furnaces has not disappeared.

An American company’s curious employees thought they could try making some material out of leftover glass and mineral crumbs. Ultimately, the first batch of cellular glass was produced.

If you review the technical documentation, we won’t go into detail about how foam glass is made. For this, there is a matching GOST. However, even GOST is unlikely to be able to fully explain this process to a non-expert. There, far too many intricate chemical formulas and algorithms are employed.

It should be mentioned that the machinery used to make cellular glass is also a farce. It is fairly spacious and highly priced. These are sizable furnaces that have the capacity to combine materials and add chemicals. Additionally, they are fastened to the foam formers.

Inside the foam generator, where the entire mass is saturated with gases, the melted raw materials are added along with binding chemicals.

The end product is a porous, somewhat glass-like substance composed of solidified raw materials. As you can see, it’s a difficult and perplexing process to produce cellular glass with dowels for thermal insulation using plastic nails.

Additionally, every manufacturer creates new technology from scratch or enhances already existing ready-made technology. This is the origin of Foamglas, ETIZ, Neoporm foam, and so forth. д. Every material has unique qualities, traits, and even structures.

Foamglas blocks in various dimensions

For instance, Foamglas Foamglas is distinguished by its enhanced strength. Additionally, it is a product of a highly regarded business in the construction industry.

1.1 Form of production

Several methods are used to produce foam glass. It ought to be comprehended. Although GOST unambiguously normalizes the release formats, each manufacturer is free to favor a particular version.

Make foam glass in the following shape if we discuss the fundamental forms:

  • Lightweight granules as foil insulation;
  • blocks.

Granule-shaped cellular glass has some very special technical properties. It is an extremely light material that is completely resistant to corrosion. It is not eaten by mold or fungus, and no damage develops on it. Granules of cellular glass are nearly eternal. It is hard to find a material that is more resistant to outside influences.

This, however, has nothing to do with its density. Cellular glass’s primary drawback is precisely its low density. additionally, both as blocks and pellets.

The insulation can bear average loads, of course, but only average loads. Comparing cellular glass to high-quality polystyrene foam, the density differences are not that great.

Foam glass is most commonly used in pellet form to finish a frame home. The glue is mixed with granules, which knead into a filler. This yields a glue that has the ability to insulate against heat, or even create analogues of plasters made of foam glass.

By the way, a few manufacturers launched a whole line of products containing foam glass granules after realizing how useful it was to add them to the mortar. Expanded polyurethane foam adhesives allow them to be matched to any type of building or residence.

What’s more, this type of plaster or glue can significantly improve the insulated structure’s capacity for thermal insulation. The reviews, at least, make that clear.

Plasters are made with glass pellets that have been inflated.

The second, and far more widely used, version of the release included building blocks and ceiling insulation materials. Glass blocks with cells are relatively light and stiff components. They resemble mineral wool samples or expanded polystyrene boards, which are used today to insulate any suitable house.

But, as we have already mentioned, every manufacturer has the option to select the variant that best fits their needs. Foamglas is therefore primarily offered for sale in big block form. Foamglas ETIZ comes in larger planes and thinner panels for packaging. Additionally, there are numerous variations.

2 Properties of cellular glass

Let us now examine the distinct characteristics of cellular glass, categorizing them into favorable and unfavorable aspects.

Foam glass offers benefits and drawbacks just like any other insulator. It’s totally typical. To avoid disappointment later on, you should first familiarize yourself with these qualities before placing your order for insulation with foam glass.

In actuality, contemporary producers have mastered the art of producing foam glass that is fairly superior. Foam glass alone can effectively insulate a house from top to bottom. In this situation, plaster or insulating glue can be used in addition to slabs.

The following list comes to mind when discussing foam glass’s advantages.

  • Stability of shape and dimensions.
  • Durability on insulation of ceilings in a private house.
  • It can be mounted on glue, just like conventional insulators.
  • Lack of reaction to any manifestations of corrosion.
  • Ecological purity.
  • Protection from moisture.
  • Vapor permeability (optional).

Let’s each highlight the final two points individually. Due to its properties, foam glass can either react positively or negatively to moisture and vapor permeability.

This is made possible by modifications made to the initial material creation technology. For instance, closed cells are used in the production of Foamglas foam glass. Since they are totally sealed off from one another, no moisture, steam, air, or anything else can pass through the material.

It can be applied to the foundation’s outer sections, the house’s facade, etc. There isn’t much of a difference, but the glue for these products will also need to be chosen separately.

Application of cellular glass plaster

However, ETIZ, the maker of foam glass, chose a different course of action. The majority of its pores in the blocks are open, and a network of channels connects them.

In other words, moisture will probably seep into the walls of your home if you insulate it with foam glass from the outside. especially if extra insulation and a specific waterproof glue are not going to be used to secure the boards.

But there are also drawbacks to this kind of material. Principal drawbacks:

  • Impressive cost.
  • Negatively reacts to shocks, has not too high density.
  • For some structures, the weight of the slabs may become excessive, the house will have to calculate the loads, and then already determine whether it is convenient to use foam glass for insulation.

Regarding the price, everything is obvious: a costly production process and a large amount of equipment have an impact on the cost. You should be aware, though, that you won’t likely regret choosing to finish the house with foam glass insulation.

Everything is even simpler with shocks. The blocks’ strength is only average because, even after remelting, they still contain components that were first put together from broken glass.

2.1 Installation technology

Expanded polystyrene ceiling tiles and foam glass that mounted on the walls as easily as any other material of the same kind. Fundamentally, they are just regular blocks. They can be positioned inside pre-assembled frames, on walls, or secured with adhesive.

All that needs to be mentioned is that foam glass still weighs more than minwool or foam plastic, so it needs to be fixed more firmly.

It is preferable to select a specialty adhesive. It offers superior adhesion in the first place, and it also bears loads from the structure’s weight well.

Insulating the walls is the most straightforward application for foam glass blocks.

The blocks can be further secured with dowels as a precaution. But only with extreme caution to avoid unintentionally ruining the slab entirely.

2.2 Feedback from users

We now invite you to review the feedback left by customers who have already had a chance to experience all of foam glass’s benefits.

Grigory, g. Samara, age 41:

Foam works well as an insulator. Naturally, it is a little pricey, but it is well worth the money. Δ

It is best to purchase foam glass right away if you intend to construct for centuries and then, after thermal insulation, put it out of your mind for at least fifty years. Such a life of service makes perfect sense for it.

Ivan, g. Kolyma, 28 years old:

This plaster composed of foam glass is a great invention. I had no idea that regular trim could also be used to create insulation. layered the interior wall composition of the home.

In addition to their amazing appearance, the room’s temperature increased by a few degrees. And even the heating didn’t need to be turned on right away. I suggest this to everyone as something worthwhile.

2.3 Disassembly of the process of foam glass production (video)

Rules of thermal insulation of the house foam glass

  1. If the fixation of the insulation is carried out with the use of a special adhesive composition, it should be applied to both mating surfaces – foam glass and the substrate.
  2. When gluing the insulator uneven surface, which has small chips, depressions or cracks, it is desirable to apply the working mixture naslapkami. Although this increases its consumption, it guarantees a reliable and durable fixing of the insulation material.
  3. When insulating the base made of wood, it is desirable to fix the foam glass with special dowels. This is due to the fact that with temperature fluctuations lumber is able to change shape and size, so the boards, rigidly fixed on the glue, can in the process of operation of the coating deformed and no longer meet its main purpose.
  4. Before insulating the facade or other exterior walls with foam glass at the level of the basement of the building, special support profiles are installed along its perimeter, which allow to perfectly align the first row of plates and thus ensure the correct laying of the rest of the elements of the coating. They are removed only after full polymerization of the glue under the products of the bottom row.
  5. Foam glass slabs are always installed on walls from bottom to top, the same applies to sloping surfaces.
  6. All elements of foam-steel covering should be laid tightly to each other, and each overlying row should be placed with some offset relative to the lower one to ensure seam binding and strength of the insulation layer.
  7. In case of combined fixing of cellular glass with adhesive and dowels, the latter should be installed after pasting and drying of the composition.
  8. In places where openings and other similar structural elements are located, it is necessary to install only solid slabs of foam glass.

Price and manufacturers of cellular glass

  1. Pittsburgh Corning. It is an American leader in the production of foam glass. The plant started working in the 40s of the last century. Now representative offices and production facilities of the company are located in many countries of the world, including Russia. Foam glass is produced under the FOAMGLASS brand. It is used in industrial and civil construction. The composition of foam glass from this manufacturer is characterized by a complete absence of harmful additives and impurities. It is an ecological material, the quality of which is confirmed by numerous certificates.
  2. SAITAX. Russian company, which is considered to be one of the country"s largest producers of cellular glass in blocks and granules. The manufacturer is constantly improving technologies and expanding the range of products. SAITAX foam glass has been used to insulate government facilities, sports centers and administrative buildings.
  3. Gomelglass. The company from Belarus, which has been operating since the early 40s of the last century. During this time it has reached the international level, supplying its products to many countries of the world. The manufacturer puts all certificates and documents confirming high quality of foam glass in granules and blocks in open access.
  4. Factory of construction heat-insulating materials. This is a Ukrainian manufacturer, which produces foam glass on its own unique technology. Research centers of Ukraine and foreign experts worked on it. Currently, the company produces tile and block material. In the near future it is planned to release granulated foam glass.

Application of cellular glass

The primary end users of the material are private developers and construction firms that build both residential and commercial structures.

Using cellular glass makes all design decisions much simpler because it can completely complete the three primary functions of building envelopes:

  • act as a load-bearing material;
  • to be thermal insulation;
  • is a decorative cladding of the building with a high degree of waterproofing.

By nearly doubling the wall’s weight, cellular glass can be used to lighten the foundation and frame structures of high-rise buildings, lowering both the initial construction and ongoing operating costs.

Foam glass can completely replace the wall "pie" in low-rise construction, lowering the building’s mass and increasing its internal volume while maintaining the same external dimensions (a high thermal insulation coefficient enables you to reduce the enclosing walls’ thickness).

Foam glass’s high strength and low density allow for the following:

  • to add upper floors without reinforcing the foundation;
  • construct buildings on weak soils;
  • make floating structures.

The material’s non-combustibility allows for its use in the following productions:

  • cryogenic equipment;
  • Fire- and explosion-hazardous production;
  • Buildings with high requirements for fire safety;
  • use as insulation for pipelines and other equipment.

Corrosion resistance and chemical inertness are employed in:

  • production of reusable insulation;
  • pipelines for petroleum products and acids must be constructed.

Granaries, along with residential and commercial structures, are shielded from rodents and pests by means of biological resistance.

The material’s ecological purity makes it safe to use for garage, outbuilding, and home thermal insulation. You can use it to insulate the attic, floor, or loggia.

Foam glass in particular is frequently utilized for insulation in buildings and spaces that have unique humidity and temperature regimes:

  • baths, saunas;
  • swimming pools;
  • basements;
  • chimneys.

Rigid, shrinkage-proof material is utilized in:

  • thermal insulation of roofs;
  • Installation of underfloor heating, parking lots, .

Mineral wool is typically used for this purpose, but foam glass is also frequently used to insulate technological equipment. However, they are not very durable, and after a few years, this type of insulation needs to be replaced. Fortunately, using foam glass reduces the frequency of this need.

Hence, foam glass emerges as nearly the most resilient material—which also happens to be multipurpose—in the highly humid and highly variable climate of Russia.

It can be applied to both new construction and the renovation of already-existing structures. Simultaneously, the cost of reconstruction decreases (in contrast to conventional methods) and the building’s lifespan increases significantly.

Advantages and disadvantages

A multitude of benefits were "awarded" to the material by its exceptional physical attributes:

  • ease of processing – the material is easy to fix; installation work can be done with your own hands, even without extensive experience in construction and decoration;
  • resistance to corrosion – cellular glass does not form rust;
  • biostability – the material is resistant to the products of flora and fauna, as well as to microorganisms of all types;
  • chemical inertness – cellular glass does not react with acid-alkaline solutions;

  • constancy of block dimensions – during the whole period of use the blocks do not shrink, do not stretch and do not shrink, their dimensions are unchanged in any conditions;
  • resistance to mold and fungus – foam glass is not a medium in which mold and other dangerous microorganisms multiply, so you can always be sure that fungi will not penetrate into the room and will not harm the health of the household;
  • high degree of resistance to fire – the material does not spontaneously combust and does not support combustion, protecting walls from damage in case of fire;
  • hygroscopicity – the product does not absorb moisture;
  • vapor permeability;
  • environmental friendliness;
  • sound absorption.

It is advised to use the material in spaces with strict hygienic and sanitary regulations.

In addition to remaining shapeless over an extended period of use, the material consistently shields the building from cold bridges caused by sagging or compression of the insulating coating as well as seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation.

When it comes to drawbacks, the most fundamental one is that they are expensive. This is because the technology used in the production of glass is linked to high energy consumption. Furthermore, the annealing process itself requires a lot of labor and technology. All of this has a big impact on the product’s ultimate cost.

The second drawback is a weak defense against mechanical harm. Nonetheless, since insulators are not frequently shocked, this indicator cannot be deemed critical.

Due to its low elasticity, foam glass requires stable fixation during installation.

Furthermore, it is crucial to adhere to the precise laying technology; otherwise, the blocks will begin to split.

Peculiarities of production

Production of high-quality block (slab) foam glass (and even more so of shaped products made of it) is rightly considered to be a very technically challenging task. The reason for this is the complexity of physical and chemical processes directly at foaming, as well as strict requirements for the processes of fixation and cooling (annealing) of the finished foam. So, for example, fixation is complicated by the fact that glass is not characterized by sharp solidification when cooling (like crystallization in the transition of water to ice), and fixation of foam glass may be accompanied by such "interfering" processes as exothermic reactions in the glass melt, spontaneous crystallization (devitrification) of the glass mass, significant inhomogeneity of the temperature field in the foam array, etc. п. Proper cooling of the foam block is also not easy – the material has an extremely low coefficient of thermal conductivity with the known fragility of thin glass cells of foam. As a result, annealing is prolonged for 10 – 15 hours and imposes significant restrictions on the height (thickness) of annealed blocks (the permissible cooling rate is inversely proportional to the square of thickness). The production of granulated foam glass is much less complicated, mass production of which is less demanding to the glass composition and perfection of heat engineering units. Granulated foam glass is somewhat inferior in thermal efficiency to block glass, however, having a significantly lower price, is in certain demand in the production of lightweight concrete, thermal insulation backfill and the manufacture of geometrically complex products, including soundproofing.

How Styrofoam was created history of technology

As early as the 1930s, glass foam was developed. Canada and the USA embraced the new product’s insulating qualities right away. Due to its high cost and unrefined production process, the Soviet enterprises were hesitant to deal with this unique material.

These challenges have been met by modern technology: foam glass is now produced in huge quantities and used in a variety of industries, including the oil and gas sector and home construction.

Advantages of the material: figures and facts

It is not necessary to be a physicist to recognize the clear benefits of the materials developed in the twenty-first century. Comparing it to other insulators based on the most crucial factors is sufficient:

  • Lightness.If keramsite has a volumetric weight of 250 to 1100 kg per cubic meter, the index of cellular glass is only 85-530 kg/m3. As a result, the load on floors and foundations is reduced, which allows you to build objects even on weak soil.
  • Durability.Glass material is several times stronger than foam plastic. Therefore, there is no need for additional fixing with fasteners.
  • Water resistance. Moisture absorption of mineral wool is from 2 to 20%. In the innovative insulator due to closed pores this indicator is equal to zero.
  • Durability. Claydite with time changes physical properties and degrades – its service life without loss of quality does not exceed 15 years. Glass retains its characteristics during use – at least 50 years without having to worry about replacing the insulation.

Foam glass plant LLC "Granulin": high quality at favorable prices

Granulin Ltd. is a prominent manufacturer of cutting-edge insulation materials. We serve all of Russia and are based in the Ramensky neighborhood of the Moscow region. Depending on your requirements, we can produce and supply the material in granules of varying fractions. The business constantly upgrades its machinery to enhance the production process, which lowers production costs and consumer prices.

Granulin Ltd. is your dependable go-to partner for building project realization!

Peculiarities of slabs production

There are two types of foam glass: blocks and granules. Glass from bottles and windows is broken to obtain the primary raw material. This makes it possible to employ raw material recycling technology because glass takes a while to decompose.

Glass scrap is cleaned, sorted, and then ground into a powder. The fraction is heated to a temperature of one thousand degrees Celsius and carbon is added for foaming. The glassmass foams up and the gas volatilizes at this temperature.

The heated glass mass is a viscous mixture that solidifies and is fired after being taken out of the kiln.

As a result, the technological blueprint that links raw materials to the final product consists of:

  • Glass Cleaning;
  • Sorting the raw material;
  • Melting of the glass mass;
  • Passage of gas;
  • Cooling;
  • Firing of the finished slab.

Foamed glass what it is

This type of glass is utilized in the chemical and oil industries as well as the building sector and is regarded as an all-purpose insulator. It’s basically a foamed fiberglass.

This material is made from silicate glass, which is softened at a high temperature (roughly a thousand degrees) and then passes through carbon, which acts as a kind of gas-forming agent. The glass is frothy because of this. The material acquires its special qualities when it cools to a temperature of 15 to 20 degrees.

Kindly take note! Foam glass is used for thermal insulation of roofs, facades, walls, floors, etc., along with mineral wool or polystyrene foam. Additionally, loggias and balconies can be insulated with it.

Glass foam in a video

Instructions for using foamed glass as a heat-insulating material

Glass foam, as we have often stated, is an all-purpose insulator. This indicates that it can be applied to the widest variety of object structural elements. Let’s take a closer look at each of the available possibilities.

Variant 1. Using foamed glass to insulate walls from heat

In most situations, foam glass is used to insulate the walls. Typically, external insulation is produced, but because the material is environmentally friendly, it can also be used internally. The actual installation process consists of the following simple steps.

Step 1. First the surface is prepared. From the walls is removed dirt, dust, as well as a layer of the previous finishing material (if any).

Step 2: A unique adhesive composition is applied to the foam block (you can also use regular cement mortar in place of this). Furthermore, since the glass foam in this instance does not absorb any moisture, the hydro- or vapor-insulating layer is not required.

Step 3: Press the block as firmly as you can against the wall. Typical of this situation, more fasteners are not needed.

Be mindful! Because the material is so delicate, using only an adhesive composition is advised. The utilisation of dowels or self-tapping screws may result in the destruction of the insulation’s structure.

Step 4: The thermal insulator is covered with a plastering layer.

The overall weight of the structure is significantly decreased when foam glass is used as insulation, so a particularly sturdy foundation is not required. This is particularly important when summer homes are constructed on shady lots close to bodies of water or with relatively weak materials.

Variant No. 2: Insulation for floors

Because of their increased rigidity and lack of shrinkage, blocks of this insulator can be used to insulate floors. In this scenario, the recommended course of action is as follows.

Step 1: A thin 50 millimeter-thick layer of sand is used as a "cushion" over the base.

Step 2: The thermal insulator boards are laid on top of the sand.

Step 3: Assembly foam is blown out to close the spaces that have formed between the boards.

Step 4: The insulating layer is covered with a screed of reinforced concrete.

A base like this is perfect for setting up a classic boardwalk.

Kindly take note! It is required to insulate from the inside, or the heated side of the room, if the floor that needs to be insulated is above the basement.

Insulating the foundation is option #3.

Although it is unfortunate, many owners of country plots actually deal with the issue of flooding. After all, the base and walls of the house will start to get wet if the soil contains a lot of river organic matter, which will cause delamination, shrinkage, rotting, and rusting. The building material will, in other words, be destroyed. The best course of action in this case is not frequent overhauls. Ideally, the issue should be resolved during the construction of the home, and foamed glass works best in this regard.

This issue will be resolved permanently if you use this insulator to safeguard the basement or foundation. Ultimately, foam glass not only preserves the building material’s structure but also creates the ideal environment within the space. The insulating material’s porous structure, which is preserved for the duration of its service life, makes this possible.

Insulation for bathrooms, variation #4

The bathing room is characterized by a unique microclimate as well as an aggressive atmosphere brought on by higher humidity and temperature indices. Many thermal insulators produce vapors that are hazardous to human health and are just not made to survive such harsh operating conditions. Here, the bathhouse can be securely guarded with foam glass. The actual insulation process is completed in the same manner as it is for residential or household properties.

Video: Foam glass for thermal insulation in the home. first section

Section three. Plastering on the outside

Section Four: Interior Finishing

Experts with years of experience guarantee that foam glass has special qualities that no other insulating material can match. Because of this insulator, the building industry has enjoyed such widespread use for the majority of its existence, or nearly a century.



Cellular glass’s composition naturally places it on par with the greenest fillers available: SiO₂ makes up 75–80% of it; stable metal oxides make up the remaining portion.


Glass-based fillers carry on the quality of being one of the world’s most durable materials. Because of this, cellular glass has a 100-year service life with no appreciable loss in strength, dimensions, or thermal conductivity. Tests carried out by numerous domestic and international institutions verify this. (NIIZHB, NIISF RAASN, NIMOSSTROY).


Granulated foam ceramics and glass of various fractions are non-flammable and fall under the flammability class "NG"; they do not release any harmful substances when exposed to high temperatures for an extended period of time.

Use temperature range: -200 to +600 C.


Foam glass and foamamic granules are lightweight materials with enough strength reserves to be used in high-pressure plugging mortars.


Because foam glass and foam ceramics are made entirely of stable oxides, the filler can withstand extended exposure to harsh chemical environments. If there are no organic materials at all, your products will not be susceptible to the growth of mold, fungus, or other unwanted biological elements.


Granulated foam glass’s developed porous internal structure, which enables granule thermal conductivity to be maintained within 0,05-0,07 W/(m*C) (depending on the fraction), is what gives the material its amazing light weight.


Although cellular glass has some benefits as a heat-insulating material, it also has some significant disadvantages. Its comparatively high cost in comparison to alternative insulation options is one of its main drawbacks. Furthermore, under some circumstances, cellular glass may be brittle and prone to cracking, which could eventually reduce its effectiveness. Its installation procedure can be difficult and labor-intensive, requiring specific knowledge and tools. Furthermore, cellular glass is not as flexible or adaptable to different architectural styles and building specifications as it could be. Cellular glass has some thermal insulation qualities overall, but before using it as the main insulation material for a home or business building, its disadvantages should be carefully considered.

Technical characteristics of cellular glass

  1. Thermal conductivity of cellular glass. This material has a value of 0.04 W/m*s. If we compare cellular glass with wood, the latter is twice worse in protecting from cold. And mineral wool loses in this respect by 20-30%. This level of thermal conductivity is due to the fact that the structure of the insulator is a huge number of closed cells, which are separated by thin partitions.
  2. The strength of the cellular glass. One meter square of cellular glass can withstand a pressure of 40-100 tons. In other words, this index is 0.5-1.2 MPa. This is a very strong material in compression, and this quality does not deteriorate over time and in the process of operation. As far as impact strength is concerned, this indicator is much lower for cellular glass. It can be broken by applying a strong mechanical impact, which imposes certain restrictions in its use.
  3. Resistance to low and high temperatures. A standard block of insulation is able to withstand +300 degrees Celsius, without breaking down and melting. If special additives were added to the material during the production process, the heat resistance increases up to 1000 degrees above zero. Extremely low temperatures are also not terrible to foam glass. Contact with liquid nitrogen up to -200 degrees does not harm the heat insulator.
  4. Sound insulation. Foam glass is able to dampen sound waves no worse than mineral wool. In figures, this indicator is 45-56 decibels.
  5. Density of cellular glass. Originally, this material was tried to be used as a floating substance. This is due to its low density – only 100-250 kilograms per cubic meter. If we compare it with the density of dry wood, the latter has this indicator equal to 550-750 kg/m3.
  6. Moisture resistance. Glass foam blocks absorb up to two percent of water from their own volume. This means that they absorb almost no moisture. The substance does not come into contact with water and does not change its properties under its influence in any way.
  7. Vapor permeability. This rigid thermal insulator may well act as a vapor barrier, because the vapor permeability of cellular glass is close to zero. Only 0.005 mg/(m*h*Pa).
  8. Resistance to chemical attack. Styrofoam is practically chemically inert material. Alkali, acid, aggressive gas, petroleum products individually or in combination are not able to harm this insulation material. Also, this insulator does not react with most building mixtures. The only threat to cellular glass is hydrofluoric acid.
  9. Biological resistance. Foam glass has incomparably better resistance to microorganisms, rodents and insects than most organic heat insulators. Since the insulation does not absorb water, it will not be able to get fungus and molds. And rodents this material is simply not on the teeth of this material because of its hardness and strength.
  10. Ecological compatibility. Cellular glass is chemically inert, which guarantees its high level of environmental friendliness. Unlike polymer compositions, this insulation does not burn, does not emit toxic gases and compounds that poison the environment. Foam glass does not degrade over time, and therefore also does not produce decay products in the same way.

The methodology of insulating walls and floors with foam glass

After adhering to the wall, the foam glass slabs are secured with plastic dowels.

Only from the perspective of basic buildings (brick, foam blocks, monolith) should the insulation of the house with foam glass be taken into consideration. Insulation can be applied to walls from the interior as well as the exterior. Furthermore, insulation can be placed in the space between two rows of masonry in the middle of the wall. When building a wall, dry granules are just poured into the space between the walls. Reviews state that glue and plastic dowels are used to perform external insulation of walls with foam glass. Work methodology:

  • Preparatory work – leveling the wall, applying primer;
  • glue is applied to the blocks of cellular glass;
  • blocks are glued to the wall, starting from the bottom;
  • each block is fixed with one dowel.

Place the blocks against the wall and on top of one another using the half-stone shift method, which is the foundation of traditional bricklaying.

As a result, the construction will last. You can cover the foam glass blocks with plaster. It should be noted that contemporary dry mixes for plastering walls contain tiny foam glass capsules (approximately 1 mm). This is the so-called warm plaster, and applying it follows the same steps as regular plaster.

There are two ways to use foam glass to insulate the floor:

The preparation of a cellular glass granule screed is more expedient and practical. Making cement milk and combining it with granular material is necessary to accomplish this. On the level, beacons are initially placed on the floor. Using a saw, the resultant mortar is distributed evenly after being poured between the guides. Tiles can be placed on the foam glass screed after it has cured. An easy way to insulate using foam glass, in the video:

Advantages of cellular glass

  • Excellent thermal insulation performance. This almost universal material is good for insulating walls, foundations, roofs and pipes. It is actively used for insulation of objects with increased fire hazard and where high temperatures occur.
  • Durability. Most manufacturers of this material indicate at least one hundred years of operation without loss of insulating qualities. Temperature fluctuations will not cause the destruction of cellular glass. Its working ranges are from +650 to -250 degrees Celsius. Also, the insulator is not subject to deformation, shrinkage and other changes in dimensions during operation.
  • Good sound insulation. A block or a layer of foam glass granules 100 millimeters thick can drown out tractor rumbling under the house. With such insulation you can not be afraid of penetration of extraneous sounds from outside.
  • Non-combustibility. This material is practically incapable of burning. Foam glass will only melt at high temperatures without emitting any harmful compounds or smoke.
  • Easy installation. The installation of foam glass blocks or slabs is similar to the installation of foam concrete. This material can be cut with an ordinary hacksaw. It is also easy to work with due to its light weight. A cubic meter of insulation weighs approximately 160 kilograms.
  • Sanitary safety. Foam glass will not become a pest hotspot, nor does it produce any harmful volatile compounds. It can be used in public premises, children"s institutions and hospitals.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of cellular glass?

Apart from the aforementioned primary attributes, the substance possesses multiple other noteworthy characteristics.

Glass foam is incredibly simple to work with and form using standard cutting tools. This implies that buildings of any geometric shape can utilize this insulator. However, the process of producing blocks industrially is rather intricate, which drives up the cost of the material significantly.

Foam-glass insulation is a completely safe and non-toxic material for the environment and human health. And not too long ago, it was made using a technique that employed hydrogen sulfide as a gas-forming agent. Due to the unpleasant smell of "rotten eggs," which permeated the completed material, insulation was rarely used in private construction.

Foam glass is becoming one of the most widely used insulation materials because it is environmentally friendly and can be recycled into new products after use.

Types of foam glass insulation

A Soviet scientist created foam glass-insulating material in the 1930s of the 20th century. The project was put on indefinite hold at the time because it was determined that the production technology was too costly. And at long last, this material is being used in construction. It is unquestionably made from waste glass, which is a plus.

Broken glass is ground into a powder, combined with a foaming agent (limestone, coal, coke, or marble), and heated to 800-900 degrees Celsius to turn it into a liquid.

The release of carbon dioxide occurs at this temperature, and the resulting bubbles are evenly dispersed throughout the liquid mass. After cooling, a solid substance with a closed cell structure is the final product. It’s like foamy soap that has hardened and all the bubbles are glass. Foamed glass insulation is available as follows:

Glass foam is a good insulator for horizontal roofs, floors, and walls. The material is completely environmentally friendly and suitable for use in spaces with strict hygienic standards, such as hospitals, kindergartens, and laboratories.

In a wooden house, a closed heating system is more typical than a circuit with an open expansion tank.

Which heating scheme—horizontal or vertical—should be used to divide a two-story wooden home? React.

Production of expanded glass

At present the main technology of foam glass production is t. н. "powder": finely ground silicate glass (particles 2 – 10 microns) is mixed with a gas-forming agent (usually carbon), the resulting homogeneous mechanical mixture (charge) in molds or on a conveyor belt goes into a special tunnel kiln. As a result of heating to 800-900 ° C, the glass particles soften to a viscous-liquid state, and carbon oxidizes to form gaseous CO2 and CO, which foams the glass mass. The mechanism of gas and foam formation reaction is rather complicated and is not limited only to the reaction of carbon oxidation by air oxygen, more important role is played by redox processes of interaction of carbon with components of softened glass. Wastes of ordinary glass or easily sintered rocks with high alkali content – trachyte, syenite, nepheline, obsidian, volcanic tuff – are used for this purpose. Coal coke, anthracite, limestone, marble are used as gas formers. Carbon-containing gas formers create closed pores in the foam glass, while carbonates create communicating pores.[1]
Foamed glass should not be confused with foaming products of aqueous solutions of soluble glass. Foaming t. н. "" occurs at temperatures of about 100-200°C as a result of the rapid removal of water from the mortar that becomes viscous. The product of foaming of soluble glass is absolutely not resistant to the action of even cold water, unlike foam glass, the chemical resistance of which is comparable to the original sheet or container glass.

Coated foam glass blocks

Foam-glass blocks are delivered either uncoated or with a pre-made bituminous coating from the factory to streamline installation processes and shorten project completion times.

Coated (laminated) blocks for subsequent surfacing of roll waterproofing:

The coating is made up of an easily fuseable polyethylene film and a thin layer of modified bituminous-polymer sealant, ranging in thickness from 2 to 5 mm. Roll waterproofing is applied to blocks of foam glass after they have been adhered, with the joints needing to be sealed. The film also prevents the blocks from sticking to one another while being transported.

These blocks are utilized in the building of basement walls, floors, plinths, and flat roofs.

Many applications, including home insulation, have made extensive use of cellular glass as a thermal insulator. But in spite of its advantages, there are a few drawbacks that homeowners need to be aware of.

The comparatively high cost of cellular glass in comparison to alternative insulation materials is one of its primary disadvantages. Even though it has great thermal insulation qualities, many homeowners—especially those with limited funds—may find its cost to be prohibitive.

Brittleness is another drawback of cellular glass. Cellular glass is more brittle than other insulating materials and can break or crack when put under pressure, which can make installation difficult in some circumstances. Additionally, problems with long-term durability and maintenance may result from this fragility.

The fact that cellular glass is not as widely accessible as other insulation materials can also present logistical difficulties for homeowners wishing to install and buy it. Longer lead times and higher shipping and procurement costs could also arise from limited availability.

Furthermore, not all environments and climates may be suitable for cellular glass. It may not provide as much fire or moisture protection as other materials, despite its superior thermal insulation capabilities. Alternative insulation options might be more appropriate in areas that are prone to high humidity or extreme temperatures.

In conclusion, cellular glass has a number of drawbacks that should be carefully considered before making a decision, even though it offers excellent thermal insulation properties. Homeowners must assess the benefits and drawbacks of cellular glass to decide if it is the best option for their insulation needs, taking into account factors like its expensive cost, brittleness, restricted availability, and possible climate restrictions.

Video on the topic

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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