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Lightweight Cellular Concrete


Lightweight cellular concrete (LCC) is a mixture of portland cement, water, and air created through a preformed foaming agent. LCC can act as a lightweight, strong, durable, and inexpensive soil or fill replacement for geotechnical applications.  Committee 523 of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) defines the product in their publication 523.1R-06, Guide for Cast-in-Place Low Density Cellular Concrete, as “…concrete made with hydraulic cement, water, and preformed foam to form a hardened material having an oven-dry density of 50 lb/ft3 (800 kg/m3) or less.”  LCC is popular in geotechnical applications primarily because it is lighter in weight than soil, is highly flowable and able to fill spaces of any size and shape, and is less expensive than many alternatives.


LCC in the geotechnical environment can be used for multiple purposes including lightweight road bases and fills, bridge approach embankments, void and cavity filling, pipe and culvert abandonment filling, annular space tunnel grout filling, foundation fills, energy arresting systems, retaining wall backfills, lightweight dam and levee structural fills, landslide repair and slope stabilization, and as controlled density fill.

LCC is often selected over other lightweight fills because it typically takes less time and equipment to install, which results in significant cost savings.  Additionally, LCC is a highly flowable, self-compacting, and self-leveling material that can eliminate the need for extra equipment and unnecessary labor hours at a job site.

LCC placed as slope stabilization.

Gregory E. Halsted, PE Manager, Pavements and Geotechnical Markets, Portland Cement Association

Lightweight Cellular Concrete