Building Code Acceptance Tests for Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) Products

Contec Mexicana, LLC, of Monterrey, Mexico, sought ICBO (now IAS) certification of its autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) products. The products consist of two groups, unreinforced elements (masonry blocks) and reinforced elements (floor, roof, and wall panels).

The company engaged CTLGroup to help develop the design procedure and design tables, and to interact with ICBO officials in support of the Contec application. Structural testing of Contec AAC panels included compression testing of wall panels and transverse load testing of slab panels. The structural tests were conducted according to ASTM E72, Standard Test Method of Conducting Strength Tests of Panels for Building Construction.

Large-scale specimens, 2 ft wide and an average of 10 ft long, were manufactured in Mexico and shipped to CTLGroup for testing. As part of the evaluation program, CTLGroup staff visited Contec's production plants in Monterrey, Mexico, in order to assess Contec's manufacturing process and product quality standards, and to determine whether the AAC panels tested were representative of the standard manufactured products. CTLGroup also helped the manufacturer develop a design manual for AAC reinforced and unreinforced elements and compile the certification submittal report package.

Material tests on masonry blocks included Compressive Strength Tests of Masonry Prisms (ASTM E447), Flexural Bond Strength Test of Masonry (ASTM E518), Diagonal Tension Test of Masonry Assemblies (ASTM E519), Compressive Strength Test on Cylindrical Specimens (ASTM C39), and Static Modulus of Elasticity (ASTM C469), Test for Water Penetration and Leakage Through Masonry (ASTM E514), Linear Drying Shrinkage Test (ASTM C426), and Compressive Testing of Mortar (ASTM C109).

CTLGroup's evaluation and test results were accepted by ICBO/IAS and the AAC products were certified.