How to Make Lightweight Fiber Cement

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Things You'll Need

  • 94 lb. bag Portland cement

  • Seven 5-gallon buckets

  • Masonry sand

  • Water

  • Styrofoam beads of various sizes

  • 5 lbs. fiberglass strands

  • Concrete mixer

Warning

When adding fiberglass strands to the mix, make certain that the amount used is no more than 5 percent of the total weight of the cement mixture. Too much fiberglass can lead to a brittle final product.

Use lightweight concrete where you want an easy-to-move concrete object.

Lightweight cement is a cement mixture using lightweight aggregates such as Styrofoam beads or pumice stones as a replacement for heavier gravel aggregate. The replacement material is applicable using the same methods as traditional stone aggregate-based cement. The problem with lightweight cement is in its strength. Without the gravel aggregate, lightweight cement cannot support the same weight as traditional cement. One method of adding strength, though, is with the addition of fibers to the mix. By mixing in fiberglass fibers, for example, you can create stronger cement, though it is still not as strong as traditional mixes. This cement is not for use as support for structures or as flooring, but with reinforcement it can substitute for most traditional cement builds.

Step 1

Fill one 5-gallon bucket with water, one 5-gallon bucket with sand and five 5-gallon buckets with Styrofoam beads.

Step 2

Pour the bucket of water into a concrete mixer. Add one-half of a 94 lb. bag of Portland cement to the water in the mixer, as well as the bucket of sand. Start the mixer to combine the materials, mixing them together for a few minutes until they form a cement slurry.

Step 3

Add the bucket of Styrofoam beads to the mixer and mix for two minutes until the beads are soaked with the slurry. Add two more 5-gallon bucket of beads, mixing them in thoroughly.

Step 4

Pour in 5 lbs. of fiberglass fibers, mixing them in completely with the cement for reinforcement of the cement.

Step 5

Add the final 2 buckets of beads, one at a time, and mix for two minutes after each is added to fully cover the beads with the cement and other materials.

Step 6

Apply the lightweight cement as normal on any non-load-bearing surface.

references & resources

Larry Simmons

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.