Cement and sawdust blocks: pros and cons

Cement and sawdust blocks: pros and cons

Cement-sawdust materials are a practical alternative for foam and aerated concrete, as well as bricks, wood and other materials in the construction of low-rise houses and baths. The material has good properties and at the same time pleasantly pleases with its availability.

In addition, you can not only purchase it, but also make it yourself at home without purchasing expensive equipment, and if the main component is present – sawdust or chips, this makes wood-cement products even more profitable.

Advantages and disadvantages

Arbolite blocks – the material is not new, but until recently it was not widespread, which is more than surprising given its excellent performance.

Positive features include the following properties:

  • Excellent thermal insulation performance. Houses made of sawdust concrete, like a thermos, keep warm in winter and cool in summer. The use of wood concrete eliminates the need for wall insulation, which, accordingly, saves construction costs.
  • Absolute naturalness. All components of the building material are of natural origin. They are non-toxic and do not emit microparticles hazardous to health that provoke allergies and diseases..
  • Strength. In the segment of porous materials, wood concrete has good structural strength, which makes it possible to use it as a material for supporting structures of buildings not exceeding three floors in height..

  • Incombustibility. In the manufacture of concrete-particle blocks, synthetic additives are used to ensure good fire resistance of the material. It is able to withstand temperatures around 1200 ° C for 2 hours without igniting.
  • High vapor permeability. The porous structure provides free penetration of fresh air into the house, which creates a comfortable, unpleasant atmosphere. In addition, vapor permeability allows moisture trapped in the wall to evaporate, thereby preventing its accumulation and dampness of the walls..
  • Resistant to temperature drop. The material is resistant to freezing and defrosting cycles, does not collapse when the seasons change, when the frozen wall begins to heat up.
  • Acceptable price. Arbolite blocks are somewhat more expensive than aerated concrete, but they can be used as a material for supporting structures of low-rise buildings and not resort to using bricks and similar materials, which reduces the cost of the structure as a whole.

  • High noise insulation. The porosity of the material provides significant sound absorption, reducing both incoming and outgoing noise.
  • Easy handling. The material easily lends itself to sawing, drilling and other processing methods without cracking and chips, retains structural integrity under mechanical stress.
  • Use of recyclable materials. The bulk of the mass of wood-cement materials is shavings or chips, which are waste of the woodworking industry. Even in the absence of your own source of raw materials, it can be purchased at a low price and used to create building materials, which will reduce its already low price..
  • Ease of operation. The blocks are quite voluminous and at the same time light, the walls are created quickly and without significant expenditure of physical strength.
  • Durability. Provided that the wood concrete blocks are protected from moisture ingress, they will serve for many decades without destruction from drying out, corrosion and other sluggish processes..

In addition to positive aspects, wood concrete blocks have some disadvantages:

  • Long-term production. After being poured into a mold, the material must be cured within three months before being used in construction..
  • Weak moisture resistance, high moisture absorption. Most wood-cement blocks are afraid of moisture and at the same time actively absorb it. Protection from water is the main task for those who want to use cement-bonded materials in construction.
  • Limited wood species as raw materials.

Application technology

When constructing the outer wall of a building using wood concrete, to prevent moisture penetration, a brick or concrete base is equipped with a height of at least half a meter from the blind area. For the same purpose, the overhang of the cornices for the facade walls should be at least half a meter with the obligatory installation of a storm and melt water drainage system..

  • Seams between blocks should be 10-15 mm thick.
  • Arbolite blocks are often used for laying only the inner layer for the purpose of insulation.

  • When using cement-bonded particle blocks as a material for door and window lintels, reinforcement is required.
  • Density and class of blocks by brand:
  • M5 – 400-500 kg / cubic meter m, B0.35;
  • M10 – 450-500 kg / cubic meter m, B0.75;
  • M15 – 500 kg / cubic meter m, B1;
  • M25 – 500-700 kg / cubic meter m, B2;
  • M50 – 700-800 kg / cubic meter m, B3.5.

Arbolite blocks are eaten by rodents, so you need to reinforce the wall with a mesh in the pest accessibility zone or combine the masonry with another material.


The main component of building material is sand, as well as cement and shavings (chips). Cement affects strength, workability and some other performance. The cement grade used to create blocks must be at least M400.

The increased content of sawdust enhances the sound-absorbing and heat-insulating performance of wood concrete blocks. Wood chips must be thoroughly dried before use..

With an increase in the proportion of sand, the strength increases, but the thermal insulation of the material decreases. Also, in the manufacture, chemical additives are used that enhance various qualities..

For example, a component that increases the fire resistance of the material is almost invariably used. In addition, a substance that repels rodents and other pests can be used..

Types of wood-cement materials

Depending on the added wood filler, wood-cement materials of various sizes and structure are obtained. The result is also influenced by the type of binder..

Among the many options, the following widely used types can be distinguished:

  • arbolite;
  • fibrolite;
  • sawdust concrete;
  • cement-bonded particle board;
  • xylolite.


It is a material with a high content of wood chips, water, a binder – mainly Portland cement – and chemical additives for various purposes.. Waste of the wood industry from deciduous and coniferous species are used for the manufacture. An alternative is flaxseed or hempfire, chopped straw, crushed cotton stalks, and similar raw materials..

It is divided into two main classes: construction and thermal insulation. In the second, the percentage of the wood component is increased, but the strength is reduced..

Arbolite is used to create products for any purpose:

  • blocks for forcing external and internal walls;
  • floor slabs;
  • floors and coverings;
  • large wall panels.


This building material is produced in the form of boards based on chip waste and a binder. According to the parameters, the raw material for wood filler is shavings 35 cm long and more and 5 to 10 cm wide, ground into wool.

At the next stage, the wood filler is mineralized with potassium chloride, it is moistened with water in a certain proportion and mixed with cement mortar, and then pressed into slabs under a pressure of 0.4 MPa. Then there is heat treatment and drying of finished products..

There are two types of material: heat-insulating and insulating-structural.

The characteristic properties of this material are:

  • strong roughness – determines its high adhesion properties with finishing materials;
  • fire safety – the material does not burn with an open flame;
  • high thermal insulation performance – thermal conductivity is only 0.08-0.1 W / sq. m;
  • ease of processing – sawing, drilling, hammering in dowels and nails is carried out without any problems;
  • moisture absorption in the range from 35 to 45%;
  • vulnerable to fungal mildew at humidity above 35%.

Sawdust concrete

This material is similar to wood concrete, but it does not have such strict criteria for wood filler. The material is so called due to its composition – it consists of sand, concrete and sawdust of different fractions. In addition, this material may contain lime and clay, and the percentage of sand may exceed that of wood concrete. Thus, at the same density, the strength of sawdust concrete is less.

As a result, the weight of the supporting structure made of sawdust concrete will be greater than that of wood concrete with the same class of structural strength – M. The thermal insulating properties of sawdust concrete are also inferior to wood concrete.

The main advantage is the price of the material – this is also indicated by consumer reviews, which, in the absence of special requirements, makes its use more profitable.

In addition, the strength of sawdust concrete is inferior to wood concrete, but significantly exceeds the strength of other porous block materials of non-wood origin..

Cement particle boards

This material belongs to a widespread type, made from a wood-shaving mixture mixed with water, cement and mineral additives, followed by dosing, molding, pressing and heat treatment..

The characteristic features of the material include:

  • frost resistance;
  • incombustibility;
  • biological inertness.

This material is used in prefabricated housing. Scope – facade and interior work.

The uniqueness from other wood-based materials lies in the high moisture resistance of the boards. The disadvantages of this material include a relatively large weight – 1.4 t / cu. m, which makes it harder to work with them above the first floor. The second disadvantage is weak elasticity, due to which, with a slight bending of the slab, it breaks. On the other hand, slabs are resistant to longitudinal deformation and are used to strengthen the frame..


Refers to sand materials based on magnesia binder and wood waste: sawdust and flour. The composition contains fine minerals: talc, marble flour and other ingredients, as well as alkaline pigments. During the production process, a high pressure (10 MPa) and a temperature of about 90 ° C are used, which provides special strength during hardening.

Such plates are used mainly for the manufacture of floors..

The characteristic features of xylene are:

  • high compressive strength, depending on the specific type (from 5 to 50 MPa);
  • excellent resistance to shock loads – the material is not chipped, but crushed;
  • high noise and heat insulation properties;
  • incombustible;
  • frost-resistant;
  • moisture resistant.

How to make blocks of cement and sawdust with your own hands, see the next video.

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