# Expanded clay in bags or in bulk: how to calculate the volume correctly

Expanded clay in bags or in bulk: how to calculate the volume of the material correctly

Expanded clay as a multifunctional material is common in various fields of construction. Its main advantage is a high degree of sound and thermal insulation. Therefore, it is more often used as a heater. Expanded clay is widely used in agriculture and manufacturing. There are several types of material and packaging. How to choose and calculate the required amount correctly, which is better: expanded clay in bags or in bulk? The answers to these questions are contained in this article.

## Expanded clay in bags: features and positive qualities of the material

Expanded clay has long been used in various fields of production due to a number of its positive qualities. It is a light, natural and eco-friendly material that is made of clay. It is practical to use and provides a high degree of noise insulation and heat saving in the premises. The thermal conductivity coefficient of the material is quite low – 0.1-0.18 W/m · K.

Additional advantages of expanded clay are its relative moisture resistance, frost and fire resistance, as well as bio–resistance. It does not form a fungus and rodents do not start. Properly selected proportions, quantity and compliance with the laying technology guarantee the reliability of the expanded clay screed and its long service life.

In large volumes, expanded clay is used as drainage on roads, to create sidewalks and embankments in the garden. It’s pretty easy to work with. However, before you buy expanded clay in bags or in bulk, you need to correctly calculate the required amount of material.

Expanded clay granules have different shapes. They are obtained from special grades of clay, characterized by a high degree of swelling at high temperatures. Thanks to these qualities, pores appear, which provide the thermal insulation properties of the material.

Expanded clay is produced in bulk and in bags in three types. The sand has granules up to 5 mm in diameter. Gravel has a more rounded shape, and the grain size reaches up to 20 mm. Crushed stone is a more angular material, its fraction is 20-40 mm.

### The density of expanded clay and the brand of the material

Expanded clay is light in weight, and the density of the material determines its quality and scope of use. It is this value that affects its quantity in cubic meter and, consequently, the weight of the bag of expanded clay. This indicator depends on the fraction: the larger the granules, the lower the density of the material.

Useful advice! When buying expanded clay, it is necessary to take into account the bulk density, which indicates the brand of the material.

The production technology affects the density of the material. There are four ways to obtain this material:

It is the bulk density that is the brand of expanded clay. It is denoted by the letter M with the corresponding number. For example, M300 means that 1 cube of expanded clay weighs from 251 to 300 kg. The lower the grade, the higher the thermal insulation properties. This material is best suited for insulation of ceilings and floors.

Expanded clay of a lower grade (fractions 20-40) is used as a heat insulator in foundations and basements. It is widely used for landscape design. The material with a minimum density is used for insulation of walls, communications and facades. The smallest expanded clay (with a fraction up to 10 mm) is used in the preparation of expanded clay concrete for pouring floors.

### Specific density and specific gravity of expanded clay

The density of expanded clay is measured using the bulk method, as well as by calculating its volumetric weight. This characteristic indicates the true weight of sand, crushed stone or gravel – without taking into account the space in the middle of expanded clay granules. This feature underlies the difference between bulk and true density, which almost always differ from each other. True density is a constant indicator, it can only be measured in special laboratories. The specific gravity varies depending on the grain fraction.

How much a cube of expanded clay weighs, the table clearly demonstrates:

Type of expanded clay | Fraction of granules, mm | Specific gravity of the material, g/cm3 |

Sand | 0,1-5 | 0,55-0,6 |

Fine gravel | 6-10 | 0,4-0,55 |

Large gravel | 10-20 | 0,35-0,4 |

Crushed stone | 20-40 | 0,2-0,35 |

The weight of sand can reach 600 kg per cubic meter, fine gravel – 450 kg, large – 400 kg. The rubble cube will weigh at least up to 350 kg. The higher the density of expanded clay, the greater the weight of the material. These indicators are regulated by the existing GOST.

The exact specific gravity of expanded clay is difficult to determine, you can only set the average value, which is 400 kg / m3 (0.4 g / cm3). This indicator is primarily affected by the size of the fraction. For example, a bag of expanded clay with a volume of one cube and a fraction of 10-20 weighs approximately 16.7 kg.

## How much does expanded clay cost: what does the price of the material depend on

The construction supermarket chain offers a wide range of expanded clay. The product can be purchased both in bags and in bulk. In the absence of appropriate storage conditions for the material in bulk, it is better to choose products in packaging.

Useful advice! When buying expanded clay, it should be taken into account that small granules have a lower thermal conductivity, while having the highest index of bulk density.

Packing facilitates easy transportation, shipment and storage for storage. During transportation, the material does not crumble, and its use will be waste-free.

The packed substance is cleaner and has no foreign inclusions. It is necessary to know that the cost of expanded clay per cube is a little cheaper than in bags. But if the wholesale purchase of several cubes is expected, it is more profitable to purchase expanded clay in bags with delivery.

The cost of the material, which is formed by the manufacturer, is influenced by the quality of raw materials, production methods, storage conditions and transportation costs. Production capacities and output volumes, energy consumption, labor resources and the total turnover in the market are of considerable importance.

### How much does a bag of expanded clay cost: factors shaping the retail price

It is necessary to take into account many other factors that determine how much expanded clay costs in bags. The price is formed on the basis of such components:

- the fraction of expanded clay. The main nuance is as follows: the smaller the size of the pellet, the more expensive the bag will cost. It depends on the weight and density ratios described above. It should be noted that the costs of sand are much higher than, for example, gravel or crushed stone;
- the presence and size of pores in the material. The thermal insulation qualities of expanded clay depend on the porosity, that is, on the number of cells in the fracture of granules. Accordingly, this factor directly affects the formation of prices;
- the method of packing the material. Paper bags in several layers provide good protection of the goods from contamination and moisture. In addition, in this form it is easier to carry out loading, transportation, storage and accounting of products;
- packaging. The process of material distribution is a special, separate production cycle, which requires the involvement of additional workers and areas. For this purpose, special equipment is purchased in the form of dispensers, special scales and a bulk hopper;
- the weight of the expanded clay bag. The cost is also affected by the number of kilograms of expanded clay in the bag. Packing of 25 kg will cost more than bags with the same material of 50 kg;

- the total volume of the purchase. Large batches with a significant number of bags will be cheaper. Most suppliers immediately offer wholesale and retail prices;
- payment method. Sometimes sellers make special discounts on the purchase of material for cash (or if non-cash payment is made through partner banks).

### The price of expanded clay in bags and per cube: comparative table

The cost of expanded clay is affected by the specific density. In addition, the price of the material depends on the manufacturer. The denser the expanded clay, the more expensive it is. An integral part of the price is also the volume of purchased raw materials. If we are talking about large batches, it is better to buy expanded clay in bulk. The price will be several times lower. There is a difference in the packing of expanded clay: the price for a bag of 50 kg will differ from the cost of a bag weighing 25 kg.

Useful advice! Its functionality depends on the weight of 1 m3 of expanded clay filler. The smaller it is, the higher the effect of thermal conductivity, that is, it will conduct more heat, having a lower degree of thermal protection.

The cost of expanded clay per bag and in bulk may vary slightly. This is evidenced by the table compiled based on the amount of material required.

Average prices for expanded clay:

Type of expanded clay | Fraction of granules, mm | Price for 1 bag weighing 50 kg/rub. | The price of expanded clay for 1 m3 with delivery |

Sand | 0-5 | 100-140 | 1900-2100 |

Fine gravel | 5-10 | 90-120 | 1800-2000 |

Large gravel | 10-20 | 70-110 | 1650-1900 |

Crushed stone | 20-40 | 60-85 | 1500-1600 |

The largest price range of a cube of expanded clay and packaged material is observed relative to gravel with a fraction of 10-20, since this raw material is the most popular. It is made by many manufacturers from various materials with different densities. Due to the versatility of the raw material, it is used in the insulation of various structures. Such expanded clay is quite light and reduces heat loss by an average of 70%.

### The price of expanded clay blocks and its components

In order to quickly erect warm walls, expanded clay blocks are often used. Their types depend on the purpose: for exterior walls, piers, for additional insulation. Expanded clay concrete blocks differ from pure expanded clay in that they contain admixtures of cement and sand. They are a monolithic product. The composition and dimensions are regulated by GOST 6133-99. When ordering material for different purposes, the width and thickness of the blocks should be taken into account.

In accordance with the application, the parameters of expanded clay blocks are selected, which can have dimensions of 39x18x19 cm or 40x20x20 cm. Walls made of expanded clay concrete, provided the right choice of material, can last over 50 years. The material for partitions is characterized by parameters 39x9x19 cm. Another name of the product is a semi–block. Sometimes blocks serve as a foundation in the construction of wooden houses.

The cost of the material depends on its type, shape, as well as on the composition and impurities. It is cheaper to buy blocks at the factory than from resellers. Intermediaries also regulate prices in different regions. The cost of a standard unit at the factory is on average 36 rubles – and 20 rubles for a half-block. The mark-up for resellers reaches 15-18 rubles apiece.

When buying expanded clay blocks, it is necessary to find out such a nuance as delivery. It should be clarified whether its suppliers provide it or whether it is necessary to organize the export yourself. It is important to take into account the number of blocks purchased, since individual plants release material only in large batches. Therefore, if you need a small amount of material, you will have to use the services of resellers.

Useful advice! The correct choice of blocks depends not only on the efficiency of the building and its strength, but also on the total cost of materials.

### Where to buy expanded clay in bags and how to save on delivery

The most profitable option for buying expanded clay is directly from the manufacturer. The exclusion of intermediaries from the trade chain allows you to save up to 25% on a bag of material. This is due to the fact that organizations engaged in the sale include the cost of transportation, storage, rent of premises, labor of movers and sales agents, etc. In addition, resellers of products make a margin taking into account economic risks.

Related article:

Floor screed with expanded clay: secrets of creating a warm and durable foundation

Advantages, features and scope of the material. Options and step-by-step instructions for the process of making expanded clay screed on the floor.

In Russia there are many plants for the production of expanded clay, the most popular among them are LLC “Meliz” in Kursk, the Aleksinsky expanded clay plant, the Keramsite combine, located in Serpukhov. It is also worth mentioning “Azarov plant of wall materials” in Kaluga and CJSC “Experiment” in Kostroma.

Buying larger bags is much more profitable. For example, a kilogram of expanded clay with a fraction of 5-10 mm in a small (kilogram) package will cost 6-8 rubles, and the price in a container weighing 50 kg is only 2 rubles.

A separate expense item is the delivery of the material. The further the point of sale is, the more expensive the transportation. If it is supposed to buy small volumes of large gravel, then it is better to transport the bags on your own passenger transport. If you need to buy expanded clay 0.5 in bags of 50 kg in large volumes, then it will be quite expensive to take it out yourself. After all, to do this, you need to find a special roomy transport and pay for its operation. In this case, it is more profitable to deal with a seller providing a cargo delivery service.

If the insulation is produced by a construction organization, it is recommended to entrust professionals with the purchase of all building materials, including expanded clay. Specialists, as a rule, have established mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers, and they also have discounts as regular customers.

### Where to buy expanded clay on favorable terms

One of the options for a profitable purchase of insulation can be the purchase of used material. Recycled expanded clay can be purchased from companies that dismantle old buildings and remove construction waste. The price of a cube of second-hand expanded clay may be half as much as the purchase of the material from the manufacturer.

When buying recyclables, you should pay attention to its condition. Crushed stone of large fractions must be sorted, excluding debris and crushed particles. Therefore, it is better to give preference to expanded clay, which served for a certain time as a heater on the roof. Such a material did not succumb to excessive mechanical and atmospheric influences, therefore, it is well preserved even after prolonged use. Recycled expanded clay is suitable for pouring the foundation or for thermal insulation of ceilings.

Useful advice! You can save a significant amount of money on a wholesale order of the material. Therefore, before the start of construction work, it is advisable to calculate the total amount of insulation for the entire building.

If a decision is made to make an independent purchase, then it is necessary to monitor product prices beforehand, study additional conditions and possible discounts at different retail outlets. In such matters, the advice of friends and recommendations on the Internet will be useful.

The seasonal factor should also be taken into account. So, in spring and summer there is a period of active construction – and the prices of materials are increasing. Therefore, it is better to buy expanded clay in bags in advance, in autumn or winter. The price will be a quarter cheaper, and the packaged material is well stored.

## How many cubes are in a bag of expanded clay: calculation of the volume of material

In order for the purchase of the material to be really profitable and economical, it is necessary to correctly calculate the required amount of expanded clay. As mentioned above, the weight and volume depend on the density and fraction of the granules. The most common packing of expanded clay is 50 liters, which in the ratio is 0.05 m3. It turns out that the price of expanded clay per cube is equal to the cost of 20 bags of medium fraction material.

You can calculate the required amount and calculate how much a cube of expanded clay costs based on the following parameters:

Volume of bags, l | Number of bags in a cube | Bag volume, m3 |

50 | 20 | 0,05 |

40 | 25 | 0,04 |

25 | 40 | 0,025 |

Different types of work require different amounts of material. For example, for a wet screed, you will need a part of cement, 3 parts of sand and 4 parts of expanded clay. This means that 30 kg of concrete will require 25 kg of expanded clay. Then they are determined with the total number. For effective insulation, the screed layer should be at least 10 cm. This parameter is multiplied by the area of the room and divided by the volume of one bag.

An approximate calculation for a room of 20 squares will look like this: 20m2 x 0.1 m / 0.05 m3 = 40 bags. Thus, the total price of expanded clay for the floor will be equal to the cost of 40 bags of material of the corresponding fraction.

Thus, choosing expanded clay as a heater, you should trust manufacturers and their distributors who have proven themselves in the construction market. If we are talking about large volumes, it is better to purchase the material in bulk. However, with prolonged transportation and the absence of storage conditions, it is recommended to give preference to expanded clay gravel or crushed stone in bags. In case of doubts about your own abilities, it is better to entrust the whole process to experienced specialists.