Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles
Micro Concrete Roofing (MCR) tiles are made of a mixture of cement, sand and water as an affordable, waterproof, lightweight alternative to traditional roofing materials.
Micro Concrete Roofing (MCR) tiles are made of concrete (mixture of cement, sand and cement) as an affordable alternative to traditional roofing materials such as thatch, iron sheeting or asbestos. It offers waterproofing and is more aesthetically pleasing. With a proper under structure, it can be used in a variety of applications.
There are distributors in Africa, South and Central America, Asia and South-east Asia, and in the former Soviet Union
Goal 11: Aims to offer a sustainable and more affordable roofing alternative.
Any person looking for a roofing alternative. NGOs or any individual could start a production facility.
Tiles can be produced on the construction site, or made-to-order or mass-produced at a production facility and then transported to the site.
There are patents on similar products but the technology is part of the public domain.
User can manufacture the tiles with the correct equipment, get them through a contractor or directly from a manufacturer.
An average of the maximum compressive strength a typical structure could withstand with this building material. Units: σ (N/mm2)
An average of the maximum loads/forces perpendicular to the compressive forces that a typical structure could withstand with this building material. Units: σ (N/mm2)
A seismic design category expresses an area’s likelihood of experiencing damaging effects of an earthquake (A(low), B, C, D0, D1, D2, E(high)). This parameter denotes the highest acceptable SDC for the material.
Climatic zones appropriate for construction based on a material’s availability/feasibility in each climatic zone.
To manufacture a micro concrete tile, it is necessary to have molds, a tile vibrator, plastic sheets, batching boxes, a tank for curing in water, and a table. The materials needed are sand, cement and water. Pigments are optional to produce colored tiles.
The dry materials are mixed first in the correct proportions. The water is added gradually, continually mixing, until it is workable wet.
Then the vibrator is placed on the table. A plastic sheet must be placed on top. The mix is then put on the plastic sheet, working it while the vibrator is on for 30 seconds. The tile nib is then attached to the tile. Take the whole tile, with the plastic sheet, and place it on the mold. Leave overnight.
The next day, the tiles would be removed from the molds and left inside a water tank to cure for at least 5 days. Then remove and leave to cure with air for 20 days. During this curing time they should be sprayed with water twice a day.
This process can also be viewed on online videos.
MCR tiles can vary in size, shape and color. There are different molds to create shapes such as ridges or corrugated shapes. If pigments are added to the mix, different colors can be achieved. Red is the most common color. MCR tiles are much lighter than standard concrete roofs and reduce noise when rain falls on them.
The roof structure is a group of purlins and rafters made of either timber or metal, and use triangular trusses if necessary. The spacing of these elements depend on the slope, climate, and tile weight. The pitch of the roof is at least 22°, and 30° in places where it rains heavily. To attach the tiles, it is necessary to place battens (made of wood or steel) with no more than 40cm of spacing. These should be able to hold the tiles’ weight and the weight of a worker.
Installation of MCR tiles
Aligning MCR tiles
Boral in Australia offers guidelines for construction with their MCR product.
Some manufacturers provide detailed instructions on installation.
A general contractor could be able to provide assistance. The roof structure must be designed according to user’s needs. The MCR tiles are just placed on the structure and attached with a nail or a wire, so any worker can learn to install them.
A broken tile can be replaced with a new one of the same type.
The MCR tiles should be lightweight, aesthetically pleasing, cost-effective and durable. They offer security and comfort for the user, protecting from sun, heavy rain and frost.
SKAT publishes an analysis of MCR in Latin America, Asia and Africa.
During installation, the user is exposed to the expected construction risks, such as heights and sharp tools.
Jayasinghe, C., JDe. Silva, M., Dissanayake, D.,Fernando, C. 2006. Engineering Properties of Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles.
Several methods are used to to test the quality of a MCR tile including ring, impact, load, water column, and water absorption tests.
No specialized infrastructure is needed to start a production facility. It is required to have access to the raw materials (sand, cement), water, storage room, electricity and a shed or roofed area to avoid harsh weather. The raw materials can usually be delivered by truck. Electricity is essential to have the vibration tables running. The storage room would be used to keep raw materials and finished tiles.
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