cemlite® HE features & benefits



cemlite® HE - features and benefits

A 21st century strong, hard, load bearing, highly adhesive and cementing lightweight composite material. High strength to weight ratio.

Strong, hard, lightweight, most durable and decorative white but through colourable cemlite®HE is used in exterior/interior architecture, landscape architecture, civil and mechanical engineering, reinforced composite fabrication such as bench / counter tops, as well as in sculpture creation, theatre set designing, architectural component manufacture and other artistic/architectural design disciplines for building, finishing, casting, decorating, repairing and making mechanical and other components.

This convenient but safe-to-use, water based, fire retardant, acid/alkali resistant, insulative, room temperature ‘cure’, lightweight but extremely strong, robust, material / binder may be selected for easy use by relevant trades people. Uses may include high performance, no maintenance rendering or ‘plastering’ of exterior or interior walls, application of wear resistant surfacing of floors, pavements, steps and roofs in new as well as for numerous refurbishing and repair applications of structures.

A relatively fast setting, high early strength - ready-to-use, mix with water powder product that after setting and hardening at room temperature is half the weight of concrete and twice as strong*.

After adding it to and thoroughly mixing it with the recommended amount of drinkable water, integrally colourable cemlite®HE (supplied as a white powder) liquid mixture can for example be used for filling voids, trowel applied as lightweight, acoustically and thermally insulative interior floor/exterior pavement and/or dry wall finishes, used to make lightweight building panels, as a low shrink, lightweight, strong engineering grout, a sculptural material for artists, for statuary manufacture, a repair ‘putty’, a high slip resistant, lightweight terrazzo binding matrix, or cast by fabricators into simple or complex lightweight, strong and durable components - large and small and machined/tooled or cut after hardening into weight saving strong component pieces of glued together items.

• More than twice as strong as 20 grade [20 MPa (approximately 1500 psi) compressive strength at 28 days] ready-mixed concrete.

• As a lightweight, self-levelling, trowel applied floor screed, topping and finish for many types of buildings having when compared with normal Portland cement bound types high degrees of weight saving and adhesion, as well as high resistance to skidding, abrasion, impact, high temperatures (220°C), liquids, chemicals and weathering.

• As an economical, convenient, easy-to-make, room or ambient air room temperature set and hardened lightweight, porcelain-like material. cemlite®HE may be mixed and used as an alternative to most kiln fired hand crafted or industrially moulded ceramic/porcelain/baked clay items such as coloured mosaics and tiles and other decorative, artistic, and/or functional building materials.

• As a steel mesh and/or suitable glass, steel, carbon or aramid, mesh fabric or fibre reinforced, lightweight alternative to ferro-cement, glass reinforced cement (GRC) or fibreglass materials for building/repairing ships, boats, and in manufacturing and fabricating creatively styled, strong, lightweight architectural exterior/interior building and theme park components/structures.

• As a lightweight, robust, honed and polished (or a glossy finish from the use of a mould having a polished, glossy finish) kitchen bench and store counter tops as alternatives to those made from normal heavy concrete, terrazzo or a natural dimension stone such as granite and marble.


• As a lightweight, acoustically and thermally insulated alternative to applied drywall ‘plaster’ for both internal and external building walls which may be coloured with powder colourants such as Ability’s 100% colouring strength abilox® inorganic mineral (metal) oxide or in the case of interior walls, duro® bright or even vivid organic colouring pigments - and having, if required by using suitable duo or multi mixing techniques, attractive ‘marbled’ or variegated coloured effect.

• For moulded and/or cut, lightweight steel, glass, carbon or aramid mesh / fabric or fibre reinforced fire retardant doors and wall/floor panels.

• For cast, strong, lightweight, through coloured window sills, mirror and picture frames, decorative moulded floor/wall skirting material, trowel finished dado walls, exterior wall, efflorescent-free masonry/concrete pier caps, etc - white - as supplied or through coloured with one of Ability’s range of abilox® mineral oxide pigments.

• An abilox® colouring pigment from 52 available ex stock is usually added at a dose rate of 5% to 10% of the cemlite®HE weight.

• Fuel and weight saving, fibreglass, carbon or aramid woven fabric/fibre or polypropylene fibre reinforced thin section, lightweight, applied in place or factory pre-cast floor panels having superbly high wear resistance for public transport vehicle use such as in aircraft, buses, railway trains etc.
Other lightweight but strong aerospace and automotive uses requiring high mechanical strengths, high abrasion resistance, high temperature, chemical liquids, slip/skid and impact resistance.

• As a lightweight weather resistant/thermal sound/acoustic insulated applied coating for factory made exterior building panels, over factory painted sheet steel, aluminium or hardened foamed resin sheets for composite ‘sandwich’ panel construction with or without additional polystyrene foam infills - and giving, depending on the method of application if required, the matte, flat, ‘cementitious’, ‘stucco’ or cement ‘mortar’ look.

• When integrally pigmented or through coloured to the pastel colour of your choice or non-pigmented, white cemlite®HE may be used as a lightweight, strong, durable, sculptural knife or spatula applied relief artistic material for artists. The product may be cast and used for maquettes (sculptor’s preliminary moulds), applied to skeletal framework (an armature) for a sculptured art piece instead of resin, plaster, clay, wax, fondue or concrete/mortar etc or chiselled like natural stone - preferably at an early age after setting. When cut, adzed or chiselled, removal of cemlite®HE’s cast surface reveals an attractive, close-grained white, hard compound and unlike concrete without any sign of coarse aggregate. Trowel applied by master ‘solid’ plasterers and drywall contractors onto single leaf concrete masonry blockwork/brickwork, and baked clay brickwork walls for low cost, highly adhesive, thermally and acoustically insulated, watertight, weather durable, high performance external/internal coatings for highly cost effective, attractive wall construction.

• For the possible manufacture of strong, lightweight artificial animal/human limb (prostheses) units.

• Durable, essentially mineral (inorganic), hardened cemlite®HE composite has only slightly higher weight per unit volume (SG) than most plastics, resins and polymers. However, it’s only half the weight of the old 4:2:1 parts by volume hardened concrete mix [equal to today’s 32MPa (3000 psi) grade of pre-mixed concrete] which from an exterior durability and mechanical strengths point of view is a material that has proven itself in durability performance for over 150 years.

• Chemically organic substances such as plastics, resins and non-mineral pigments are all degraded and denuded by UV rays in sunlight whereas those that are chemically inorganic such as rock, stone, metals, mortar, concrete, plaster and mineral pigments are not. So when a strong, lightweight, UV resistant material is sought cemlite®HE may be selected.

cemlite®HE is more expensive than concrete but lower in cost than many chemically organic epoxy or polymer resin products and substantially more convenient to use than inorganic ‘geo polymers’.

• Being a non-fire hazardous, water based fabricating material having high fire retardancy characteristics, fabricators using cemlite®HE should find it easy to get suitable fire insurance for their factory manufacturing operations.

• When hardened cemlite®HE is 40% lighter than aluminium and 15% lighter than magnesium metals.

Please remember to test first! Trials are essential before actual use!

cemlite® HE - features and benefits:

cemlite®HE - is a unique, very lightweight and strong - high strength to weight ratio advanced mouldable, castable and binding material for composite construction. If the recommended proportion of water is not exceeded, it has high adhesion and low shrinkage and therefore a low propensity to crack. It may be considered for use in making all sorts of lightweight load-bearing products, materials and components as well as for repair works in both interior and exterior locations.

1. Supplied as a white powder, which can be made more opaque by adding when mixing the product with water, with white or coloured colouring pigments* to result in virtually any colour.

To increase its already relatively high flexural and tensile strength it may be reinforced with carbon, aramid or glass woven fabrics or suitable plastic, glass, carbon or steel fibres***, it’s easy to mix lightweight (1480kg/m3) cemlite®HE powder into the specified low weight amount of clean drinkable water (24%) and apply the resulting liquid paste to many types of surfaces or cast it into moulds or form-work. However the mixing procedure must be thorough and we therefore recommend the use of a forced action mixer having moving blades.

It's a safe-to-use, chemically reacting two-pack product and has the convenience of a one-step operation. The water is the reactant and if the cemlite®HE powder is mixed thoroughly into it and prevented from evaporating after the mixture sets into a hardened mass and finally fully hardens - the water, as H2O molecules, becomes part of the strong lightweight composite cemlite®HE material as non-evaporable chemically combined water of hydration / crystallisation. As a result the resultant cemlite®HE paste may be cast, moulded, applied with a trowel, by means of suitable spray equipment or by other application methods, used as a strong, low shrink, load bearing, machine or structure supportive grout or as a repair putty - even under water and under sea water, or when set and partially hardened - machined, cut with high pressure water cutting equipment or diamond sawn with suitable equipment, into virtually any shape.

2. With efficient compaction by a suitable vibration procedure or in the case of a trowel applied floor or pavement topping/coating, the use of a spiked roller to remove air bubbles after thorough mixing, the resultant lightweight cemlite®HE paste will contain when set virtually no 'pin' or ‘bug’ holes on its surface. Whilst being mixed with water cemlite®HE has a low propensity to entrain and hold air voids, which are counter productive and result in permanent holes and voids that weaken any moulded material and which on the surface usually from an aesthetics point of view have to be filled with a suitable filler.

Therefore minimal finishing is required for cemlite®HE lightweight but strong moulded products and materials.

Some examples of use could for instance include, as a casting resin alternative in the possible manufacture of strong, lightweight prostheses and other lightweight products, trowel applied as lightweight exterior insulative exterior dry wall renders ('plasters') and sprayed ‘stucco’ finishes for walls eg weather protective and if colouring pigments are added into cemlite®HE whilst mixing it with water, decorative exterior brickwork/blockwork finishes with high weathering resistance, interior wall finishes or lightweight, exterior/interior wear resistant screeded flooring/paving toppings eg for existing in situ concrete structures and paving, fibre cement panels and planks, timber, particle board and/or wooden floors as well as with the addition of suitable coloured aggregates for making lightweight and very strong honed and polished terrazzo-like floors.

The very tiny but strong ceramic macro and microspheres in cemlite®HE not only provide a terrazzo that is light in weight but potentially results in very effective, low slip hazard material after it is honed and polished with the usual grinding and polishing equipment. This feature after suitable testing and evaluation may negate the need to apply non-slip transparent ‘sealer’ coatings.

*cemlite®HE can be integrally 'through' coloured with Ability’s extensive range of abilox® inorganic 'earthy' tone mineral oxide or duro® organic bright, vivid and semi-bright fine colouring powder pigments..

3. When thoroughly and adequately mixed into the recommended quantity of clean, drinkable water, liquid cemlite®HE pours easily, flows into place and fills moulds completely - even most of those with complex shapes and extremely fine detailing.

The product is non-flammable, fire retardant and complies with ASTM D1360- 1995 ‘Standard Test Methods for Fire Retardancy of Paints’ with NO flame spread. It does not promote combustion with other materials. However, in large volume quantities, especially when reducing its setting time by using elevated temperature water to mix it; its temperature may increase enough to cause the risk of burns to the operator's skin. (Please refer to the relevant Material Safety Data Sheet before use).

4. Compared with Ability's slower setting normal cemlite®, prepared wet semi-liquid cemlite®HE maintained at a temperature of 23°C sets - depending on the volume quantity - in about 11/2 - 2 hours. Many lightweight but strong cemlite®HE moulded product or material pieces, units, parts or sections can be made in a given time - all at or around normal average ambient temperatures of approximately 23°C (75°F), without, unlike clay materials, the need of very high temperature kiln processing.

Contractors, manufacturers, sculptors and other users are indicating a typical setting time of only about 11/4 hours when warm water (at about 27°C [80°F]) is used for mixing. Daily production output of cemlite®HE mouldings using a given number of moulds which are usually a major capital investment can therefore be increased substantially when compared with slower setting and hardening moulding materials. Additionally, cemlite®HE fabricating tools and equipment cleans up easily with water.

5. Although substantially higher in cost than concrete, essentially inorganic cemlite®HE is usually lower in cost and many material experts may consider, better in performance and more durable than chemically organic, acrylic, epoxy, polyurethane or polyester resin bound casting,coating or composite systems - especially for long-life exterior use - as well as being water based, it contains no noxious chemical solvents and is far easier and quicker to clean up!

6. Fabricated moulded or cast, lightweight, load bearing strong materials and products made from cemlite®HE that have been intermittently water spray cured - (which is an excellent procedure adopted to prevent the evaporation of the low water content used to mix cemlite®HE into a liquid) for preferably about 2-3 days - and which should commence immediately after it sets - have virtually unequalled exterior, weathering/chemical/water resistance and underwater durability potential - including sea or very high saline water, together with tenacious adhesion, high load bearing strength, high impact resistance and a lightweight thermally and acoustically insulative character.

7. Hardened cemlite®HE appears to have at this stage of our evaluation outstandingly excellent adhesion to many materials - particularly to aluminium. If adequately compacted to remove air bubbles and properly cured* its bonding characteristics and long-term dimensional stability should prove to be of a high order. With the procedure of moist curing adopted - preferably by a suitable intermittent water spray procedure – the product at a 24% by weight, water content (which requires the use of a forced action mixer) appears to have virtually no shrinkage and therefore little chance of cracking.

8. High compressive (43 MPa) and flexural strength (< 10 MPa) at 28 days, cemlite®HE may be reinforced if required with suitable steel*** plastic or carbon fibres and/or suitable woven fabrics to increase its flexural and tensile strength. Example: Cemfil®** alkali resistant glass fibres, Kevlar® carbon fibres****, polypropylene fibres, 'Qubix'™ steel fibres*** etc.

9. The fully hardened cemlite®HE material has high resistance to chemical attack - including that of sea water, high solids salt solutions, other chlorides, acids - including industrial acid rain fallout, sulphate solutions and sulphates in soils alkalis etc, to result in high performance in service, very low maintenance requirements - and to therefore provide excellent cost savings over an extended service lifetime - compared with many other moulding, applied finish and repair materials ie long-term durability.

10. Highly adhesive, essentially inorganic cemlite®HE can be used as a manufactured semi-flexible, impact resistant, carbon, aramid or glass woven fabric or fibre reinforced lightweight composite material - a potentially excellent UV ray resistant alternative to the typical results achieved with various pigmented organic resin binders eg a fibre reinforced melamine, polyester or epoxy resins used for instance, in the production of 'fibre glass' and other composite materials, products and structures.

11. It’s a water-based, virtually non-toxic material and therefore safe-to-use and with prompt easy water clean up helps to retain a clean manufacturing environment.

This easy-to-use two (2) pack chemically hardening but one-step use system contains no hazardous materials and no VOC's (volatile organic compounds) - so it's safe for the operator and the global environment.

12. Like a long lasting, natural, hard rock or stone material - long-term durability is demonstrated by cemlite®HE because of its essentially chemically inorganic UV irradiation resistant nature and after hardening fully its very high resistance to:

• impact, gouging, abrasion and wear
• chemical and shrinkage stresses (as well as it potentially demonstrating good seismic ductility characteristics)
• high temperatures and thermal shock
• flame spread

With its superb sticking/bonding and low shrinkage properties cemlite®HE is therefore ideal for a wide range of successful repair applications - to many kinds of materials in many diverse situations and environments.

13. Hardened cemlite®HE has been formulated to be very slightly flexible and quite tensible - provided that it is properly compacted to remove air bubbles and cured properly* as recommended. This feature helps to reduce the possibility of cracking and provide maximum mechanical strengths and performance potential.

14. It’s an easy-to-use, lightweight, strong, low energy alternative to baked clay/ceramic/terracotta products and materials, as well as those made of natural stone, wood, glass and many metals. No elevated temperature processing or the use of high temperature kilns is required. cemlite®HE has the lightness’ and ‘warmth’ of timber and considerably lower permeability to liquids with substantially higher degree of mechanical strengths and exterior longevity.

Due to its intrinsically high thermal insulation qualities, there is usually no need to incorporate integral heating pipes into it - say for example in applied selfcoloured white or beautifully multi-coloured cemlite®HE surfaced floors.

15. Multiple potential uses for the manufacture of products and materials used throughout the mechanical and civil engineering, construction, automotive, aerospace manufacturing and many other industries, as well as arts (such as sculpture) and sciences applications appear to be possible with cemlite®HE.

16. Very strong (a compressive strength of nearly 20 MPa at 24 hours 39 MPa at 7 days and 43.5 MPa at 28 days with a flexural strength of more than 10 MPa at 28 days at 23°C), light weight cemlite®HE products sections and components are cost effective - especially when calculated on a time/production output basis as well as over a potentially very long-term life span. This feature is combined with its high resistance to wind driven rain, many degrading liquid substances and processes as well as its overall high performance in service.

17. Because it contains billions of tiny 'e-Spheres' - strong, hollow, macro and micro ceramic microspheres per litre - It’s a highly insulative material - even in very thin sections. The thermal insulation and noise-reducing acoustic insulating properties of cemlite®HE are comparable to the benefits of other forms of effective insulation such as lead sheet without the bulk or the weight but with high, load bearing strength, abrasion, impact, skid, high temperature and chemical resistance which extends its areas of possible use into and within many industries - particularly in the construction industries as a lightweight (SG1.42) but strong, high performance, insulative structural material.

18. Technical and application support is provided for customers with friendly service by the people at Ability, the inventors and manufacturers of weight saving, strong cemlite®HE who are currently involved in its comprehensive ongoing testing, and marketing evaluation.

*Please refer to our cemlite®HE Technical Bulletin for what is understood as ‘properly cured’. Although in some cases not absolutely essential, the procedure of its intermittent curing (a moisture retention procedure to be commenced immediately after it sets and continued preferably for a minimum of 2 days) is important if the full dimensional stability of hardened cemlite®HE and its maximum potential strength, hardness, integrity and performance are required.

** Trade Mark of Pilkington Brothers PLC, United Kingdom for their alkali resistant glass fabric and fibre composite reinforcing products.

*** Trade Mark of Fibrecorp Industries Pty Ltd, Wangara (Perth) Western Australia, 6065, Australia, PH: + 61 (08) 9302 6177.

****Available from Du Pont de Nemours Inc the owners of this registered name - or their stockists/distributors.