Expanded Clay – Gardening Techniques


Expanded clay is widely used as a lightweight aggregate: by this term we mean inert minerals with a low specific gravity, making it ideal for making lightweight concretes. Expanded clay, which has the unmistakable “shot” shape, is made by cooking the clay for about 30 to 60 minutes, made in very large rotary kilns. During firing, the clay increases in volume and the rotational movement of the kiln gives the product its spherical shape. Once fired, the expanded clay is cooled by currents of air, which cause oxidation of the external “skin”. Therefore, the end result is made up of a porous inner part, therefore very light, and a hard outer part, functional for the purposes of use.

expanded clay

Red clay Expanded clay, therefore, can be used in many different and interesting ways. It can be used, for example, to fill underground cavities, for the construction of sound-absorbing panels or, again, in the daily life of homes, as a formidable ally in the care of gardens, plants and flowers. This is due to its unique and incredibly useful properties: expanded clay, indeed an exceptional insulator; able to absorb liquids and, therefore, to maintain adequate humidity where it is used. For all this series of reasons, therefore, expanded clay is very useful under pavement, for example, or in attics, as well as in concrete, which through its application becomes better insulated and decidedly lighter.

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expanded clay gardening More and more people are using expanded clay: this is also because, being naturally present in nature, clay is decidedly competitively priced. Undoubtedly, its most typical use, at home, is as a “helper” in the care of plants in our apartments or in our gardens. In fact, there are many plants that necessarily need to control the temperature of the soil in which they are planted: expanded clay, in this sense, can be used both to drain excess water and to retain liquids, which will later be released. Attention, however, to the use of expanded clay, because obviously it is not suitable for all plants in general. When in doubt, it is always best to seek the advice of any nursery.

benefits of expanded clay Expanded clay brings with it countless positive and negative aspects: in this case, the disadvantage represented mainly by the fact that its extraction could have a significant environmental impact. Regarding the merits, however, in addition to the already mentioned low specific gravity, it should be emphasized that expanded clay is indeed “rot-proof”, that is, it cannot be attacked in any way by various insects, molds or parasites (another reason for its extensive use in gardening). Other great advantages of expanded clay are, for example, its extraordinary resistance to atmospheric agents and the fact that, as it is not of volcanic origin, it does not have any type of harmful emission for the environment. in addition to a good acoustic and thermal insulator.


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