The present study concerns the experimental investigation of foamed concretes with 1600 kg/m3 density that incorporate biochar additions in the mix. A series of small notched beams are prepared to determine the fracture energy in CMOD (crack mouth opening displacement) mode and the mechanical properties in terms of flexural and compressive strength. Besides the evaluation of such properties for classical foamed concrete, the influence of the addition of biochar in the lightweight cementitious paste is comparatively investigated. Two different concentrations of biochar are analyzed, namely 2% and 4% of the cement weight, and two different curing conditions are studied, namely in air and in water at controlled temperature for 28 days. The results demonstrate that better fracture behavior are obtained with 2% biochar and air curing conditions. The biochar additions in moderate concentrations (e.g. 2%) seems to make the fracture surface more tortuous, thus justifying the numerical outcomes, and does not impair the flexural strength. Further microstructural investigation is underway to confirm the experimental observations. This research paves the way for a promising construction material that is more environmentally friendly and sustainable than traditional materials used in the building industry.
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