Forum / 'Hebel' aerated concrete panels as hearth insulation?

Sampowrie53

Hi Folks, Thanks for admitting me to your group. I'm considering use of Hebel light-weight concrete panels as hearth insulation for a small (75cm)  'pompeii' style oven. I realise that it's probably no good for the actual floor of the oven but I'm thinking of using the panels for the hearth foundation underneath. I'm wondering if anyone has done this successfully and what I need to know? Any help greatly appreciated. Also any references... thanks, Sam, Adelaide.

Steved · 4 weeks ago

Sam, did you ever figure this out?

Sampowrie53 · 4 weeks ago

Hi Steve, Not really figured out yet as other projects have taken precedence over winter. The Greek friend I'm working with has built a few wood ovens & reckons he's successfully used Hebel panels before. However he currently favours a heavy duty cement sheet of some sort (some 20-30mm thick) which he says Bunnings carry. Because (he says) the weight of the oven is mainly carried by the perimeter wall, the sheet is apparently sufficiently strong to carry the weight of the tile or brick oven floor. I don't know this products at all but he tells me he's used this approach quite successfully several times and maintains it's fast & efficient. However I think he's been focussed on pizza ovens whereas I want an oven with lots of heat retention for cooking & baking etc. He wants me to use relatively thin-section clay pavers for the oven dome (they are apparently easier to layer up for the curves) but I'm on a bit of a budget - I already have a large stock of n.o.s clay bricks for the base and oven itself. My currently plan for the base is to use scavenged reinforcing steel bars & mesh and then a Hebel or cement sheet base with a dense heat-retaining layer on top - probably about 50mm of poured concrete, a packed sand layer (inside the dome) and then clay pavers. A project for this summer (along with many others!) ;-) Sam, Adelaide.

ps; My mate also tells me that my plan for a 75cm I.D oven is 'unworkable'. He recommended minimum 95cm as necessary for 2 x pizza trays or 2 stewing pots etc. I think he's probably correct but given my limited space construction is going to be a bit awkward!