Natural Foaming Agent: Saponin

What is it?

Saponin is a natural chemical found in most plants, the production of saponins varies depending on the plants. The amazing thing about saponin, since it's found in most plants having versia property in usage. Saponins are used as a flavoring for some medicines, drinks, and even candies because of the unique flavor profile. Saponin can be used as a cleaning property such as household cleanings, shampoos, even for your pets. Now studies have been done to test  saponins verise application can be used as in building materials.

The Foaming Agent

Saponin can be used as a foaming agent in concrete mix. Most would ask how it works and what would be the benefits of using saponin. The study focused on the foaming agent as the “slurry mixture of saponin and water would create desired rheological attributes for infiltrating fabric and mesh reinforcement systems. Aerated cementitious materials (e.g., aerated concrete) have been developed mostly to provide thermal insulation qualities”. The study explains that the mixture is lightweight and capable of reinforcing those specific surface areas. The density of the slurry could be adjusted  based on the amount of saponin used but it affects the compressive strength. However this is not an issue if the slurry is created with uniformly distributed air bubbles and could even gain higher compressive strengths.

Benefits of Using Saponin?

There are many benefits of using saponins as a foaming agent for cement mix. One of the benefits is that “its moisture barrier qualities, which benefits its durability.” Other benefits of using the saponin agent, reduces the thermal conductivity, which benefits the energy-efficiency of building systems. Since saponin is available anywhere, making the resource very affordable and effective. 



1. Bianchi, G.; Arboleda, D.; Carozzi, F.G.; Poggi, C.; Nanni, A. Fabric reinforced cementitious matrix (FRCM) materials for structural rehabilitation. In Proceedings of the 39th IAHS World Congress, Milan, Italy, 17–20 September 2013

2. Physio-Microstructural Properties of Aerated Cement Slurry for Lightweight Structures by Areej T. Almalkawi 1,*, Talal Salem 1, Sameer Hamadna 2, A. G. N. D. Darsanasiri 2, Parviz Soroushian 2, Anagi Balchandra 2 and Ghassan Al-Chaar 3

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