November 2015

A briquette (or briquet) is a compressed block of coal dust or other combustible biomass material such as charcoal, sawdust, wood chips,  peat, or paper used for fuel and kindling to start a fire. The term comes from the French language and is related to brick.
Constituents of charcoal briquettes
Charcoal briquettes sold for cooking food can include:[3][4]
·         Wood charcoal (fuel)
·         Lignite coal (fuel)
·         Anthracite coal (fuel)
·         Limestone (ash colourant)
·         Starch (binder)
·         Borax (release agent)
·         Sodium nitrate (accelerant)
·         Sawdust
·         Wax (some brands: binder, accelerant, ignition facilitator).
·         Chaff (rice chaff and peanut chaff)
Some briquettes are compressed and dried brown coal extruded into hard blocks. This is a common technique for low rank coals. They are typically dried to 12-18% moisture, and are primarily used in household and industry.
Peat briquettes
In Ireland, peat briquettes are a common type of solid fuel, largely replacing sods of raw peat as a domestic fuel. These briquettes consist of shredded peat, compressed to form a virtually smokeless, slow-burning, easily stored and transported fuel. Although often used as the sole fuel for a fire, they are also used to quickly and easily light a coal fire.
Biomass briquettes
Biomass briquettes are made from agricultural waste and are a replacement for fossil fuels such as oil or coal, and can be used to heat boilers in manufacturing plants, and also have applications in developing countries. Biomass briquettes are a renewable source of energy and avoid adding fossil carbon to the atmosphere.
A number of companies in India have switched from furnace oil to biomass briquettes to save costs on boiler fuels. The use of biomass briquettes is predominant in the southern parts of India, where coal and furnace oil are being replaced by biomass briquettes. A number of units in Maharashtra (India) are also using biomass briquettes as boiler fuel. Use of biomass briquettes can earn Carbon Credits for reducing emissions in the atmosphere. Lanxess India and a few other large companies are supposedly using biomass briquettes for earning Carbon Credits by switching their boiler fuel. Biomass briquettes also provide more calorific value/kg and save around 30-40 percent of boiler fuel costs.
A popular biomass briquette emerging in developed countries takes a waste produce such as sawdust, compresses it and then extrudes it to make a reconsistuted log that can replace firewood. It is a similar process to forming a wood pellet but on a larger scale. There are no binders involved in this process. The natural lignin in the wood binds the particles of wood together to form a solid. Burning a wood briquette is far more efficient than burning firewood. Moisture content of a briquette can be as low as 4%, whereas green firewood may be as high as 65%.
The extrusion production technology of briquettes is the process of extrusion screw wastes (straw, sunflower husks, buckwheat, etc.) or finely shredded wood waste (sawdust) under high pressure when heated from 160 to 350 C °. As shown in the table above the quality of such briquets, especially heat content, is much higher comparing with other methods like using piston presses.

Sawdust briquettes have developed over time with two distinct types: those with holes through the centre, and those that are solid. Both types are classified as briquettes but are formed using different techniques. A solid briquette is manufactured using a piston press that compresses sandwiched layers of sawdust together. Briquettes with a hole are produced with a screw press. The hole is from the screw thread passing through the centre, but it also increases the surface area of the log and aids efficient combustion.
Use in China
Throughout China, cylindrical briquettes, called "fēng wō méi" (beehive coal 蜂窩煤 / 窝煤) or "Mei" (coal ) or "liàn tàn" (kneaded coal 練炭 / 练炭), are used in purpose-built cookers. The origin of "Mei" is "Rentan" (kneaded coal 練炭) of Japan. Rentan was invented in Japan in the 19th century, and spread to Manchukuo, Korea and China in the first half of the 20th century. There were many Rentan factories in Manchukuo and Pyongyang. Although Rentan went out of use in Japan after the 1970s, it is still popular in China, Korea ("yeon tan" kneaded coal 연탄) and Vietnam ("than" coal).
The cookers are simple, ceramic vessels with metal exteriors. Two types are made: the single, or triple briquette type, the latter holding the briquettes together side by side. These cookers can accommodate a double stack of cylinders. A small fire of tinder is started, upon which the cylinder(s) is placed. When a cylinder is spent, another cylinder is placed on top using special tongs, with the one below igniting it. The fire can be maintained by swapping spent cylinders for fresh ones, and retaining a still-glowing spent cylinder.
Each cylinder lasts for over an hour. These cookers are used to cook, or simmer, pots of tea, eggs, soups, stews, etc. The cylinders are delivered, usually by cart, to businesses, and are very inexpensive.
Paper briquettes
Paper briquettes are the byproduct of a briquettor, which compresses shredded paper material into a small cylindrical form. Briquettors are often sold as add-on systems to existing disintegrator or rotary knife mill shredding systems. The NSA has a maximum particle size regulation for shredded paper material that is passed through a disintegrator or rotary knife mill, which typically does not exceed 1/8” square.[5] This means that material exiting a disintegrator is the appropriate size for compression into paper briquettes, as opposed to strip-cut shredders which produce long sheets of paper.
After being processed through the disintegrator, paper particles are typically passed through an air system to remove dust and unwanted magnetic materials before being sent into the briquettor. The air system may also be responsible for regulating moisture content in the waste particles, as briquetting works optimally within a certain range of moisture. Studies have shown that the optimal moisture percentage for shredded particles is 18% for paper and 22% for wheat straw.[6]
Environmental Impact
Briquetted paper has many notable benefits, many of which minimize the impact of the paper waste generated by a shredding system. Several manufactures claim up to 90% volume reduction of briquetted paper waste versus traditional shredding. Decreasing the volume of shredded waste allows it to be transported and stored more efficiently, reducing the cost and fuel required in the disposal process.
In addition to the cost savings associated with reducing the volume of waste, paper briquettes are more useful in paper mills to create recycled paper than uncompressed shredded material. Compressed briquettes can also be used as a fuel for starting fires or as an insulating material.
Charcoal is a light, black residue, consisting of carbon and any remaining ash, obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from animal and vegetation substances. Charcoal is usually produced by slow pyrolysis, the heating of wood or other substances in the absence of oxygen (see char and biochar). It is usually an impure form of carbon as it contains ash; however, sugar charcoal is among the purest forms of carbon readily available, particularly if it is not made by heating but by a dehydration reaction with sulfuric acid to minimise the introduction of new impurities, as impurities can be removed from the sugar in advance. The resulting soft, brittle, lightweight, black, porous material resembles coal
Historically, production of wood charcoal in locations where there is an abundance of wood dates back to a very ancient period, and generally consists of piling billets of wood on their ends so as to form a conical pile, openings being left at the bottom to admit air, with a central shaft to serve as a flue. The whole pile is covered with turf or moistened clay. The firing is begun at the bottom of the flue, and gradually spreads outwards and upwards. The success of the operation depends upon the rate of the combustion. Under average conditions, 100 parts of wood yield about 60 parts by volume, or 25 parts by weight, of charcoal; small-scale production on the spot often yields only about 50%, large-scale was efficient to about 90% even by the seventeenth century. The operation is so delicate that it was generally left to colliers (professional charcoal burners). They often lived alone in small huts in order to tend their wood piles. For example, in the Harz Mountains of Germany, charcoal burners lived in conical huts called Köten which are still much in evidence today[when?].
The massive production of charcoal (at its height employing hundreds of thousands, mainly in Alpine and neighbouring forests) was a major cause of deforestation, especially in Central Europe. In England, many woods were managed as coppices, which were cut and regrew cyclically, so that a steady supply of charcoal would be available (in principle) forever; complaints (as early as the Stuart period) about shortages may relate to the results of temporary over-exploitation or the impossibility of increasing production to match growing demand. The increasing scarcity of easily harvested wood was a major factor behind the switch to fossil fuel equivalents, mainly coal and brown coal for industrial use.
The use of charcoal as a smelting fuel has been experiencing a resurgence in South America following Brazilian law changes in 2010 to reduce carbon emissions as part of President Lula da Silva's commitment to make a "green steel".[2][3]
The modern process of carbonizing wood, either in small pieces or as sawdust in cast iron retorts, is extensively practiced where wood is scarce, and also for the recovery of valuable byproducts (wood spirit, pyroligneous acid, wood tar), which the process permits. The question of the temperature of the carbonization is important; according to J. Percy, wood becomes brown at 220 °C (428 °F), a deep brown-black after some time at 280 °C (536 °F), and an easily powdered mass at 310 °C (590 °F).[4] Charcoal made at 300 °C (572 °F) is brown, soft and friable, and readily inflames at 380 °C (716 °F); made at higher temperatures it is hard and brittle, and does not fire until heated to about 700 °C (1,292 °F).
In Finland and Scandinavia, the charcoal was considered the by-product of wood tar production. The best tar came from pine, thus pinewoods were cut down for tar pyrolysis. The residual charcoal was widely used as substitute for metallurgical coke in blast furnaces for smelting. Tar production led to rapid deforestation: it has been estimated all Finnish forests are younger than 300 years. The end of tar production at the end of the 19th century resulted in rapid re-forestation.
The charcoal briquette, made commercially using mostly compressed coal dust, was first invented and patented by Ellsworth B. A. Zwoyer of Pennsylvania in 1897[5] and was produced by the Zwoyer Fuel Company. The process was further popularized by Henry Ford, who used wood and sawdust byproducts from automobile fabrication as a feedstock. Ford Charcoal went on to become the Kingsford Company.
Production methods
Charcoal has been made by various methods. The traditional method in Britain used a clamp. This is essentially a pile of wooden logs (e.g. seasoned oak) leaning against a chimney (logs are placed in a circle). The chimney consists of 4 wooden stakes held up by some rope. The logs are completely covered with soil and straw allowing no air to enter. It must be lit by introducing some burning fuel into the chimney; the logs burn very slowly and transform into charcoal in a period of 5 days' burning. If the soil covering gets torn (cracked) by the fire, additional soil is placed on the cracks. Once the burn is complete, the chimney is plugged to prevent air from entering.[6] The true art of this production method is in managing the sufficient generation of heat (by combusting part of the wood material), and its transfer to wood parts in the process of being carbonised. A strong disadvantage of this production method is the huge amount of emissions that are harmful to human health and the environment (emissions of unburnt methane).[7] As a result of the partial combustion of wood material, the efficiency of the traditional method is low.
Improved methods use a sealed metal container, as this does not require watching lest fire break through the covering.[8] However, on-site attendance is required, and also this method sacrifices part of the material for generating process heat - with the associated low yield. At Bulworthy Project in the UK, charcoal production supports an experiment in low-impact living and nature conservation.[9] Modern methods employ retorting technology, in which process heat is recovered from, and solely provided by, the combustion of gas released during carbonisation. (Illustration:[10]). Yields of retorting are considerably higher than those of kilning, and may reach 35%-40%.
Examples of large industrial, but clean, industrial technologies are the Lambiotte shaft furnace, and the Reichert retort.[11] A recently developed technology is the Condensing Retort developed by Clean Fuels.[12] This latter technology is suitable for medium to large industries.
The last section of the film Le Quattro Volte (2010) gives a good and long, if poetic, documentation of the traditional method of making charcoal.[13] The Arthur Ransome children's series Swallows and Amazons (particularly the second book Swallowdale) features carefully drawn vignettes of the lives and the techniques of charcoal burners at the start of the 20th century, in the Lake District of the UK.
The properties of the charcoal produced depend on the material charred. The charring temperature is also important. Charcoal contains varying amounts of hydrogen and oxygen as well as ash and other impurities that, together with the structure, determine the properties. The approximate composition of charcoal for gunpowders is sometimes empirically described as C7H4O. To obtain a coal with high purity, source material should be free of non-volatile compounds (sugar and a high charring temperature can be used). After charring, partial oxidation with oxygen or chlorine can reduce hydrogen levels. For activation of charcoal see activated carbon.
Common charcoal is made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell, or petroleum. “Activated charcoal” is similar to common charcoal, but is made especially for use as a medicine. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or “pores.” These pores help activated charcoal “trap” chemicals.
Commercial charcoal is found in either lump, briquette, or extruded forms:
·         Lump charcoal is made directly from hardwood material and usually produces far less ash than briquettes.
·         Pillow shaped briquettes are made by compressing charcoal, typically made from sawdust and other wood by-products, with a binder and other additives. The binder is usually starch. Some briquettes may also include brown coal (heat source), mineral carbon (heat source), borax, sodium nitrate (ignition aid), limestone (ash-whitening agent), raw sawdust (ignition aid), and other additives.
·         Hexagonal sawdust briquette charcoal are made by compressing sawdust without binders or additives. Hexagonal Sawdust Briquette Charcoal is the preferred charcoal in countries like Taiwan, Korea, Middle East, Greece. It has a round hole through the center, with a hexagonal intersection. Mainly for barbeque uses as it does not emit odor, no smoke, little ash, high heat, and long burning hours (exceeding 4 hours).
·         Extruded charcoal is made by extruding either raw ground wood or carbonized wood into logs without the use of a binder. The heat and pressure of the extruding process hold the charcoal together. If the extrusion is made from raw wood material, the extruded logs are then subsequently carbonized.[14]
·         Japanese charcoal removes pyroligneous acid during the charcoal making. Therefore, when burning, there are almost no stimulating smells or smoke. The charcoal of Japan is classified into three kinds.
1.       White charcoal (Binchōtan) is very hard and has a metallic sound.
2.       Black charcoal
3.       Ogatan is made from hardened sawdust. It is most often used in Izakaya or Yakiniku restaurants.
The characteristics of charcoal products (lump, briquette, or extruded forms) vary widely from product to product. Thus it is a common misconception to stereotype any kind of charcoal, saying which burns hotter or longer etc
Charcoal has been used since earliest times for a large range of purposes including art and medicine, but by far its most important use has been as a metallurgical fuel. Charcoal is the traditional fuel of a blacksmith's forge and other applications where an intense heat is required. Charcoal was also used historically as a source of carbon black by grinding it up. In this form charcoal was important to early chemists and was a constituent of formulas for mixtures such as black powder. Due to its high surface area charcoal can be used as a filter, and as a catalyst or as an adsorbent
Metallurgical fuel
Charcoal burns at intense temperatures, up to 2,700 °C (4,890 °F).[verification needed] By comparison the melting point of iron is approximately 1,200 to 1,550 °C (2,190 to 2,820 °F). Due to its porosity it is sensitive to the flow of air and the heat generated can be moderated by controlling the air flow to the fire. For this reason charcoal is an ideal fuel for a forge and is still widely used by blacksmiths. Charcoal is also an excellent reducing fuel for the production of iron and has been used that way since Roman times. In the 16th century England had to pass laws to prevent the country from becoming completely denuded of trees due to production of iron. In the 19th century charcoal was largely replaced by coke, baked coal, in steel making due to cost. Charcoal is a far superior fuel to coke,[verification needed] however, because it burns hotter and has no sulfur. Until World War II charcoal was still being used in Sweden to make ultra high-quality steel. In steel-making, charcoal is not only a fuel, but a source for the carbon in the steel according to some scholars such as Moronda, 2011.
After the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen, Denmark, the steel industry in Brazil proposed to replace coal and coke with charcoal in their high temperature furnaces. The program "Green Steel for the Brazilian Steel Industry" converted wood from Eucalyptus plantations into charcoal that will be used in steel making.[16]
Industrial fuel
Historically, charcoal was used in great quantities for smelting iron in bloomeries and later blast furnaces and finery forges. This use was replaced by coke in the 19th Century as part of the Industrial Revolution. For this purpose, charcoal in England was measured in dozens (or loads) consisting of 12 sacks or shems or seams, each of 8 bushels.[citation needed] In 2010, Japan Consulting Institute took an action in search of a better, 'greener', and even cheaper alternative to replace fossil fuels like coke in steelmaking. The research revealed that Palm Kernel Shell charcoal (PKS charcoal) is proven to be a better fuel in Electric arc furnace (EAF) as coke replacement.[17] As auxiliary energy in EAF, in many aspects, PKS charcoal outperforms coke
Cooking fuel
Prior to the industrial revolution charcoal was occasionally used as a cooking fuel. Modern "charcoal briquettes" are widely used for outdoor dutch ovens, grilling, and barbecues in backyards and on camping trips, but the briquettes are not pure charcoal.[19] They are usually a compacted mixture of sawdust with additives like coal or coke and various binders.
Syngas production, automotive fuel
Like many other sources of carbon, charcoal can be used for the production of various syngas compositions; i.e., various CO + H2 + CO2 + N2 mixtures. The syngas is typically used as fuel, including automotive propulsion, or as a chemical feedstock.
In times of scarce petroleum, automobiles and even buses have been converted to burn wood gas (a gas mixture consisting primarily of diluting atmospheric nitrogen, but also containing combustible gasses, mostly carbon monoxide) released by burning charcoal or wood in a wood gas generator. In 1931 Tang Zhongming developed an automobile powered by charcoal, and these cars were popular in China until the 1950s. In occupied France during World War II, wood and wood charcoal production for such vehicles (called gazogènes) increased from pre-war figures of approximately fifty thousand tons a year to almost half a million tons in 1943.[20]
Black powder
Charcoal (in the majority of black powder mixtures, together with sulphur) is the fuel component of black powder and blasting powders and is also used in other pyrotechnic mixtures.[21] This charcoal is usually made from specific softwoods (i.e. willow and grapevine) charred at low temperature.[citation needed]
Carbon source
Charcoal may be used as a source of carbon in chemical reactions. One example of this is the production of carbon disulphide through the reaction of sulfur vapors with hot charcoal. In that case the wood should be charred at high temperature to reduce the residual amounts of hydrogen and oxygen that lead to side reactions.
Purification and filtration
Charcoal may be activated to increase its effectiveness as a filter. Activated charcoal readily adsorbs a wide range of organic compounds dissolved or suspended in gases and liquids. In certain industrial processes, such as the purification of sucrose from cane sugar, impurities cause an undesirable color, which can be removed with activated charcoal. It is also used to absorb odors and toxins in gases, such as air. Charcoal filters are also used in some types of gas masks. The medical use of activated charcoal is mainly the absorption of poisons, especially in the case of suicide attempts in which the patient has ingested a large amount of a drug.[22] Activated charcoal is available without a prescription, so it is used for a variety of health-related applications. For example, it is often used to reduce discomfort (and embarrassment) due to excessive gas (commonly known as a fart or flatulence) in the digestive tract.
Animal charcoal or bone black is the carbonaceous residue obtained by the dry distillation of bones. It contains only about 10% carbon, the remainder being calcium and magnesium phosphates (80%) and other inorganic material originally present in the bones. It is generally manufactured from the residues obtained in the glue and gelatin industries. Its decolorizing power was applied in 1812 by Derosne to the clarification of the syrups obtained in sugar refining; but its use in this direction has now greatly diminished, owing to the introduction of more active and easily managed reagents. It is still used to some extent in laboratory practice. The decolorizing power is not permanent, becoming lost after using for some time; it may be revived, however, by washing and reheating. Wood charcoal also to some extent removes coloring material from solutions, but animal charcoal is generally more effective.[citation needed]
Four sticks of vine charcoal and four sticks of compressed charcoal
Two charcoal pencils in paper sheaths that are unwrapped as the pencil is used, and two charcoal pencils in wooden sheaths
·         Main article: Charcoal
·         Charcoal is used in art for drawing, making rough sketches in painting and is one of the possible media for making a parsemage. It must usually be preserved by the application of a fixative. Artists generally utilize charcoal in three forms:
·         Vine charcoal is created by burning sticks of wood (usually willow or linden/Tilia) into soft, medium, and hard consistencies.
Powdered charcoal is often used to "tone" or cover large sections of a drawing surface. Drawing over the toned areas darkens it further, but the artist can also lighten (or completely erase) within the toned area to create lighter tones.
Compressed charcoal charcoal powder mixed with gum binder compressed into round or square sticks. The amount of binder determines the hardness of the stick.[25] Compressed charcoal is used in charcoal pencils.
One additional use of charcoal was rediscovered recently in horticulture. Although American gardeners have been using charcoal for a short while, research on Terra preta soils in the Amazon has found the widespread use of biochar by pre-Columbian natives to turn unproductive soil into carbon rich soil. The technique may find modern application, both to improve soils and as a means of carbon sequestration.
Charcoal was consumed in the past as dietary supplement for gastric problems in the form of charcoal biscuits. Now it can be consumed in tablet, capsule or powder form, for digestive effects.[citation needed] Research regarding its effectiveness is controversial.[27] To measure the mucociliary transport time the use was introduced by Passali in combination with saccharin
Red colobus monkeys in Africa have been observed eating charcoal for the purposes of self-medication. Their leafy diets contain high levels of cyanide, which may lead to indigestion. So they learned to consume charcoal, which absorbs the cyanide and relieves indigestion. This knowledge about supplementing their diet is transmitted from mother to infant.[29]
Also, see Activated charcoal, medicinal applications.
Special charcoals are used in smoking the hookah. Lit charcoals are placed on top of foil that is placed over the tobacco bowl. The charcoals "cook" the tobacco to a temperature that does not burn it but produces smoke. Normally, charcoal for hookah or shisha smoking must be hard, high density, easy to ignite, and burn longer with persistent heat.[30]
Charcoals used for smoking hookah are manufactured using multiple materials from natural charcoal, coconut coals, and less exotic woods such as oak.[31]
Environmental implications

Charcoal production at a sub-industrial level is one of the causes of deforestation. Charcoal production is now usually illegal and nearly always unregulated as in Brazil where charcoal production is actually a huge illegal industry for making pig iron.[32][33][34] Massive forest destruction has been documented in areas such as Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where it is considered a primary threat to the survival of the mountain gorillas.[35] Similar threats are found in Zambia.[36] In Malawi, illegal charcoal trade employs 92,800 workers and is the main source of heat and cooking fuel for 90 percent of the nation’s population.[37] Some experts, such as Duncan MacQueen, Principal Researcher–Forest Team, International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), argue that while illegal charcoal production causes deforestation, a regulated charcoal industry that required replanting and sustainable use of the forests "would give their people clean efficient energy – and their energy industries a strong competitive advantage."

Baja RinganBaja ringan adalah baja canai dingin yang keras yang diproses kembali komposisi atom dan molekulnya, sehingga menjadi baja yang lebih fleksibel. Saat ini baja ringan menjadi material bangunan yang sedang trend, rangka atap baja ringan lebih dominan terkenal dibanding material baja ringan untuk struktur lainnya. Hal ini karena gencarnya iklan-iklan yang menawarkan produk rangka atap baja ringan menggantikan rangka atap dari material kayu. Mengingat kayu semakin hari semakin langka juga karena harga kayu yang relatif mahal, maka pemilihan material rangka atap baja ringan menjadi satu pilihan para kontraktor atau owner dalam membangun rumah. Selain karena faktor keawetan dan tahan rayap dan karat, rangka atap baja ringan mempunyai kelebihan yaitu kekuatan struktur yang lebih bagus, seperti lebih kuat, lebih kaku dibanding konstruksi kayu.
Disamping itu kemudahan dalam mendapatkan, kecepatan pemasangan, dan struktur yang kuat membuat rangka atap baja ringan terkenal. Teknologi dalam perencanaan dan pemasangan rangka atap baja ringan beragam sesuai dengan profil dari elemen kuda-kuda itu sendiri. Profil kuda-kuda rangka atap baja ringan yang beredar di pasaran terdiri dari C, Z, hollow dan UK atau profil Omega atau HAT. Tiap profil memiliki kelebihan-kelebihan serta perbedaan prinsip dalam dalam pemasangannya.
Elemen dasar Baja Ringan
Rangka atap baja ringan yang diproduksi di Indonesia menggunakan bahan dasar baja dengan kekuatan G-550 Mpa atau setara dengan 5500 Megapascal sesuai standar AISI (American Iron and Steell Institute). Adapun coating (pelapis/pelindung) baja ringan dari karat yang beredar adalah zinc/galvanis, zincalume, dan zincalume dengan penambahan magnesium. Lapisan coating ini melindungi bahan dasar baja ringan dari karat.
Baja Ringan Ramah Lingkungan
Baja ringan terbaik diklaim memiliki sifat yang ramah lingkungan, karena menggunakan material yang bisa mengurangi pembalakan liar (illegal logging). Tidak jarang juga kita menemui brosur rangka atap baja ringan dengan kode ekolabel atau ramah lingkungan, label yang menjelaskan produk yang dijual adalah ramah terhadap lingkungan. Namun apakah benar ramah lingkungan? Untuk mengetahui hal itu, baiknya kita ketahui produk yang berlabel ramah lingkungan atau ekolabel.
Dalam situs Kementrian Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia . dilansir bahwa Ekolabel merupakan salah satu sarana penyampaian informasi yang akurat,‘verifiable’ dan tidak menyesatkan kepada konsumen mengenai aspek lingkungan dari suatu produk (barang atau jasa), komponen atau kemasannya. Pemberian informasi tersebut pada umumnya bertujuan untuk mendorong permintaan dan penawaran produk ramah lingkungan di pasar yang juga mendorong perbaikan lingkungan secara berkelanjutan.
Para Produsen baja ringan atau Perbaikan Rumah memikirkan tentang ramah lingkungan, ataupun recyclibility dalam penggunaan material baja ringan harus dipertegas kembali. Hendaknya setiap produsen dapat menjelaskan kepada konsumen tentang konsep tersebut, apakah karena material yang tidak akan menyisakan sampah? Atau bahan-bahan sisa yang bisa di recycle menjadi bahan lain yang berguna?

Walaupun demikian Jika di telusuri lebih jauh, secara umum baja ringan mungkin saja bisa mengurangi pembalakan liar karena bisa meminimalisir bahkan cenderung menghilangkan penggunaan material kayu dalam konstruksinya. Tapi sesuai dengan prinsip ekolabel bahwa produk yang diberi ekolabel selayaknya adalah produk yang dalam daur hidupnya mulai dari pengadaan bahan baku, proses produksi, pendistribusian, penggunaan, dan pembuangan setelah penggunaan, memberi dampak lingkungan relatif lebih kecil dibandingkan produk lain yang sejenis. Mudah-mudahan saja baja ringan menjadi alternatif penggunaan material bangunan masa depan yang lebih bisa diterima lingkungan karena daur hidupnya yang memberikan dampak yang kecil. by... Eko Santoso

Atap Baja Ringan

Standar pemasangan baja ringan memang sangat penting. Material ini menjadi kokoh karena sistem rangka yang terangkai jadi satu, Bukan material yang berdiri sendiri. Pemahaman ini yang sering dilupakan oleh pemilik rumah. Atas nama harga murah, mereka cenderung membeli batangan baja ringan (ketengan) bukan sistem terpasang.
Akibatnya, tak ada kontrol pemasangan. Keselamatan penghuni jadi taruhan. Berangkat dari fenomena tersebut, berikut kami sajikan 15 fakta mengenai 
baja ringan Selamat membaca!
(Disarikan dari berbagai sumber literatur, pendapat  praktisi, dan data produsen)
1. Sistem Kesatuan
Atap baja ringan itu sistem kesatuan, bukan hanya berbicara tentang satu batang. Kunci kekuatannya terletak pada integrasi tiap batang yang  terkoneksi dengan sambungan secara utuh. Saat terjadi kesalahan kecil pada satu rangka akan berimbas ke seluruh atap. Satu bagian tertarik maka bisa rubuh semua. Tentu perhitungan terkomputerisasi jadi panduan, bukan sekadar berdasar pengalaman atau reka-reka.
2. Jenis Profil
Ada 3 jenis baja ringan yang umum ditemui di Indonesia. Profil head section (U terbalik dengan kaki), profil C dan profil Z. Tiap profil punya kelebihan tersendiri dengan sistem sambungan yang berbeda pula. Profil head section misalnya, memiliki kestabilan lebih karena mempunyai “dua kaki” sebagai penumpu. Sambungan berada di dua sisi kaki. Untuk profil C cukup efisien secara bentuk dan mudah dalam aplikasi. Harga yang ditawarkan juga lebih terjangkau.
3. Lapisan Antikarat
Salah satu komponen penting dalam baja ringan adalah lapisan coating antikarat. Jenis pelapis yang digunakan berbeda-beda tiap merk. Ada yang berupa galvanis (Zinc), galvanum dan zincalume (kombinasi  Zinc, alumunium dan silikon) dan ZAM (Zinc, Alumunium dan Magnesium). Perbedaan campuran akan mempengaruhi ketahanan terhadap zat lain seperti garam, larutan asam dan larutan basa. Setiap jenis juga punya ketebalan tersendiri. Umumnya ketebalan yang dipakai 100-150gr/m² atau sering ditulis dengan kode AZ100 (menyesuaikan kadar ketebalan).  Namun, untuk baja ringan yang dijual lepasan/ketengan angka AZ umumnya tak lebih dari 100. Semakin tipis lapisan, semakin mudah lapisan antikarat rusak. Baja ringan pun mudah kena korosi.
4. Kekuatan
Pada dasarnya baja ringan merupakan lembar baja dengan ketebalan berkisar 0,65mm-1mm. Kekautan yang dipersyaratkan adalah 550Mpa atau 550kg/m². Dalam kemasan umumnya tertulis Hi Tensile G550. Namun Anda perlu berhati-hati dengan kode yang tertera tersebut. Tak semua produk dengan kode G5500 punya kekuatan yang sesuai. Butuh uji lab untuk memastikan. Nah, agar tak tertipu, pilih produk baja ringan yang berkompeten dan terpercaya. Perlu diingat, kekuatan atap baja ringan terletak pada sistem satu kesatuan, bukan sekadar per batang. 
5. Software
Untuk menghasilkan sistem kesatuan antar baja ringan yang utuh dan kokoh butuh sistem perhitungan yang presisi. Perhitungan tak boleh berdasar perkiraan atau pengalaman. Perhitungan pembebanan harus berdasarkan komputerisasi yang minim kesalahan, yaitu melalui software khusus. Tiap produsen baja ringan telah mempunyai  software tersendiri untuk menghasilkan desain rangka yang paling efektif, efisien dan aman. Mulai dari bentuk rangka, ukuran sambungan hingga jumlah screw . Tentu disesuaikan dengan profil dan jenis rangka masing-masing. Agar perhitungan bisa tepat dan nihil kesalahan, dibutuhkan data-data kondisi rumah yang lengkap dan sesuai kondisi riil. Data ini harus didapatkan sejak survei awal.
6. Survei Lokasi
Proses survei sebelum pengapliaksian atap baja ringan bukan sekadar formalitas. Data yang didapat dari peninjuan kondisi  rumah, berfungsi sebagai materi perhitungan software. Salah data bisa fatal akibatnya. Biaya membengkak dan keselamtan jiwa terancam. Agar perhitungan semaikin akurat, produsen akan membutuhkan banyak info. Mulai dari desain rumah keseluruhan, bentuk atap,  layout ruangan, struktur bangunan, jarak tritisan hingga jenis penutup atap yang akan dipakai.Tak hanya itu, aksesoris tambahan seperti penempatan  waterheater, solar panel, antena hingga lampu gantung juga diperlukan. Termasuk rencana pengembangan rumah dikemudian hari. Perencanaan matang dan keakuratan data akan menjamin keamanan dan kenyamanan pemilik rumah.
7. Beban Tambahan
Jangan sepelekan beban tambahan saat ingin memasang baja ringan. Penambahan beban di luar perhitungan bisa berakibat fatal. Atap bisa runtuh atau  mengalami gagal struktur. Konsistensi dengan data rencana awal juga penting. Misal pada perhitungan awal Anda hanya ingin memasang pemanas air dengan bobot 100kg, namun kemudian berubah menjadi 200kg. Perubahan data akan mempengaruhi desain dan perhitungan rangka atap. Imbasnya biaya yang dikeluarkan semakin besar.Konsultasikan terlebih dahulu dengan teknisi bersertifikasi jika ada penambahan beban di luar rencana awal. Koordinasi sedari awal mengurangi potensi kecelakaan dikemudian hari.
8. Sambungan
Sebagai sebuah sistem yang terintegrasi, sambungan antar rangka tak kalah penting. Umumnya sambungan menggunakan baut/screw  dengan jumlah bervariasi sesuai perhitungan  software. Namun umumnya jumlah  screw 2 buah atau lebih. Selain sambungan antar baja, perhatikan pula sambungan antara baja dengan ringbalk (balok atap). Untuk menjaga kestabilan, sambungan ke struktur rumah ini menggunakan dynabolt. Sambungan harus menyambung dengan konstruksi beton, bukan bata atau kayu.
9. Panduan Pemasangan
Setelah proses perhitungan dan olah data oleh  software 
baja ringan rampung, maka akan muncul gambar kerja sebagai panduan pemasangan rangka atap. Gambar kerja ini berisi gambar penempatan sistem rangka, jenis dan panjang rangka, hingga jumlah screw/baut. Dari data ini baru teknisi bisa melakukan pemotongan, penyambungan hingga instalasi di atap. Banyak detail data membuat gambar kerja hanya dapat diterjemahakan oleh teknisi sertifikasi, bukan tukang. Pelaksana lapangan hanya memasang saat ada supervisi dari teknisi.
10. Aplikator vs Tukang
Alat pemasangan sambungan baja ringan cukup sederhana dan mudah, percayakan pemasangan kepada teknisi bersertifikasi. Kesalahan pemasangan bisa membuat baja robek dan melukai lapisan coating pelindung karat. Untuk memasang baja ringan juga tak menyoal pengalaman saja, namun kemampuan menerjemahkan gambar juga penting. Teknisi yang bersertifikasi tak melakukan improvisasi asal-asalan. Namun didasarkan pada perhitungan berdasar kalkulasi software. Pengukuran, pemotongan, dan penyambungan semua berdasarkan gambar kerja.
11. Bentuk Kuda-kuda
Jangan terpaku pada bentuk kuda-kuda kayu konvensional, sekadar simetris. Bentuk kuda-kuda baja ringan mempunyai banyak variasi, sesuai dengan hasil perhitungan software. Jangan heran jika bentuk rangka ada yang miring ke satu sisi. Bentuk kuda-kuda dengan sudut tak simetris umumnya mengakomodasi perbedaan pembebanan dalam satu atap misal pemasangan waterheater. Karena pembebanan berlebih di salah satu bidang atap, maka rangka di sisi tersebut menjadi lebih rapat. Beban yang disalurkan lebih banyak. Selain beban berlebih, posisi layout ruang dan ringbalk juga memengaruhi. Bentuk kuda-kuda menyesuaikan posisi balok sebagai tumpuan penyalur beban.
12. Jarak dan Bentangan Kuda-kuda
Salah satu keterbatasan baja ringan adalah jarak antar kuda-kuda yang rapat. Jarak idealnya 120cm atau bisa bervasirasi sesuai dengan perhitungan software, mulai dari 60cm-135cm. Jenis rangka ini jarang diekspos karena bentuk sistemnya yang rumit. Dari segi bentangan lebar kosong (tanpa penyangga), rata-rata  baja ringan mampu mencapai 8m-12m. Namun untuk bentangan 10m-12m cukup berisiko dan butuh penambahan ring balok. Penambahan balok baru akan tentu mempengaruhi desain rangka atap keseluruhan.
13. Jenis Penutup Atap
Pemilihan penutup atap untuk rangka baja ringan tak sekadar menyoal keindahan dan fungsi, tapi juga efisiensi dan biaya. Semakin kecil ukuran genteng, semakin banyak reng yang harus dihasilkan. Imbasnya biaya bisa tambah membengkak. Misal untuk genteng metal jarak rengnya 45cm dan genteng keramik 20cm, maka jumlah reng genteng  keramik lebih banyak. Hal ini juga berlaku dengan bobot penutup atap. Semakin berat material maka semakin kuat rangka yang harus menyangga. Harga pun ikut naik.
14. Harga dan Biaya
Harga yang ditawarkan tiap produsen berbeda-beda sesuai dengan kualitas material dan perhitungan software yang mereka keluarkan. Dalam satu produsen juga tak ada harga tetap. Semua harga dan biaya dihitung berdasarkan perhitungan luas, ketinggian, sudut atap dan jenis penutup yang dipakai. Umumnya harga sistem baja ringan berkisar dari Rp130.000–Rp300.000an termasuk pemasangan dan garansi. Anda juga dapat menyampaikan info mengenai dana yang Anda miliki sebagai panduan bagi produsen. Jadi produsen akan memberikan alternatif desain atap yang paling efisein sesuai dengan dana yang Anda miliki.Hindari pembelian baja ringan batangan/ketengan. Walau harga murah, namun tak ada jaminan kualitas dari sisi kekuatan dan antikarat. Terlebih 
pemasangan dilakukan dengan tukang tanpa ada perhitungan terkomputerisasi.

15. Garansi
Sebagai jaminan,  produsen baja ringan memberikan garansi ketahanan atap. Waktu garansi berbeda satu dengan yang lain. Umumnya di atas 10 tahun hingga 20 tahun. Tapi ingat, garansi menjadi tidak berlaku jika ada perubahan rangka atap tanpa pemberitahuan ke produsen dan teknisi terkait. Perubahan berupa penggantian penutup atap, penambahan aksesoris atau renovasi atap akan membuat perhitungan awal berubah. Imbasnya ketentuan desain awal yang digaransikan ikut berubah.