Raw material used to make cement blocks
The concrete usually used in making concrete blocks is a mixture of water, sand, Portland cement and gravel . These components combined produce a light gray block with a fine surface texture and high compressive strength.
Generally, the cement mix used to make blocks has a higher amount of sand and a lower amount of water and gravel than the concrete mixes used for general construction.
By contrast, lightweight concrete blocks are made by swapping gravel and sand for expanded clay, shale or slate . These last elements are generated by crushing some raw materials and subsequently subjecting them to high temperatures near 1093 ° C. At this temperature level, the materials swell or expand due to the rapid generation of gases caused by the combustion of the material. organic that is trapped inside.
Commonly a light or light block weighs between 10 and 12.7 kilos, and is used to build walls, walls and partitions that do not resist much load.
Regardless of the basic materials, the concrete mix used to make blocks can also contain some chemicals, which are known as additives . These elements help to modify the cure time, increase compressive strength or workability.
It is essential that the additives comply with the ICONTEC 1299 “Chemical Additives for Concrete” standard.
The compound can contain added pigments to give the cement blocks a uniform color throughout their surface, or the surface of the blocks can be covered with a baked enamel to create a decorative design or to protect it against chemical attack.
Formula to make concrete blocks
We already know the raw materials used to make cement blocks, but now we must take into account another super important part, the amount of material to use .
Here we present a table with information to manufacture different quantities of blocks:
|Quantity||Mix m³||Water Liters||Cement||Sand||Gravel||F + G|
|60 Blocks||one||40||50 kg||150 Kg||200 kg||0.4|
|120 Blocks||2||80||100 kg||300 Kg||400 Kg||0.4|
|240 Blocks||3||160||200 kg||600 Kg||800 Kg||0.4|
|480 Blocks||4||320||400 Kg||1200 Kg||1600 Kg||0.4|
|960 Blocks||5||640||800 Kg||2400 Kg||3200 Kg||0.4|
Design of the concrete blocks
The sizes and shapes of the most used blocks in the world have become a standard to guarantee the uniform construction of buildings.
That is why we present here the characteristics of the standard or most widely used concrete blocks:
The measurements or dimensions of the most common concrete blocks are standardized in 10x20x40 cm, 15x20x40 cm and 20x20x40 cm .
Similarly, some block manufacturers make some modification to the basic block to achieve unique visual effects or to offer special structural features. An example of the latter can be a block specially designed to prevent water leaks through the surface of the exterior walls.
In this case, the block must incorporate a waterproof mixture that is capable of repelling water to reduce the absorption of the concrete.
The block, being a prefabricated material, can have so many models that it would be impossible to list each one, but what we can do is classify them in general according to the types of blocks:
- Of glasses: They are the most usual model. Sometimes it is used with the holes horizontally to allow a little vision and give way to the air with the outside.
- Multicamera: The internal holes of this model are compartmentalized. These types of blocks are usually used when you want to build a wall with a single sheet.
- Load: They are usually more solid and are used for walls that have structural functions.
In addition, here we show you a classification of the blocks according to their finish or design:
- Normal block to coat
- Solid block
- Column block
- Block for reinforced wall
- Block type H
- Face block
- Smooth block
- Split block
- Diamond Tip Block
- Multi-chamber anti-humidity blocks
A common question among people is: How are concrete blocks made?
We tell you that for any of the methods of manufacturing cement blocks the stages are basically the same, below we show you a list with the steps of the process:
- Gravel and sand are stored outdoors and transported to the storage containers at the plant via a conveyor belt.
- Once production begins, the required units of Portland cement, gravel, and sand are transported to a weighing feeder where the required quantities of each material are measured.
- The dry materials are mixed for several minutes.
- After the dry materials have been mixed, a low portion of water is added to the mixer.
- The concrete is mixed for a time of 6 to 8 minutes.
- Since the concrete load has been mixed, it is poured into a bucket conveyor and transported to a raised hopper.
- From the hopper, the concrete is transferred to another hopper that is located at the top of the blocking machine . Since the material is in the block machine the concrete is pressed down to form the molds.
- With the mix in the mold, the compaction / vibrate phase of the concrete begins to begin to form the blocks.
- The already compacted blocks are pushed down and out of the molds onto a flat steel platform. The blocks and platforms are moved out of the block machine to a chain conveyor.
- The block pads are transported to an automatic stacker that places them on a curing rack. When the rack is complete, they are taken to the curing oven (the most common is a low pressure steam oven).
- In the oven, the blocks are kept for 1 to 3 hours at room temperature so that the material hardens slightly. Subsequently, steam is gradually introduced to raise the temperature to a maximum speed of 16 ° C per hour.
- When the proper cure temperature is reached (66 to 74 ° C), the steam is shut off and the blocks are allowed to soak in the hot, humid air for a time range of 12 to 18 hours.
- The blocks are then dried by consuming all the humid air and further raising the oven temperature. The entire curing process takes approximately 24 hours.
- The cured block stacks are removed from the oven and the block pallets are unstacked to be placed on a chain conveyor. The blocks are then pressed out of the steel pallets and the pallets are forwarded to the blocking machine to be filled by a new group of molded blocks.
- The removed blocks go through a bucket that aligns each block and are then carried out with a forklift and stored.
Price of concrete blocks
The cost of concrete blocks varies greatly depending on the country you are in and the design and size you choose. But to give you an idea of the approximate cost, here is a list of some blocks.
|Kind||Measure||MXN cost||Cost USD|
|Concrete Hollow Block||10X20X40||$ 9.00 – $ 10.00||$ 0.5 USD|
|Concrete Hollow Block||12X20X40||$ 9.50 – $ 10.00||$ 0.5 USD|
|Concrete Hollow Block||15X20X40||$ 9.50 – $ 10.00||$ 0.5 USD|
|Concrete Hollow Block||20X20X40||$ 13.00 – $ 14.00||$ 0.75 USD|
|Solid lightweight block||11.5X19X38||$ 10.00 – $ 10.50||$ 0.5 USD|
|Heavy solid block||11.5X19X38||$ 9.50 – $ 10.50||$ 0.5 USD|
Note: These prices are merely informative.
Creative ideas to decorate with concrete blocks
If you are thinking of using concrete blocks for decorating your home , here we share some excellent videos of how you can do it step by step.
|Gsm 15 Fully automatic|
|Machine Operation System||Auto Double Trolley|
|Molding Cycle / Production Capacity||25 to 30 Sec per pallet, 90-110 Pallets per|
|No of Product on a Pallet Rectangle||15|
|I Section Paver||9|
|Double Curve Paver||12|
|Total Electricity usage||25 Kva|
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