Concrete Masonry Units are one of the most versatile products in the construction industry. They can supply the structural framework of a building and they are able to also serve as a powerful backup system for many types of veneer systems. Concrete Masonry Walls can even be the veneer system itself with choices like smooth face, split- face, earth face, polished face & glazed face units. Concrete Masonry Walls used in one wythe application can function in both a structural capacity and also be the finished face of the wall. They can supply the thermal mass essential to help reduce heating and cooling costs. Concrete Masonry Walls can provide redundancy for increased fire safety in the event sprinkler systems malfunction during a fire. Wherever used they also provide an inordinate amount of control that is sound. So you see, concrete masonry units can do many jobs.
Sizes and construction
Concrete blocks may be created with hollow centres (cores) to reduce weight or enhance insulation. The use of blockwork enables structures to be assembled in the traditional masonry design with layers (or courses) of staggered blocks. Blocks come in many sizes.
Block centers are commonly tapered so that the top surface of the block (as placed) has a greater surface on which to disperse a mortar bed and for simpler handling. Most CMU’s have two centers, but three- and four-core units are also created. A core also allows for the insertion of steel reinforcement, tying individual blocks in the assembly, with the aim of significantly increased strength. To hold the support in proper place and to connection the block to the support, the centers must be filled with grout (concrete).
Many different specialized shapes exist to allow building characteristics that are particular. U-shaped knockout blocks or blocks with notches to permit the building of bond beams, using flat reinforcing grouted into position in the pit. Blocks with a channel on the end, known as “jamb blocks”, enable doors to be secured to wall assemblies. Blocks with grooved ends permit the construction of control joints, enabling a filler material to be anchored between the un-mortared block ends. Other characteristics, including radiused corners known as “bullnoses” may be integrated. A wide assortment of cosmetic profiles exist.
Concrete blocks are chiefly produced either by Fixed Concrete Block Machine or by Mobile Concrete Block Machine. The mobile version is also known as an Egglayer Block machine because the machine moves like a hen leaving behind Concrete Blocks (Analogy to eggs).
A concrete batching plant is used to manufacture concrete for blocks. Unlike water rich flowing concrete, this is a moist mix using a far less amount of water. Concrete is then transported to the Block Machine to make Blocks.