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Types of Concrete Blocks or Concrete Masonry Unit: Hollow & Solid Concrete Blocks

For light construction workConcrete block masonry which is also known as concrete masonry unit (CMU) is used which has great advantages over brick and stone masonry. Concrete blocks are cast & manufactured in required shape and sizes and these may be solid concrete blocks or hollow blocks unit. Here we briefly discuss Types of Concrete Blocks.

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Types of concrete blocks

Followings are the types of clocks:

  • Solid Concrete blocks
  • Hollow concrete blocks

Solid Concrete Blocks

  It is is used for internal load-bearing walls and beam and block floor systems. A solid block is used in the form of a cavity or solid walls construction.

Solid Concrete Blocks
Fig. Solid Concrete Blocks

Hollow concrete blocks

  Hollow concrete blocks are one of the useful construction material, these are lightweight blocks and used for load-bearing on non-load bearing walls. In general practice, hollow concrete blocks are 30 cm X 20 cm X 15 cm ( 12inch x 8inch x 6 inch )  in size. In general practice, for hollow concrete blocks, the face thickness must be at least 5 cm (2”)  and the net area must be 55 to 66% of the gross area. And the mortar used has a cement aggregate mix in 1:6 proportion. the blocks used for structural purposes should be at least 3 N/mm2( 450 lb /in2)

   Types of Hollow Concrete blocks

  •  Stretcher (3core)
  •  Double corner
  • Low web bold beam block 
  • Channel bond beam or lintel block 
  • Control joint
  • Concrete End block
  •  Corner block
(i) Concrete stretcher (3 core):

The shapes of this block is shown in fig below

Hollow concrete blocks 3 Core type
Fig2. Hollow concrete blocks 3 Core type

It is most common for reinforced concrete structures.

(ii) Concrete Double corner:

Concrete Double Corner is typically used for reinforced construction, the last course with a vertical steel bar and grout creates internal reinforced concrete columns. Also read: Types of Stone Masonry: Ashlar Masonry, Rubble Masonry

(iii) Low web bold beam block:

It provides space for horizontal reinforcing bar and grout. It is used to tie the wall together at critical points of creating a bond beam.

(iv) channel bond beam or lintel block:

It provides space for a horizontal reinforcing bar. It used to create lintels over openings.

(v) control joint:

It is used for making the expansion of vertical share type control joints in construction. A sealant is used between interlocking units.

Shapes of Concrete Blocks
Fig for (i) to (vii) Shapes of Concrete Blocks
(vi) End block:

It is used where the end of the unit will be exposed.

(vii) corner block:

The corner block is a half-block used at corners and ends of walls to create a running bond pattern.

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Advantages of using hollow concrete blocks:

Following are the main advantages of hollow concrete blocks:

  •  There is no need for dressing,  due to this construction works is done fastly.
  • Concrete blocks easy to handle because of lightweight.
  • There are great savings in materials.
  • Due to the large size, the number of joints in masonry is less saving mortar.
  • In the concrete block, there is hollow space inside so the result has better insulating properties against sound, heat, and dampness.
  • A concrete block masonry wall is economical because the meter cube cost of stone machinery was is about 15 to 20 percent Les expensive than a bat of brick masonry walls.
  • The maintenance cost of hollow concrete blocks is lesser because it has no efflorescence effect.
  • It is eco friendly because, in hollow blocks, constituents can be substituted by waste products like fly ash.
  • Concrete blocks work no need any plasterwork because it can easily balance the change in environment or atmospheric conditions.

Composition of concrete blocks

High-density concrete blocks are manufactures and cast by mixing Portland cement, aggregate, sand, and fine gravel. Lightweight concrete blocks are cast by home recycle materials, post-consumer glass, slag cement, or recycled aggregate and industrial wastages such as fly ash or bottom ash. Lightweight blocks are also manufactured by using aerated concrete.

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