When constructing residential and industrial premises, people very often use such concrete goods as concrete blocks. The products, we are talking about, are distinguished by excellent specifications, high strength and long life. This is precisely why the blocks are used for the installation of foundation and load-carrying structures. Let us study the intended purpose, classification, and peculiarities of these products, and consider their strong and weak points.
Purpose of Concrete Blocks
Reinforced concrete blocks or concrete blocks are considered to be one of the most highly-demanded materials in construction. They are designed for the installation of private buildings and high-rise apartment buildings. Items made of concrete may be used for the purposes as follows:
- When installing the underground part of a building (foundation);
- For the installation of fences, basement story;
- While erecting partition walls and carrying walls.
The blocks are used for the construction of one-story private houses such as summer houses, cottage, warehouses, barns, stores, educational institutions, and health establishments. The blocks are also used for the improvement of building surrounding grounds (summer kitchens, garden houses, garages, supports for fences). Special attention shall be paid to the concrete products for the facade finish, they have various colour solutions and shapes.
Strong Points of Concrete Blocks
The strong points of the blocks under consideration are as follows:
- A wide range of colours and undertones, a variety of shapes;
- Item resistance to the variations in temperature;
- Long operational life (about 100 years);
- Minimum level of water absorption, allowing to use the blocks in basements;
- Environmentally friendly formula (cement, crushed stone, sand and water);
- Resistance to the fire influence.
Besides all the mentioned characteristics the blocks under consideration have a convenient size, allowing to speed up the residential and industrial objects’ construction process. Some types of blocks have a big size and weight. Their installation shall be carried out using special building machinery, cranes.
Block-making shall be carried at the factory, meeting the requirements of state standards as well as the building specifications. Moreover, the concrete products may be made on your own. Raw materials for block-making are the binding agent (high-grade cement), fine aggregate (sand), coarse aggregate (rounded aggregate or crushed stone), and water. To improve specifications of blocks, plasticizing agents and other substances shall be added to the mortar.
Block-making shall be carried out in such a way:
- Prepare formworks, grease its internal walls by the used engine oil.
- Make the concrete mixture in the concrete mixer.
- Set reinforcement, pour concrete in the form.
- Compact the mortar with a vibrator.
- Wait for concrete setting, take blocks out of formworks.
When making blocks at the factory, the forms with setting concrete are transferred to a special shop. Here the mortar is hardening under the high pressure and temperature. Such manufacturing technology improves its characteristics. In the factory floors, this process is automated.
Types and Classification
As we mentioned before, concrete blocks are used for various purposes. They are different in design and overall dimensions. There are the following blocks:
- foundation blocks;
- parts of partition walls;
- solid and hollow blocks;
- floor slabs;
- lego blocks;
- bridging and items of special shapes.
Large-sized types of blocks shall be reinforced. There are lifting eyes in such blocks for moving by crane.