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21 Nov

Advantages of using blocks

Regardless of what kind of concrete blocks are used, the houses made of them are nicely-looking, durable, and have excellent heat and sound insulation characteristics. In addition, concrete blocks used in construction are resistant to fire, water and other weather disasters. Their characteristics are similar to those of bricks.

Concrete blocks facilitate the construction process, as they are large in volume and allow you to use a special glue as a binding material.

This will reduce the total expenses.

In addition to the above characteristics, various colorants may be added into concrete during its mixing. This will allow to build a house of any color scheme to meet the individual needs of the consumer.

Cellular concrete (aerated concrete, gas silicate, etc.) can also be used in the construction. This provides an advantage in the construction of the foundation. Since the building material is not very heavy, there is no reason to lay a massive foundation structure. The use of light foundations allows to save a lot of money during construction.

Tools and accessories for block laying

When erecting walls using concrete blocks, worker uses a set of tools for blocks similar to that for bricks. However, there are slight differences. When there is a need to lay not a whole block, but only a part of it, a pick-hammer is suitable to fit it to required size only when working with slag stone and lightweight aggregate. To cut an aerated concrete block to a required size, a manual hacksaw should be used.

Slightest irregularities on horizontal rows of concrete blocks are ground off with a special grater. There are other tools for block laying that are at each stone layer’s disposal.

Foamed concrete is easily cut with a piece of a thin steel wire. Foam and aerated concrete blocks sometimes are laid using glue instead of mortar. Adhesive mixtures are easier to apply evenly with a spatula, a wide trowel or a special device consisting of a tray, a sponge or a napped roller. Such device for block laying saves both time and mixture.

Finally, adhesive mixture may be applied with a conventional paint roller using a tray for paint.

Mortar or adhesive?

Many people hesitate choosing between mortar and glue for this purpose. Blocks of slag stone and lightweight aggregate are laid on a conventional mortar. When working with the foamed concrete (and especially aerated concrete), there is a need of a special adhesive mixture. Porous concrete absorbs moisture very quickly and does not allow conventional mortar to make a reliable bind. It is necessary to use special water-retaining additives. All the necessary materials are present in ready-made adhesive solutions designed specifically for bonding foamed and aerated concrete slabs. Ready-made solutions cost about twice as much as conventional solution.

21 Nov

Types of building blocks

Construction with concrete blocks is spreading. This is due to the fact that manufacturers of these wall materials are opening production facilities in different regions. This makes the material available for a wide range of consumers. In addition, installation of concrete blocks is simple and fast.

The main advantages of the walls made of concrete blocks are lower thermal conductivity (compared to bricks), less weight, better soundproofing and most importantly – low cost of the material. The erection of structures made of concrete blocks takes much less time than the construction of brick buildings.

What are the types building blocks?

First of all, it is necessary to explain what types of blocks for house construction are available. Different types of building blocks have different advantages and disadvantages. Here are some types of concrete blocks, which can be purchased at an affordable price.

Cinder blocks have certain advantages and some disadvantages. The advantages of this material are low bulk density, low heat transfer coefficient, moisture resistance, good porosity and high strength. However, there are drawbacks – lower (compared to other cellular materials) insulation rate, the poorest geometry of the finished products among all lightweight concretes.

Cinder blocks are used to erect both external load-bearing walls and internal walls. Interior partitions can also be made of these blocks. Their structural strength allows to use standard floors of reinforced concrete slabs. Due to the fact that the weight of 1 cubic meter of finished cinder masonry is half that of one cubic meter of brick masonry, less strength of the foundation is required for a cinder block building.

Cinder blocks, once having reached full strength, poorly lend themselves to further machining. They can be drilled or cut only with special tools.

Different sizes of precast blocks require larger seam thickness in the masonry, which leads to the loss of some of the thermal insulation properties as a continuous seam of the cement-sand mixture is a so-called thermal bridge.

Foamed concrete is a material made of the mixture of cement with fine-grained fillers. Foaming is done using synthetic or protein-based foaming agents.

The formulas of foaming agents are protected by patents, so it is very hard to find out even approximate composition. It is only known that the protein-based foaming agents are made of slaughterhouse waste, and therefore they cost half as much as synthetic ones.

Foam concrete is produced as follows: the cement-sand mixture is mixed with water and a foaming agent. With the start of intensive foam formation, it is poured into a special mold, where it is cured until complete solidification. After that, the block is removed from the mold and cut into pieces of specified sizes using a special high precision equipment.