Everything you need to know about Concrete Blocks
Concrete Blocks 101
Many people hear the word concrete block and automatically picture the cinder block or concrete block that they find laying around in the yard leftover from projects completed years ago. These people would be surprised to find that concrete block is actually a very broad term and that there are many different types of concrete blocks. The following listing of some of the types of concrete blocks can be a great way to understand what types of blocks to use in various projects
Types of Concrete Blocks Explained
- Breeze Blocks: Breeze blocks are concrete blocks that are made of a blend of concrete and ashes from coal or coke. These blocks are called cinder block or clinker blocks in the US and are designed for light loads.
- Celcon Blocks: Building block trade name that is made from Aircrete and is resistant to frost, flames, water and even sulphates. It is a fast laying, lightweight yet very strong building block. Many self build projects incorporate Celcon blocks as self build blocks to help the homeowner complete their project.
- Thermalite Block: A type of building block that is similar to concrete yet can be cut and shaped easier than concrete.
- Solar Blocks: A type of Celcon block that was designed to be energy conserving and in fact meets the energy conservation requirements of building regulations. These blocks are light and easy for the self builder to handle while working on projects.
- Turbo Blocks: A high thermal insulation block that is the perfect choice for outdoor wall uses there a lower U-value is required.
- Trench Blocks: The blocks used to build up the walls to ground level after the foundation has been laid. These are often called foundation blocks in the Celcon Company.
- Hollow Concrete Blocks: Concrete building blocks with one two to eight hollow cells that can be filled with rebar or mortar to add more strength to the block. If left unfilled, hollow concrete blocks should only be used in light loading applications.
- Lightweight Concrete Blocks: These concrete blocks are often made of expanded aggregate which reduces the weight and density of the block. These blocks are especially useful when the builder has back pain issues.
- Dense Concrete Blocks: Concrete block that is stronger and more durable than most concrete blocks and is the ideal choice for cavity and solid wall construction. These are also a good choice for load bearing internal walls.
- Aerated Concrete Blocks: These concrete blocks are made using the typical concrete ingredients with the addition of aluminum powder. The aluminum powder reacts with the concrete and microscopic hydrogen bubbles form which expands the concrete. The hydrogen is then evaporated and the cells are highly closed resulting in a non-toxic, non-organic, tire and termite resistant, thermal and acoustic insulating concrete.
There are many more terms and types of concrete blocks that contractors need to be familiar with in order to fully understand the choices they have when planning their projects. Applications ranging from foundations to retaining walls can benefit from the proper use of concrete blocks and knowing which one to use is the first step