How Concrete Blocks Are Made
Posted on March 16, 2019
Brick contractors in places like Tulsa, OK use a wide variety of materials during builds. Depending on the client’s request or the contractors’ discretion, the material may range from stone to concrete blocks. The former we already know that it’s a natural resource. But how about the latter, do you know enough about concrete blocks aside from its application? Do you know how concrete blocks are made?
You all know the saying “A little bit information goes a long way”, well that saying is definitely applicable for property owners like you. To get the most out of your investment, it would always be better to have ample knowledge about the materials being used on your project. So without further ado, here’s how concrete blocks are made.
The Manufacturing process of concrete blocks starts with raw materials. Concrete blocks are made up of sand and gravel. The component that will bind the two together is called Portland cement. These three are all brought to the plant via trucks and transferred to conveyor belts and onto storage bins.
Before the production process begins, sand, gravel, and cement need to be carefully measured. This is accomplished through Weigh Batchers that identify the right amount of sand, gravel, and cement ratio needed based on nominal measurements for standard concrete block development.
After all the materials are accurately measured, they are transferred to a stationary mixer where they are combined together. There are two common types of mixers. The pan mixer is comprised of a vertical shaft running along the middle of the mixer with blades installed on it. The horizontal drum mixer, on the other hand, works the same way, but instead of having a vertical shaft, the drum mixer utilizes a horizontal one.
After the dry materials have been thoroughly mixed, water is added to bind all of it together. Depending on the type of concrete block a manufacturer makes, they might add pigments and other materials as well. This phase of the production process typically lasts around eight minutes. Time is important during this stage because of the cement’s tendency to harden once water has been added.
Once the concrete has finally reached the desired consistency, it is dumped out of the mixer and onto a hopper where the concrete batch is controlled in a regulated flow as it transfers to a block machine. The block machine is comprised of several mold liners that give the concrete block its iconic shape. After filling these molds with concrete, the block machine’s upper head comes down, compressing the concrete inside the molds in the process. After compacting, these blocks are then pushed out of the mold and into a steel pallet for curing.
The molded concrete is placed in a curing kiln where they are slightly hardened at room temperature for about three hours. After that, steam is introduced to raise the temperature to not more than 16 degrees Celsius per hour. After curing, the steam is shut off to allow the concrete blocks to soak. This stage of the curing process will take around 12-18 hours. After the soaking process, the kiln is fired up again to draw out any remaining moisture and completely dry out the blocks.
So there you have it, a step by step process on how concrete blocks are made. Remember that, depending on which manufacturer the concrete blocks came from, the process might slightly differ. But rest assured that whatever processes they do, they have the same goals in mind: to provide excellent materials for masonry repair and brick contractors in places Tulsa, OK and offer security and durability for anyone who buys them
If you’ve decided on using concrete blocks for your next project, let Brick 1 Masonry provide you with the manpower to help you turn your vision into reality! Our contractors have the skills and knowledge required to see that your construction project is accomplished without any setbacks. We understand how concrete block works, and with years of experience under our belt, no concrete-related build is too difficult! So pick up the phone and partner with us today! No other company in the area is more proficient in concrete blocks than us.
Brick 1 Masonry: the experts in concrete block construction and masonry repair in Tulsa!