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Types of Concrete Block

Concrete masonry units have become a standard building material due to the structural advantages, energy efficiency, durability, fire-resistant quality, economics, and minimal maintenance. Concrete masonry also allows architectural freedom and versatility. Due to its durable attributes CMU is a prudent material for both hot and cold weather environments, hurricane or high wind areas, or fire prone areas. Concrete masonry units can be a value in achieving LEED rating points.


The standard concrete block is a rectangular 8 x 8 x 16 - inch unit (200 x 200 x 400 mm) made mainly of portland cement, gravel, sand, and water. The concrete mixture may also contain ingredients such as air-entraining agents, coloring pigment, and water repellent. Recycled aggregate products are also being used in making CMU. There are many different applications for CMU which are derived from its manufacturing process. Concrete masonry units can be manufactured into a variety of shapes and sizes for a variety of applications. During the manufacturing process, a machine molds moist, low-slump concrete into the desired shapes for their specific use such as residential building, commercial and industrial building needs, permeable concrete pavers, and segmental retaining wall usage. Other uses for concrete masonry units include retaining walls, hurricane safe enclosures (Safe Rooms) and exterior décor hardscape applications such as patios, walkways, chimneys and fireplaces.

In addition to its many uses, concrete masonry units can be manufactured for virtually any architectural or structural function. Split-face block units have been fractured lengthwise or crosswise by machine to produce a rough stone-like texture. A patented slotted concrete block provides high sound absorption, making it ideal for use in residential home construction and commercial construction including gymnasiums, factories, bowling alleys, or other places where noise generation is high. Concrete masonry applications are used to construct small to large residential homes and commercial and industrial buildings.