Firstly, concrete blocks are versatile building materials used in the construction of walls, floors, pavements and more. Concrete block making machines automate and streamline the production of concrete blocks at an industrial scale.
In addition, concrete block making machines automate the production of concrete blocks through a continuous process. Different types of machines exist based on the compaction technology used. This article discusses the main types of block making machines and their uses in the concrete industry.
What Are Concrete Block Making Machines?
Concrete block making machines automatically manufacture concrete blocks of various shapes and sizes through a continuous operation. They consist of these main components:
• Hopper – Holds the concrete mix consisting of cement, aggregates, water and admixtures. The mix is fed into the machine continuously.
• Mold – Steel molds of different shapes and cavity sizes form the blocks according to required specifications. Molds for producing solid or hollow blocks are available.
• Compaction system – Used to compact the concrete mix inside the molds through vibration or mechanical pressing. This ensures uniform density and reduced porosity.
• Stripper – Removes the molded block from the cavity after compaction and curing. Modern machines have automated strippers.
• Conveyor – Transports the molded blocks through the various stages of the machine like curing and drying.
• Control panel – Used to monitor and control machine operations along with settings for different block sizes.
Block making machines can automatically produce up to thousands of concrete blocks per hour, depending on the type of machine and cavity sizes. The blocks are then cured using steam or water before packaging.
Types of Concrete Block Making Machines
There are mainly 3 types of concrete block making machines based on the compaction technology used:
The simplest and most common type, they use vibrating molds to achieve initial compaction of the concrete mix. Vibration machines are relatively lower cost but produce blocks with lower density.
Hydraulic Press Machines
These presses use hydraulic rams to exert heavy pressure on the concrete mix inside the molds, producing blocks with higher strength. However, they are more expensive than vibratory machines.
Combined Vibro-Press Machines
An advanced option that combines vibration and pressing to achieve maximum compaction of the concrete mix. The blocks made have the highest densities and strengths. But these machines also have the highest costs.
Uses Of Concrete Blocks Made By Machines
Concrete blocks manufactured using automated block making machine find wide application in the construction industry:
• Brick cliffing and paving – Hollow concrete blocks are used as bricks to build walls and flatwork.
• Precast concrete structures – Blocks are cast according to specifications for building columns, beams and stairs.
• Noise barriers – Perforated concrete blocks help mitigate traffic noise along highways.
• Retaining walls – Interlocking and keystone concrete blocks reinforce earthen slopes and structures.
• Pillars and fence posts – Concrete posts made using block machines support gates and fencing.
• Decorative landscaping – Colored and textured blocks accent walkways, patios and garden edges.