Cement Blocks, Bricks, Inter-locking Blocks, Solid/Hollow Blocks, Insulated Blocks, and Retaining Blocks are modern construction materials which are being used in residential, commercial, and industrial building constructions. Demand for these products is being led by growing public awareness of their advantages and the increasing support of the government and financial institutions to build modern houses and commercial centers.
The uses of these products include construction of pavements /outdoor floors or superficial surfaces, where paving materials like asphalt, concrete, flagstones, cobblestones, sett stones, artificial stones, bricks, tiles, and sometimes wood are used creatively. In landscaping, pavements are part of the hardscape and are used on sidewalks, road surfaces, patios, courtyards, etc.
Concrete PaversConcrete pavers or paving stones are a popular outdoor flooring option. Like tiles, pavers are manufactured in specific shapes, sizes, and colours, and are used at sites as ready to be installed. They are much more durable and flexible than poured concrete. Concrete pavers are individual pieces, which make the overall paver pattern more flexible and accommodating in ground fluctuations when dry set. They are made with a combination of two main ingredients: cement and aggregate. Concrete pavers are available in a variety of styles to suit different applications and come in a wide large range of colours.
Value-added Concrete PaversThe demand for diverse shapes and sophisticated surface designs, such as natural-looking stone surfaces, is increasing. For a landscape investment that can impact property value, pavers with their aesthetic appeal and durability, have the potential to increase property value.
Value-added concrete pavers, when installed on driveways, patios, or walkways, enhance their aesthetic appeal. The extremely fine exposed concrete can work with low material thicknesses and can reproduce structures and shapes very precisely, and is also superior to other products in terms of quality, supply, and range of finished products.
Types of finishes achieved on Pavers
- Shot blasting: This involves directing a stream of steel particles on the concrete surface at high velocity to impart a slightly roughened surface. The main advantages of the process are:
- Texturing of material for a fine architectural finish
- Total cleaning of the concrete surface off any ungainly efflorescence
- Exposing of aggregates for a nice weathered look. The aggregates could also be of contrasting colours, which would further increase the ‘character’ of the paving material
- If the shotblasted material is likely to be subjected to dust and dirt, it is recommended that the surface be sealed/coated for protection and for a better finished look.
- Curling: Curled surfaces give concrete products a matte shine and a noticeably smoother surface. This technology is especially used for structured stones and slabs as well as with roughly ground and/or shotblasted products. The surface of fully cured products is curled using a special carborundum brush to create a smooth, silken finish. Curling imparts a river washed or a leather finish to the product. It is generally recommended that the products are sealed/coated before supply.
- This is a dry process that involves exposing of the aggregates, but to a much lesser extent. It imparts a velvet-like feel to the concrete. The aggregates may or may not be previously exposed.
- It is strongly recommended that the surface be sealed/coated for protection and a better finished look.
- Coating: Coating provides the ideal protection to concrete products. The range of coating varies from pure laying protection to long lasting coating. The diverse coating process enhance the products optically, give protection against environmental impacts, and make cleaning easier.
Solid Concrete BlocksSolid concrete blocks are large, rectangular blocks of concrete that are typically made from a mixture of cement, water, and aggregate, such as sand and gravel. They are often used in the construction of walls, foundations, and other structures. They are known for their durability and strength and are often used in load-bearing walls. They can also be used for decorative or architectural purposes.
Concrete blocks are often made of 1:3:6 concrete with a maximum size aggregate of 10 mm or a cement-sand mixture with a ratio of 1:7, 1:8 or 1:9. These mixtures, if properly cured, give concrete blocks a compression strength well above what is required in a one-storey building.
Concrete blocks have a much higher water resistance than bricks, and higher compressive strength. For normal, medium-weight concrete blocks, load bearing, hollow or solid, their compressive strength is about 12.5 N/mm2 or 125 kg/cm2. For denser, higher weight concrete blocks, load bearing, hollow or solid, their compressive strength is about 17.5 N/mm2 or 175 kg/cm2.
Split Concrete BlocksSplit-Faced Block is a concrete building unit which appears to have been hand-chiselled (or split) to give it a very textured look. By splitting concrete stones, rustic surfaces are generated which gives the products the look of natural stone.
Split face block is designed for a rough appearance. The block is made by combining two or more blocks into one larger unit, and then split in half. This exposes the aggregates, which are varied in colours and textures, and all have the trademark textured look of split face, which is in great demand.
Smooth concrete blocks are cheaper than split face blocks but if you’re looking for the unique aesthetic look offered by split face blocks, then it is worth investing a little more to get their textured look.