History of the concrete block
While records show that concrete, in its primary form, has been discovered in ancient sites in the Middle East dating as far back as 7000BC, concrete blocks (that use portland cement) have been around since the early 19th century, where several European sites pioneered the concrete block in the early 19th century. However, the best record is of the Cherbourg harbour, constructed between 1783 and 1853. It used some 2000 concrete blocks, measuring at 20m3 each.
Manufacturing Process of a Concrete Block
The manufacturing of concrete blocks is a relatively straightforward process that involves a series of steps:
Batching and Mixing: The process begins with the careful batching of materials. All the raw materials, including cement, aggregate (such as sand or gravel), and water, are precisely weighed and mixed in specific proportions to create a concrete mix.
Feeding the Concrete Mix into Block Machine: The concrete mixture is then fed into a concrete block machine. This machine is equipped with moulds of various shapes and sizes to suit specific requirements.
Compaction: The concrete mixture inside the mould is compacted, usually through a combination of hydraulic and mechanical processes. This compaction ensures that the concrete fills the mould's corners and that there are no air pockets.
Curing: After the blocks are shaped, they are removed from the moulds and placed in a curing chamber. Here, through a controlled environment of temperature and humidity, the blocks undergo a hydration process which strengthens them.
Quality Inspection: After the curing process, the blocks are inspected for quality. Any blocks that do not meet the quality standards are set aside and not used for construction purposes.
The price of an average concrete block in the UK
The cost of a concrete block in the United Kingdom may vary depending on the region. Here is a general estimate of the prices:
England: The average cost of a standard concrete block in England ranges from £1.00 to £1.50.
Scotland: In Scotland, the price is slightly higher due to transportation costs, with prices ranging from £1.10 to £1.60 per block.
Wales: The cost in Wales is comparable to England, averaging between £1.00 and £1.50 per block.
Northern Ireland: Due to extra shipping costs, the price in Northern Ireland ranges from £1.20 to £1.70 per block.
These prices are subject to change and may vary based on the specific type and size of the concrete block, as well as the supplier.
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