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In the United States, a concrete masonry unit (CMU) – also called concrete block, cement block, and foundation block – is a large rectangular brick used in construction. Concrete block is made from cast concrete, i.e. Portland cement and aggregate, usually sand and fine gravel for high-density block. Lower density concrete block may use industrial wastes as an aggregate. Those that use cinders (fly ash or bottom ash) are called cinder concrete block in the US, breeze concrete blocks in the UK and are also known as besser concrete block or bricks in Australia. Clinker concrete block uses clinker as aggregate.
Concrete block may be produced with hollow centers to reduce weight or improve insulation. The use of concrete block work allows structures to be built in the traditional masonry style with layers of staggered concrete block. Concrete block comes in many sizes.
Concrete block, when reinforced with concrete columns and tie beams, is a very common building material for the load-bearing walls of buildings, in what is termed “concrete block structure” (CBS) construction. American suburban houses typically employ a concrete foundation and slab with a concrete block wall on the perimeter. Large buildings typically use copious amounts of concrete block; for even larger buildings, concrete block supplements steel I-beams.
Concrete block has also been used for years to build concrete block privacy walls, concrete block privacy fences; concrete block sound barriers, concrete block noise barriers, concrete block screen walls, and concrete block buffer walls. These concrete block walls have been used for developments, communities, HOAs or Home Owner Associations, commercial and residential applications.
Permacast provides a product that is far superior to concrete block walls in many ways. We build precast concrete fence walls. Precast concrete fence walls are much more cost effective than concrete block walls, much more efficient than concrete block walls, and can be much better looking than concrete block walls. Please contact us for more information.