McMaster University, Department of Civil Engineering


The acquisition of a Variable Scale Concrete Block Production Machine by McMaster University will facilitate the manufacturing of scaled concrete blocks for use in experimental models of masonry structures and structural components. The current size of scaled block was selected to be ? of the actual dimensions of the common 20 cm concrete block found in North American loadbearing masonry construction with an ideal strength of 25 MPa. Approximately 1300 ? scale concrete blocks were tested for absorption, density, dimensions, and strength. It was determined that an ideal mix can only exist within a narrow band of free water content at any given cement to aggregate ratio, the ideal range was found to be within a water to cement to aggregate ratio of (0.40 – 0.55) : 1.0 : (7.4 – 8.4) by weight. Variation of block properties within a single cycle was minimized through adjustments to several block machine operations.

Key words
Block Machine, Block Manufacturing, Compressive Strength Tests, Concrete Block Curing, Density Tests, Mix Design, Reduced Scale Concrete Block