If you’ve been to a construction site or even spotted a construction project in your neighborhood, then you must have probably seen those gray, rectangular materials similar to Lego blocks. They are stacked together to form walls or other parts of a home. Yes, we are referring to concrete hollow blocks. What exactly are they made of, and what are their uses? Learn more about concrete hollow blocks in the Philippines and its applications.
What are concrete hollow blocks?
Concrete hollow blocks or CHBs are modular materials used in construction. They have a hollow core, usually more than 25% of their total area, hence they are called “hollow blocks.” The hollow area allows insulation against heat, moisture, and sound. Their sizes and shapes may vary, but in the Philippines, the common concrete hollow blocks have two hollow spots.
The concrete commonly used to make concrete blocks is a mixture of powdered Portland cement, water, sand, and gravel. Generally, the concrete mixture used for blocks has a higher percentage of sand and a lower percentage of gravel and water than the concrete mixtures used for general construction purposes. This produces a very dry, stiff mixture that holds its shape when it is removed from the block mold.
Other types of hollow blocks replace sand and gravel as materials. For example, cinder blocks use volcanic cinders or granulated coal to produce a dark gray hollow block with higher thermal insulation than ordinary concrete blocks. Meanwhile, when the sand and gravel are replaced with shale, slate, or expanded clay, lightweight concrete blocks are produced, and these are used for non-load-bearing walls or partitions.
Advantages of Concrete Hollow Blocks
Hollow blocks are popular construction materials because of the many advantages that they offer, and below are some of them.
Because concrete is one of the toughest construction materials, expect concrete hollow blocks to last very long with very minimal maintenance. Unlike wood which is susceptible to fire and prone to termite infestation, concrete hollow blocks have high durability. They are also resistant to extreme weather conditions, protecting not only your home but also your family.
Concrete hollow blocks are easy to arrange in your desired shape or to follow the contours of your property. Also, just like the toy Lego, you can build whatever you want with CHBs. Your imagination is your limit (and, of course, you have to follow safety standards). Aside from building walls, you can use CHBs to create pillars, arches, and other elements in construction. And once constructed, you can work with other construction materials to improve the appearance of the concrete hollow blocks foundation.
- Energy Efficient
For tropical countries like the Philippines, concrete hollow blocks are ideal because the hollow areas can keep cool air, which could provide insulating properties to your structure. This could help you save more on your electricity costs as you will use the air conditioning unit less often or use it only in their low settings.
- Allows for fast construction
Because of the height of concrete hollow blocks, as compared to brick, for example, building walls can be completed faster. Hence, you’ll be able to complete the construction using lesser blocks. This also means that you’ll be using mortar less frequently, making the usage of concrete hollow blocks cost-efficient.
Uses of Concrete Hollow Blocks
As mentioned, hollow blocks are flexible, and thus they are used in various types of construction—whether residential, commercial, or industrial. They are used in apartments, offices, hospitals, hotels, and markets. They are also used in condominiums—low-rise and high-rise, and tall buildings.
You can also get creative with concrete hollow blocks and use them for your DIY projects, like pots for your plants, or benches for your gardens.
Where to Find the Right Cement
Concrete hollow blocks in the Philippines are readily available in hardware stores or various suppliers, but if you want to make your own, or you are in the business of making concrete hollow blocks for distribution to stores or for selling to consumers, you need to use the right materials. Of all the materials in concrete hollow blocks, cement is perhaps the most important one.
When it comes to cement for your concrete mix ratio in the Philippines, a top contender is Union Cement. Union Cement products have high workability, early compressive strength, and consistency that exceed both Philippine and international standards, which are ideal for concrete construction applications.
Union Super Strength 40 is a Type IP cement product blended with superb mineral additives applicable for general concrete construction, including manufacturing of concrete products such as concrete hollow blocks.
Meanwhile, Union Ultra Strength 50 is a Union Cement’s Ordinary Portland Cement with compressive strength of up to 50 MPa after 28 days, which simply means that it can withstand heavy and extreme loads, so it is highly suitable for structures and buildings that require durability and resilience.
Union Extra Strength ES is Union’s type 1P Portland-Pozzolan cement variant formulated for general concrete applications and generally available in stores in key markets nationwide.
Being in the industry for years and with some of the most experienced professionals in the cement industry behind our operations, rest assured that we only produce high-quality cement products for your construction projects. Therefore, if you’re looking for a trusted cement company in the Philippines, then look no further than Union Cement.
Consistent with parent company PHINMA’s vision of making lives better, Union Cement provides a consistent and reliable supply of high-quality cement products and services to support our country’s construction and infrastructure requirements.
Union Cement is part of the PHINMA Construction Materials Group (PHINMA CMG), which includes affiliates Union Galvasteel Corporation and PHINMA Solar Energy Corporation. The synergy of these three companies allows PHINMA CMG to provide high-quality steel, cement, and solar solutions at outstanding value to customers nationwide.
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