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CLASSIIC

REPRIINT

SIERIIES

CONCRETE-BLOCK MANUFAC;TURE
Processes and Machines

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ISBN 9781440047312

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CONCRETE·BLOCK
PROCESSES AND

MANU 'ACTlJRE
MAC
INES

BY

HAR:\TON

H(_HV_ARD

RICE

FI/..'ST
FIR:-;T

EDITION
THOL'SA:-.Tn

xr.w

YORK

,.
LONnO:-.T:

JOB:\"

\VILEY
S:

&

SOXS
Lrxirrnn
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CH.\P:'ITA:.J

H:\1.1.,

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I

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PREFACE.

THE

object

of this book is to present principles to the manufacture

in a simple which p actice blo ks for of concrete

those

well-established hollow walls,

of concreting

has shown applicable building The theoretical result

and technical questions which arise in c nnccarc only considered in the actual in so far as bene t may of bloc sand manufacture

tion with the industry to the operator

their use in construction. The conclusions only of the author's consideration of operators careful phases of the which have been reached experience and failures articles have that been arc the res It not areful by a of a large n Imber supplemented on published par .icular in cement, c itical.
III

in actual work, but of a

of the successes throughout subject it will of the many which appear

a series of years,

\wighing

bearing

engineering, To many

and building

magazines. this book is unduly grows


As the industry

For this no apology is offered, the evil herein criticised of the industry eradication) attain that that work may, in some measure, to the end that

ch of

will pass away, and it is hoped th t this

aid in giving
which

to the wea ancsses their may universally

prominence

can alone sccur blocks in loculi tics whcr

concrete

high regard

now accorded

they

are manufactured

by really a ble hands.

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I

PREFACE.

allusion to patents is made in the text, the author deems it air to here state that very many of the designs and mac incs shown arc protected by letters patent. To t ose manufacturers whose ready cooperation has been both a p werful stimulus and a substantial aid in the production of this ark grateful acknowledgment is rendered. To those who hay so generously furnished illustrations of the machines they rna e, and of the buildings, blocks, and special members , produce in machines or molds of their manufacture, the author's thanks a c due. This list is as follows: The Winget Concrete Machine Co., Columbus, Ohio, Figs. II and 18; The Cement Working Machinery Co., Detroit, Michigan, Fig. 44; Kells' Foundry and Machine Co., Adrian, Michigan, Fig. 5; Miracle Pressed tone Co., Minneapolis, Figs. 10, 13, 38, and 39; H. s. Palmer ollow Concrete Building Block Co., Washington, D. C., Figs. 3, 14, and IS; J. B. Prescott & Son, 'Vebstcr, 1vfa5sachusetts, Fig. 40; White Cement M achinery CO'1 Jackson, Michiga , Fig. 43 i The Hayden Automatic Block Machine Co., Col mbus, Ohio, Figs. 17 and 34; Contractors' Supply and Equipme t Co., Chicago, Fig. I; Municipal Engineering r.nd Contract ng Co., Chicago, Fig. 2; Ideal Concrete Machinery Co., Sou h Bend, Indiana, Figs. 28, 30, 31, and 35; Simpson Cement Iold Co., Columbus, Ohio, Fig. 45; The American Hydrauli Stone Co., Denver, Colorado, Figs. 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 19, 21, 23, 4, :25, :27, 29,3:2, 33, 36, and 37; The Pettyjohn Co., Terre H ute, Indiana, Figs. 16, 22, and :26; Concrete Block Machine Co., Auburn, Indiana, Fig. 4; Century Cement Machine Co., Roc ester, New York, Figs. 41 and 42; Chase Foundry and Manufac uring Co., Columbus, Ohio, Fig. 20. The IrontispIece 15 resented by courtesy of The Cement Age, New York.
HARMON HOWARD D£:r:... ER, .V
COLO.,

RICE.

March

1906.

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CONTENTS.

CI-L\['TER

l.
PA~E

Definition

Ceneral

theory
n onstruction ·· of block

.
· .

:. rona lit hi c constructi

Advantages

CH."\l'TEE
CJo:\IE="T.

II.

History Puzzolan ;';atural

of hydraulic

.cments

········

cement.
cement

. . . .. . . .. . . .

. . . . . . . .. . .

. .. . . .. . ...

..

45 () 7 7

.. _............................................

Port]" ncl CC'm eut . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pro cess cs of manufa 'ture _ _ ' T es ling' ce men t. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C I L\ PTE R Ill.

Deli

11 ilion

Sand .. ,.

'

. .. ~. _ ..•....... .
,.
••••• t. ~~ ••••
r _ ~

"

~~. ~ ••....

4.~·

.+~

9 9
~

n of sizes Screenings. ,
Cra\'el all([ broken

Gr,l(ldt1n

•••

•••

•••••••

r.

••

••••

+.

[0

' s one - .....•................................ ' ,

. .

Ir
II I~

Cinders.

di

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VI!1

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER
WATER.

IV.
P .\l ~ To:

Pu ri ty. (~uantity, Water in curing In winter work ' , ,

.
. . .

13

CH;\PTER
()THER

V.

IK(; RETlTf:XTS.

Li1He , ITyd rated lime, , C hem i cal ad ulte r.ui Is \\'aterprnoiing compounds Coloring-matter

_.. _

__ .. _

. . ,. , .. , .. , .. "

, .................••........

I')

CHi\l'TER
1:-' RO PO RTl 0:-;:

VI.
rx o , ' •. ,.,. . ,. ..,.... ,
20 20

J'vT hods () f expressing .. , et , ,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .• Importance of ascertaining local conditions _ .. ' . . . . . . . . . .. Theory of correct proportions. _ ,., Determ ina lion hy speci fie gra vity .. , ,. . .. Determination by the water method , , Deterrni na tion hy r clati \"C \'01 u mc , . . . . . . . . . . • . ..

:::I :::I
22 "22

CIL\PTER
;\IIXIKC;.

VII.

Importance of thorough manipulation, Method of hand-mixing . Power-mixing ', .. ' _ , Continuous ZlS. batch mlxers.,... ,

,, , '"

. . . .

27

CIIAPTER
SHAPE (_)F

VIII.
BLOCKS.

Ad van tages of hollow space .. ' Descri ption of representative ly pes

. , ••••••.••

..
I

,.,

..

;_.

...

31 ~ 33

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CONTENTS.

IX

CHAPTER
PROCESSES.

IX.
PA(;E

Classi fica tion of processes. . Hand and pneumatic tamping !'ouring Casting in sand M ec han ical pressu re Hydraulic pressure '

. '.' ...............•........ '.' . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . ' CIIAPTER


PI.ASTle!TV.

'......... " .... . ..

43 4-144

X.

Discussion of norma! con sistency Dry mixture __ ~\[edium and 'Yet mixtures CIIAI'TER
L\Cll\G.

'. . . . . . • • • . .. . XL

48

49
50

Difficulty of facing in general concrete Vu rious methods of facing- bloc ks Colort'tl bcing _. _
\\"aterproof facing. Form of face-plates _

work

.
. '" . .

53
;4

54

CHAPTER
OR" A TIl EXT

XII.
A T I () X •

Met hods of prod ucing

CHAI'TER
CT;RI:\G.

xnr.

1[\1porlan ceo ............•........•........•••• Secrets of success Method and tuue Stea lll- Cll ri ng Curing in winter

__ _.. - ..

. -

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ON TEN TS.

CH.' PTER
<

XIV.
j'_ICE

L\CllL'U:S.

Cb;;_~incation of machine» Objects of lllachines., .. , Dcscri ption of re prcscn tati ve


111,

chi nes _. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

('6

CH\I'TER
PL\:\T

XV.

ARRA:\CE",l F:\T.

Location. , ' Rucks .u«! C~lrs._ , .. " Ove rlie.ul hi ns and conveyors _, Curing-yard. " ,',

.
".............................

75
76 7S 7S

, , , .. , XVr.

"............... " '.......

CH. PTER

1>1.A.·1' E)]PLUYEES.

F 0 reman

.......•.............

So .
. SJ

.\[old-llukcr \ludekr Cornmou l.t 1)(1 r _\ OilS, ....•••• las

, ••

, •••••••.•

CH, l'TER
VUIII',;.

XVI!.

Cbss i 1lGl tion of ca uses (;Lld,ltion of :lggreg'ate \lixing,, Adequate matrix Cnnd ensu tion.. . .. .

. " ".. ,................. , . . .. . XVTlT.


la.OCKS.

.. ,... .. .......

" _. . . .

S-l05 05 S:;

CHiPTER
(XU,\LlT1ES

( F C():t'{CRE1'E

Soundness " ' Strength., ...............................•..................... Lklblty., ... , ...........•....................................... 1III pt lTl l eabi I ity . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. ..,

"

st, "

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CONTENTS.

Xl

[·'ire"resic;tann' Sound-proof \. erm in-proof Vem ilation Durability

' , _ " . _. ,

. . . . _, .................•

CHAl'TER
TFS'I'I'>(;

XIX.
I:LOCKS.

General

neglect,.

_. _. _ .. , , .

1'hi Iade I ph i a speci II cal ions f(l r corn pi ell' tests _.


Demo nst r.rti ve tests..

CHAPTER

XX.

Adaptability

for all classes

of buildings.,

"

_. _,

101

CHAPTER

XXL

Culpable
C:lUSt:S 01

er rors of the machin« manufacturers, tai 1u rc chargeable to the oper;l tors ..

CHAPTER
COST.

XXII.

Cost ;111<11 ys is. _ :'II et hod () f co rn pu ti ng; cost L:I hor cost. Ad min i strati on
ant]

, . __ . _ _ of mn tcrials

. . .

J:: r

incirl e n t.ils. ,

CHAPTER

XXIII.

ARCIllTEC'I'l-RF:.

:n artis tic conception of ope ra to rs. , , , , __ .. i\ reh itectu ral st ric s uscept i I)le uf i III proveme 11 t

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XII

CONTENTS.

CIIAJYI'ER
IT I 11)1
J'"OLJ

:XXIV.

'\G CO'\"STl{ tTCTIO"-f.


P_.ll;L

nda tion S a nd for ti I1g-S. . "......................... Supportiug joists ani Riniers............... . , ,..... Fluors.. . \\'idth of walls " i';lrtitions ..........................................•.....•...... .:\"ailing to walls , Blocks of s peeial sh: pes. , ," , . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. 1-"ollo\\"ing plans, , , , .. . .......................•..........

130 130
131 131

131
1]1

13:::
J

33

CH;\l'TEH
IT 11 ,I)] '\{;

:\:XV.
)'\"S.

1,' H;t'LXlll

Philadelphia reg ul.u I killer rCg'lli:ttion:.; Synojlsis (If ~lillllC:ll Synojlsis of .:\"c\\,;ll·k (~CII c r:IJ critic ism an

ons i 11 full., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .... . , ............•...........•...... olis n;guLltlollS .......................•...... reguI;Jtiolls, , I s uggcsti Oil. ,
II full.,

. . . . . . . . . ..

l]-l-

130
I-l-I l-l-::: , • • • • • •• 1-l-2

CHAPTER

XX\'l.

1.-\\"1' r.\ CIT RE () i"·\CCESSO]{IES, '

Accessory rr.olds.. . . . . ,,,.... }.[ethod of nuking ;1 HI using molds..

. . . . . . . .. ,

•...•••••...•.... , •••...•••••••..

J-I-5 l..J.7

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ILLUSTRATIONS

F ron tis piece, Fig.

Office Bu tTi ngton

Pl.m t l11ino is Stce

Co. . .
.

r. Rotary mixer. , ,, 2. Cube mixer .. , , , . , . _, .. _. _ 3. 110110\\' blocks a nd wall.. , . , , .. _ 4. Til ree- web hollow blocks ;l1ld wa ll 5. Blocks of two slabs \\-i t h mct.i! ties 6. Two-piece blocb a :HI 1\-aIL . __ , 7. Di;q;r;un of t \\'o-p ieee wall. _ _. _. , , O. AIlg-(~lus Hotel, EI Paso, Texas.. _ c,;. Interlocking three-member w;J\I, 1(,. Block wi t li staggered air-space I I. Pneuma tic ta m per in 0 per:] t ion , , , , I" () m ::llllcn tal work j 0 r PO\\'\c r- 110\1S(· ,, 13, :\1old S ;t 11 d accessori es of 1'U H-over type. q. 1. 'pl-ight machine wit}: drop corcs . 15. L prigllt-111ClChine rl'lc;lsing--block.. " 16. :\1 ovi 11 R t ht 111oi( I 1':1 the I' th.ui the block. .." , 17. Facedown machine. _.. _. _ ___ .. , IS, Combin.u ion uprig-ht and bee-down m a .hinc J 9 .. \ I tl: h;1 n i (';LI press mali ing t wo- pi eete blocks, 20. Car suitable [or concrete blorks 2 I. Sys telll Ill' c\ rs ;11](1 11':](: ks. __ ,
22.

I'A,'"
2~ 20

28

. . . ,_ . . . . ,..... . ,. . .
.

32

35
37 37

38 40
-1-1

44 57
62

. .
.

77

R Uil1S of Carbon, Iud., fire. 23- Ruins of Lstbe rvill« fit-e. :q.. Column d er:l oust r.ui ng Cil rc ngth.. 25. :,\It.:l]]{)dist church, \ll:Cook . .:\eb

,." . . . ..
xin

. . 99
101

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I

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xiv

IlLUSTRATIONS.
r_.\ ~~ !-o:

Fig. :::(,. Entrance to Cottag-c Hill Cemetery ........•••.••.••..... '27· Cutt:l).;·e at i\ .ishvill«, Ttn n ...............•••.•.•...... 2;), Church at _:\;orth Liberty, Ind .............•••••••....... 2(J. Rc,.;idc.:nu· at :\ aslrvill«, Tcnl1 , ........•••••.......

102

3°_
+

]{(,,_,id,:lln:
HO;llC

a t \Val"s:\w,

l rid

10

\Yis, 31. , .32 l\._c,.;id l" Jl cc at J kn ler, Colo, , __ ',\"arhurWtl Building, Tacuma, Wash 33· Ohio, , _ 34- j{('sidt'llcc ill Columbus, to Fairview, Bluffton, Ind , 35· Entrance 36. 1\ chraska Stelle ); ()rmal School, ..............•.......... 37. Deco r.u in: fl'a t urcs of t \\'0- piece wall .........•........... in cone rete blocks , , . . . . .. 38. Be;] u t: fui decoration Urn ,llll ell t.itiou ul- a pitch-face wall , . . . .• .• . 39·

at l 'o rt \Ya"hing-toll,

. ,,. . . .

10,) III III I 12 113 115 J2..j.

.. . .. ,
~

12

l:::S
J

4°, 'fecil wall-plug- , . , .. , _. , . , . ,


h 41. \,..a ri 0 II S :-.; . I pes ;t l1 d des i gn s \Tariet)" in sJ/e anrl stylc, 4:::.
> + + 4 ~ ~ ~

,
~ •••• ~ v •• ~ • ~ • ~ • • .. • •• to

31 32

••

l 3:;
~

••••••

••••••••••

ft

•••

43.

CC1\lCnt

sill-mold..

.,

, .. ' .........•.••....
, ........•.... .. . . . . . .. . . ..•.. _• • • . . . . . ..•••.. .

147
140 149

44. Orn.imen tal accessories 45. Porch column and balustrade.

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I

CONCRETE-BLOCK M NUFACTURE, PROCESSES AND ACHINES.

CHAPTER
CO.'l"CRETE.

1.

ONE of the greatest difficulties cnco mtered in the introduction of concrete blocks has been ignor nee of the character of concrete, its ingredients, its qualities, ts uses, and its limitations. It is scarcely necessary to dw II upon the importance of this knowledge to those in any man er interested in concrete blocks. Concrete may well be defined as a hard, stone-like mass resulting from the mixture of aggregat s of various nature and size with a cementitious substance pos ssing sufficient hyrlrauIicity to become thoroughly indurated y the addition of water. It will therefore appear that there is a wide range of variance as to the bonding material, as to the ggrcgatc, as to proportions and manipulation of the mass, a. to methods of condensation and curing, and as to form, size, and shape of the resulting construction. In modern practice in the United tates, concrete has been limited to the usc of various aggregates with hydraulic cements;

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CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTURE,

aggregates a sand, gravel, \ ork, hibiting o this limitation

have usually is carried than

been limited still further, Portland

to such materials. concrete-block as procoating especially

stone, or cinders.

In ordinary cements.

the use of other particles

The general theory of concrete involves the thorough


the larger of the aggregate bonded apparent with sand together

and cement

ortar, and the coating of the smaller particles with neat cement

p stc, so that all are thoroughly


a the cement. It is therefore

by the crystals.

f rmed in course of the chemical action resulting from hydration


that cement is the vital arc of importance governed by as related other. ~

e ement in the production of concrete; that the quantity of water


a d the time and method a d that
t

of its application

the qualities

of the concrete

are largely

c character

of the aggregate of aggregate compacting, thorough

and by its quantity as related to each

the cement, and also by the relative quantities kinds and echanical factors of manipulation in mixing,

of the different

s zes and depositing

The
of

of methods

itions to secure
ot of less value. The

and of maintaining proper concrystallization in the final set, arc


have developed from

multitudinous

uses of concrete

i s plasticity, and the consequent ease with which it assumes a y desired form. It would be somewhat aside from the intent
o this work to speak of the uses of concrete outside of walls

a d the construction of buildings, especially as these afford ample roof of its adaptability, it being now generally utilized, either
lain or reinforced, From uilding a d government for every member of high-class and retaining-walls engineers it was an easy step is due The major construction. of railroad to monolithic portion of the the dams, reservoirs, construction,

and it is to its success that the developwith plain concrete

cnt of block construction

e pensc, in connection

walls built in placet

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CONCRETE.

3
of the cona satisfacof blocks upon securing

lies in th

construction

of forms and the handling attendant

crete, whi c the difficulties the better were facture equipped class.

tory surfa e have led to the use of veneering To obviate which these difficulties, might bra gh t forth. vith suitably

for structures concrete

be constructed to secure

in factories for manuresults qualities inciand

designed molds and appliances calculated Thus arising from the inherent the abnormal down and resetting and thoroughly entirely absent art, hands

der conditions in plastic

the best expense

by adhere
of concret dent upo

cc to the demands form.

the labor of taking

forms,

of deposit ng the concrete, factory" work. is also open' that it ha minish th The

is eliminated,

and in its place is the systematized facilitated

small lab r cost of a well- equipped ilc the compacting matter and the i portant item of curing,

of the mass is greatly

in monolithic
and the fact

of easy accomplishment. field in decorative

Block manufacture docs not diblocks lies in

an illimitable ultimate

thus far fallen into incompetent advantage. advantage relative

g eatest

of concrete

the use of shapes resulting cally qualified) containin that their therein. combination

in hollow walls i and it may hereafter to concrete blocks, not otherto mean either blocks hollow spaces spaces or blocks of such shape shall be taken

be unders ood that any reference one or more hollow

in a wall will produce

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CHAPTER II.
CEMENT.

THE history of hydraulic cements is a. matter of grc t antiquity, as some combination of materials properly classed under this heading was evidently known to the ancient Egyptian, and employed by them in the massive structures testifying to their genius in structural engineering.
It is, however, principle mixed puzzolana more customary to date the discovery that a f the

of hydraulic

cements

from the time that the R vould


act is

with lime, and demonstrated

of burned clay and lime resulted in a material which crystallize, or set, upon the application of water. This so 'Nell authenticated that when, after a lapse of centurie James Parker discovered in the Isle of Sheppey natural rna of composition suitable for the production of hydraulic c that cement came to be called Parker's or Roman cement, development of the Portland cement industry followed
attention of engineers was drawn to its possibilities, and as

, 11r,
crials

ment,
The hem-

ists discovered the requisite constituents and the natural rials in which those elements occur in form most availa cement manufacture. Puzzolan cement derives its name from the ancient c ment of the Romans. It properly includes cement made by gr nding together, without subsequent calcination, a mixture of hy rated lime and such other material as slag, burned clay, or trass ob ained
from volcanic tufa. In American practice, however, the ingre-

dients

of Puzzolan

cement

arc limited

to hydrated

lim

and

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C MENT.

granulated cement,"

blast-furnace

sla.

It is no longer

called

II

slag

for the reason that, i the manufacture

of certain brands base. to Puzzolan-cernent after mixing. concrete. a green

of true Portland manufacture is prehydrated, than Portland, While

cement, fum, cc-slag is used as a hydraulic

The point to be borne in mi d in reference They are, however, ground t

is that the mate ials are not calcined extreme fineness, but little wat r is required and the prese ce of sulphides strength m y approximate

and, as the lime

in mixing produces that

Pnzzolan cement is of a light-Ii ac color, of a lower specific gravity color in the fracture its tensile of a pat which has been long under water. of Portland, is much less. It is not suitable bove ground, as oxidation results and it is therefore evident that, ded of concrete blocks, it is maniarne implies, produced from natuStates, The analyses and even in for

its strength under compressio for any usc in dry places or in cracks and disintegration; service dema for the ordinary

festly unfit. Natural cement is, as its

ral cement rock found in val' ous sections of cement adjoining rock vary greatly
In

of the United localities,

and is the same as the Roman cement of England. different sections in the same district. closely the requ rements manufacture

Tn some cases it approxiof the raw materials two or

mates rather Portland-cement

'while in some factories

more kinds of rock arc mixed, but without analysis obtaining of manufacturing temperature tion merely sequently some similar natural ce

that definite chemical The process so high gas. a the calcinaCon-

in the man facture of Portland. ent does not involve

in the kiln as in the case of Portland, sufficing to liber tc the carbonic-acid is more easily ground; recent I installed employed, the clinker have

and for this puralthough of

pose burr-stones factories type

were former y universally

grinding-machinery

to th at used

in Portl and mills.

Kat ural cc men t

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6 is well adapted the concrete practice between problem. work, construction, requires be required

CONCRETE.BLOCK

MANUFACTURE.

for use in the interior that a larger

of heavy masonry, or blows; bu be used than of dcterminat

where good would on as

will not be su bject to attrition


proportion question of Portland, and the

demands

the use of the two becomes,

in such cases, an ceo amie of the blocks in g ncral


DUm\,

It is apparent that it is not suited for concrete block


and the desirability of providing a large with

as the severe service demanded

space by making face-sections


a cement beyond cement definite usually Portland ing together substances, burning is produced proportions

as thin as consistent
or doubt. by intimately of argillaceous and grinding

atety,

possible criticism

mixing or and calc the re ultant

75% of the former to sernifusion powder.

and 25% of the latter)

this material cement hom

clinker to an impalpable

The features which disti guish cements are the intens entering product

Portland
rate

all other

heat

at which the pulverized proportioning These composition. than

raw materials essential are elements

are calcined, and the accuclements lime,

of the

i to its
and n t less and

silica, alumina

oxide of iron, and there must be in the finished mentioned. the following employed:
CALCAREOUS ':\iATERIALS. ARGILLACEOUS

1.7 times as much lime by weight as of the other ele ents


These elements are found in various includes

material:
com

classification

all raw materials

only

MATERIA S.

Limestone. :Marl. Chalk.

Cement Rock. Clay. Shale. Slag.

The which

raw

materials been

were formerly

ground

between burros ones, and tube mills,

have

generally replaced

by ball-

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I

CEMENT.

Griffin or Kent mills. The grinding of the materials to extre e fineness before calcination is one of the greatest factors in s c ccssful cement manufacture; and in this connection, as well as in the grinding of the clinker, the Griffin mill, which opera es on a principle similar to a gyratory crusher, has been a disti ct factor in the development of the Portland-cement indust y. After grinding, the material is again sampled and chemi al analysis made. When the prescribed proportions have b en obtained, the material is fed into a long rotary kiln, into lower end of which the fuel is introduced. The revolutions of this kiln, the injection of fuel and the feeding of the charge bei g under the direct control of the operator, insures a product of such uniform excellence as could not be approached under ie burning in intermittent dome-kilns or continuous vertical ki ns formerly in vogue. Indeed, it may be said that to the rot ry kiln, more than to all else, is due the remarkable growth in he manufacture of American Portland cements, the increase in their quality and uniformity and the decrease in their cost. Fr m these long kilns the clinker is delivered in particles about he size of peas; and it is a fact worthy of notice that these partie cs are inert, for it accentuates the later observation that the hydn ulicity of cement increases with fineness of grinding. By me ns of grinding-machinery already mentioned, this intensely ht rd clinker is reduced to the Portland cement of commerce. The wet process formerly differed radically from the d Y, and involved the formation of slurry bricks, which vvere th n introduced into kilns of a style no longer in usc. At the pres nt time, hO\VeVeI,the difference between the two processes in ie United States only involves mixture of marl and pulverized cl y in pug-mills or edge-runners, with subsequent grinding in v et tube-mills, after which the process is continued as alrea y described.

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I

CONCRETE-BLOCK

MAN

FACTURE.

The extreme care exercised in the manufacture of standard brands of American Portland cemen 5, the large number of factories operating in a.ll sections of t e country, the enormous increase in production and consumpt on of the product and its satisfactory usc in the most irnpor ant work of government and railroad engineers, leave no room f r doubt as to its adaptability for the highest class of concret -block construction, and afford no excuse to those who refuse 0 abandon the prejudice which favored European brands in th days of the infancy of this great American industry. Of the standard tests for cement, t at of greatest importance to the concrete- block manufacturer i the test for constancy of volume; and it especially commend itself because requiring no apparatus other than a glass mol ing-board and pieces of glass on which the pats may remain uring the period of test. Circular pats should be formed three nches in diameter, a half inch thick at the center and tapering toward the edge. After remaining in thoroughly moist air for twc ty-four hours, one should be steamed for about four hours. Th s is called an accelerated test, and tends to quickly develop any i perfections. It is usual to specify that, in case of failure in the a eelerated test, the cement may be again tested twenty-eight days ater, as it may withstand this severe test when properly aged. Another pat should be exposed in moist air, and still another i mcrscd in water, results being noted in the latter two cases at intervals during twentyeight days. If the cement be sound, t should not disintegrate, or show expansion cracks in the edge of the pat. A slight curling of the edge is not harmful in the air pecirncn, but should not occur in one immersed in water, Shri kage cracks on the center and hair cracks on the surface arc c mrnonly, in neat cementwork, the result of careless manipula ion, excess of water, or too rapid drying, and may be disrcga dcd in the test.

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CHAPTER III.
AGGREGATE.

THE inert coarse aterial which, in combination with cement and 'water, produces concrete is termed the aggregate, and is divisible into fine a gregate of sand or stone screenings and coarse aggregate of ravel, broken stone, or cinders. The mineralogy f sand has but slight effect upon its combination with cement, and the best authorities consider it of so much less impor ance than the physical properties that it may safely be passed without discussion. The shape of grai has been carefully considered, and while some tests appear to show as grea.t strength in round grains as in sharp, and while atisfactory work has been done with sand of rounded grains, t e best engineers continue to specify that sand shall be sharp. Where local conditions admit of choice between the two, th sharp sand should, other qualities b<:;ing equal, invariably be elected. The strength and firmness of the grains is an item of much importance; and perhaps the best method of choosing and is to determine Its firmness and grit by rolling in the pal of the hand or between the fingers, meanwhile applying considerable pressure, Another excellent method is to test the sand fo absorption. This cannot be accomplished in the manner of us al percentage tests, as the capillary attraction between grains "ill take up a considerable amount of water, even though the sand be practically non-absorbent. The proper
9

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10

CONCRET

BLOCK MANUr"ACTURE.

way is to let the sand so k for an hour, and then examine it in the manner already men ioned for firmness tendency and grit.
Or

A sand

which shows the slightcs such treatment

to dissolve

soften under

should bc discarded.

The sand should be lean, and free from foreign matter of every kind. In general concrete work there has been a disagreement among engine rs as to the permissibility of a certain percentage of loam or clay! and some have claimed that it increased the strength of the cone ete. A careful consideration of such reports, supplemented by exhaustive tests, has established the fact that such reported in rease in strength only obtains in lean concrete of porous texture in which the voids arc not properly filled, and that, in every ase of reasonably rich concrete of such density as required in co crete blocks, strength is lost by such admixture. concrete recommended in its natural The selection respect The object blocks this work is to raise the quality manner, that of in every possible condition and it is therefore sand, which be washed with the

to every c ncrete-blockmaker

ontains any foreign matter, .onsideration block-maker in connection

until the water is no Ion er discolored. most important of sand the is the inexperience ize and gradation of sizes. commits supposing In this grave that to

often

error by the selection of me sand, it contains obtain greater strength

erroneously

a smaller perc ntage of voids, and hence hoping by use of stated proportions. of solids in a perfectly

As a matdry mixture

ter of fact, the percentag

of fine and coarse sand, b th shaken to refusal, is approximately the same, and any differc cc is due merely to shape of grain; but, upon the addition in greater a water, than the volume of the fine sand there are and thereincreases ratio the coarse, because

marc grains between

whi h the water is introduced, more porous

fore a fine sand becomes distinctly

than a coarse

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AGGREGATE.

II

sand. greater

arne manner it will be seen that, by mixing cementcoated) a much propor ion will be required nd proportions
5

paste with sa d until every grain is thoroughly The best resu ts are obtained in such sizes filling the voi in the coarse by mixing sand, coarse

for fine sand than for coarse. and fine sand tend toward a maximum

that the finer grains thus securing of cement.

density with a minimum

quantity

I t has bee stated by eminent authorities tha t crusher screenings give grcr ter strength than natural sand, and tests have
generally shox n results in accordance which the screenings results natural with this statement where the stonc fro This doubtlcs of the mixing averag came was of proper texture.

from the variation so uniform and sand, thus

in the size of screenthe screenings obtained accom-

ings, which a e not nearly plish to a ccr ain extent of gra cd sand. For the co rsc material run in size fro veniently a quarter be

in size as are the grains by a careful

the same result

of the aggregate, at a reasonable the block

gravel is commonly price.

used where 10 ally obtainable ace mmodated in

It should
from manu-

inch to as large pieces as can be conmold. Usually for concrete-block

i"

to I" sho rld

the maximum

and t c principles of gradation already stated for sand must be obse vcd in the use of gravel. A great deal of time has been spe t in discussing the relative merits of gravel and
facture, broken stone, time tests of extending enced ave questionable" nd tests appear tone concrete long periods to show greater strength on shortwhile tests It is or than of gravel concrete,

of time show little diITerence. than the mere

hether the results of such tests other sizes of aggregate in employing

may not be influuse of gravel or hardness broken stone of the as a

by can iderations

stone, such as the relative stone used.

It must b

remembered,

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12

CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTUR

concrete-block aggregate, that concrete will not possess strength in excess of that of its aggregate, and hence s ft sandstones or the softer limestone formations should not b used. A hard limestone, however, is a very desirable aggrega c, and is largely employed in general concrete work by railroad .nginccrs. Conglomerate rock makes good concrete, while gran te and trap-rock arc the best that can be obtained. Cinder concrete has often resulted in failu e, and, while its light weight commends it for partition-walls, is usc cannot be generally recommended, and never in any placc where its failure would jeopardize the integrity of other member of the building.

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I

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CHAPTER IV.
\VATER.

is the chemical agent which unites with the cement, and esults in that crystallization of the silicates which is commonl known as the setting of the cement. Both in the initial and nal sets, there are certain scientific principles relative to the a plication of water which have been abundantly demonstrate in actual practice. e first consideration is pure water. Neither muddy water, stagn nt water, water impregnated with alkali, nor water discolor d by the refuse from factories, sewers, reduction-works, Or th like, will give the best results. The matter of water, both pure nd clean, has been generally disregarded; but it is of so great importance as to justify consideration in the location of a plant, as well as some expense in its equipment. T e quantity, method, and time of applying water has been grossl disregarded, and it is to the haphazard methods of using water that much of concrete-block failure is justly chargeable, It is mpossiblc to overestimate the importance of using in the mix n amount of water sufficient to reduce the cement to such plasti ity that, with reasonable manipulation, it will thorough ly he particles of the aggregate. No good concrete can be ed in any other manner; and it is a fact worthy of note oncrcte engineers have generally abandoned the dry rnix\. TER

13

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CONCRETE-BLOCK MANUFACTURE.

turc of bygone days, and the old specification consistency ture. which quantity is now universally replaced from

of a

dampc
n

by a "quaking the aggregate;

nuxthe

The application
will not wash should

of water should the cement

always be in a m nncr
an by decamp

not be so copious

as to cause

by " drowning" Relative

of the cement, or to cause hair-cracks

ushthat

ing neat cement to the surface. to the matter of curing, it may be here note

in the oppor unity off ered of thorough induration before going in to th e wall. ran y feel that the hardening: of a block after making is a matter r quiring no though t and no skill. in the making and quantity yard. It is in reality th e cri tical time of the rna ufactime, locks to the of a block; and the best thought in relation to the application

concrete blocks possess a distinct advantage

turer of blocks may well be given to the details of method, of water

after they come from the molds, and before they leave the c ring-

In winter work, the mixing-water is often heated and are very satisfactory, especially if the aggregate also be h It is, of course, evident that the time allowed for setting
cement before suspension by freezing is thus greatly lcng while it has been amply demonstrated that crystallizati accelerated conditions where expense by the use of hot water. of operating However, under a. block-machine

cncd,
n is

or inary

in a closed bu Iding to incur the extra

the sand-bins of heating

are s t1Ilicien tly warm cd by artif cial heat necessary water. amount cau: s no

to drive out the frost, it is scarcely

In freezing weather, salt is often added to the water u cd in


mixing concrete, loss in strength. nature and the usc of a reasonable Various formulas based have been devised temper value.

the turc,

of a sliding-scale

on the registered

but none of these appear

to be of great practical

All are

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I

IS
based upon a certain percentag degree registered below 32° Tests of the water by weigh t.
I

It is

evident that, by the common r ile of using weather, be excessive. not injurious.

('::0 of salt for each


would, in hero IoI~{ of salt is

., the quantity ave shown that

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CHAPTER V.
nER

INGRr.;nTENTS.

VARIOUS

other ing edients to those

are used by certain

block-makers In gen-

in addition should until

entionecl in preceding as adulterations service have

chapters.

eral, it may be said that the admixture be regarded tests and actua

of any other substances demonstrated not merely of the

and viewed with suspicion

usefulness for a specific action on the cement added material It The use of lime in attention. unfitted and hence for such

purpose, but the fad that no deleterious

csults, as well as the permanence

in rela ion to the life of the cement. oncrete blocks has of late received much that unslaked greatly been lime is eminently increases its bulk, There are, before is well known

use, as hydration lime has

only slake

employed.

however, unslaked particles as in Germany,

in every lime-bed,

and, even though,

the li e be allowed to slake for months

using, this criticism re ains true to a greater or less degree. It is evident that, with he thorough mixing of well-made concrete and with the su isequent saturation of the block during the period of indurati n, any such particles are liable to cause trouble by swelling, p oducing expansion cracks, and resulting in possible failure of e member through disintegration. The block-makers avoring the use of lime have therefore
adopted the slaked nd sifted powder offered commercially
16

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INGREDIENTS.

under sidered

the name of product, as standard practice metho in tube-mill, by paddles,

Being comparatively in its manufacture. There

new appear in the broken the

as a commercial

it is difficult to say what may be conThe first consists

to be two principal in a crusher revolves and

use of a hooded pan-mixer or gound the water

i to which the lime, previously


is supplied by automatic reducing The the screens

is fed, and, as the mixer sprayer, the slaked lime often being process second

mass is thoroughly as fine as those involves

agitated

to powder, which is afterwr .d screened, used in c merit-testing.

the use of a rotar cylinder of design somewhat simi .. lar to the kilns used in cc nt manufacture, the moisture being supplied by a perforated st am-pipe forming the axis, and the
slaked ness feared, cement. extreme there cement, voids. increase cretc. 1ime passing be attained. of hydration except that Even fineness the may throug graduated crefore screens, so that that this it cannot pass a given section of the cylinder until the required leaves nothing

fineto be

It is
and the life

evident

thorough

process

pulverization

f the lime is less than seems unwarranted, the fact between well action is not

that of the although and in the

this doubt

in view of the that, the lime and \or filling both

of the P rticles, and ch rnical esis


0

be a slight latter merely

hypot it

established,

lime is employed

account as shown

of its capacity great merit, strength concrete,

In this respect of water-tightness

nd in greater

of lean conin which the concrete.

It is, of course, cvid nt that hydrated


t is in a lean
'C

lime is of distinctly and porous

less value in a rich and ca dully graded voids are "Yell filled, than as to density and cornpressi voids by its use tempt the tion of aggregate,

In the latter it becomes, un uestionably,


strength,

an agent for good, both unless the ease of filling in gradaof in the proportion

lock-maker to carelessness

to an u wise economy

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18

CONCRETE-BL

CK MANUFACTURE.

cement,

and to the use of a Ordinarily the

unreasonably lime.

large proportion

of

slaked lime.

mount of cement by weight should in the earlier stages of the industry he natural 'arious action and qualities of chemicals. It ma-y be set violates fundacements have is

be at least four times that of hydrated It has been too customary for block-makers cement mental position mulas, prepared to modify of by the addition principles

down as a general rule that of standard after the most brands

II such adulteration of American

of good pr cticc, for the reason that the cornPortland

determined

by the most car ful chemical analysis) and the forexhai stive experimentation, been with the object of reducing
t

cement which shall meet Society Matelearning and Society for Testing of block-machines gain in strength,

the requirements of Civil Engineers rials. Gradually

of those test
and the

specified by the American mcrican

arc the op rators

that no adulteration change durable addition


mOil,

can secu c an ultimate time a

that the gain in ease of rna ipulation in the normal building tion for jeopardizing Of the various the pe manent benefits perha

which may result from a compensastrength been of an otherwise claimed for the

setting is no adequate

material, vhich have s water-tightness is the most comof unknown of

of chemicals,

both as to known chernic Is and as to compounds that they prefer the additional an impermeable block of sccu ing similar

ingredients. operators, to produce

It may be said, to the credit of a large number by natural methods,

labor and care necessary rather

than the easier way manipulated mixture.

results, but short-lived


and carelessly has

blocks, by chemical admixtur The addition been considered, or concrete of various by nearly constru

to a poorly graded aterials

for coloring purposes upon concrete

very writer

blocks

building

tion in any other form,

a matter

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THER INGREDIENTS,

of sufficient importanc stances

to justify

a tabulated

statement
50

of submarked

and quantities

suitable for producing


for practical

different colors.

Superficial study of sue that their worthlessness It is evident that any s ticular aggregate, tate noticeable deteriorating than strength and t
0

tables 'will show a discrepancy

an entire readju
that each

materials as harmless,
influence, artificial colors causes I

purposes becomes apparent. ch table can only be applicable to a parat a change in local materials will necessitment of quantities. It is particularly e advocates one or more of the coloring while another author is equally sure of The fact is that everyone of these
5S

of strength,

To be sure, other things

require c nsideration, and a customer in strength

may in rare
and dura-

cases be willing to waive sligh t reduction bility to attain certain ar istic color-effects.

If it becomes necessary to employ artificial col rs, it is a wise course to procure thcrn from a reputable cone rn whose energies are, entirely devoted to the production of m ncral colors for concrete under the most
favorable conditions. <~yery effort should be used to obtain

for the aggregatc cn.:sh .d rock of the required color, as in this manner it is possible t produce blocks of any color which a reasonable customer ay demand, and the purity, strength, and durability of the c ncrete is in no wise impaired, while the blocks arc saved from at artificial and plaster-like appearance which too often obtains in colored work. Most operators have not yet learned that the sensible place to regulate color is in the
selection of aggrcga teo

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CHAPTER

VI.

PROPORTI().:\ I.:\G.

By the usual work,


I : 2 :...J1 :...J-

mctl od of expressing
0

proportions sand

in cement or screen-

represents

e part

cement

to four parts sand; while stone. to make the be-t conbeen tl.c own it by

rcprcscn h onc jnart cemcn t , two parts


g 'a \"('1 or broken

ings_. and four part:; Th c relative strcngth,

proport on- requisite to secure the greatcst density, be same in various


materials.
10

and impcrm« a bilit y-i n short, in loca ll - available based

crete blor k" --a rc not the di\cr"it\standard teste.; and custom of mo-t manuf. of proportiori-,
(':'\j

loco. Iitics been usc of It has adopt an arbitrary of their ha vc been

cturcrs of machines upon


; and, while

the results

x-rirncnts

these proportions

substa ntia llv correct no mea ns foll«


\\"S

f( r a particular

class of materials,

th at 11 axe correct cy

for oth cr cia sscs a vailu blc salesman, and has pro}l as

ill dilTcrcll1 Ioc.ilitics.

1 h as often been tl: c case th at an operu tor, ei th LT under for the and all mate-

closely fol1()\\-ing the ac vice of his machinery d urcd


\Try

ball bloc k- from H'ry good material, or lcarn«.


(L'ITI'_l

Jailed uucrlv The

by experience (led a beal


II "-c I'C'

that the conditions


Y.

which he worked

rcmed he

importuncc

of a-ccrtaining i
en 11110t

correct

proportions
of the
'1')1('

pri rticula r ma tcri.ilblock-run ker;; sh ould

ovcrcs tirna ted,


proportions

11

the correct

rials they purpose using determined

b:; expert tests.

expensc
20

of such tc"tc.; i" really ; n ('conomy, as the n-sult

i~ such careful

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PROPOR TlONING.

21

gradation

of the aggregate

that

maximum As man proportio the usc


0

uality is secured
will not, however,
5

with a minimum quantity elementary methods

of cement.

be able or willing to avail themselves of determining Proportioning sible quantity in the particular involves primarily type of machine

of such expert tests, some may be helpful. the greatest posof a

of as large aggregate

as can read ly be manipulated in use, and the addition

series of smaller sizes of aggregate the spaces between aggregate. cement-paste, filling

in quantit es sufficient to fill


size of m st be coated with it is evident that with mount q antity, of cement. the larger or a promay be

the pieces of each succc sivc larger

As each piece of the aggregate between pieces of

or with sand and cement marta,

the spaces

large-si e aggregate

fmc sand involves the use of an unnecessary its intended aggregate continued portions unless matter purpose, or used in too great

It is equally clear that, if the smaller aggrega e be too large for is forced apart. results. indefinitely, In either case a 10 s of strength It is clear that thi and that be screened any attempt until each of gradation to determine sample

waste of cement

of a mixed aggregate the aggregate

can give no d finite information is within The the niform size, In practice,

such range of screen as to be of practically is then resolved into determination of securing an absolutely addition and
IO%

aids in the larger of mateamount

size which may be filled by the smaller size. impossibility rials has led to the customary amount of sand or screenings, of cement. Specific gravity the percentage required a particular affords an accurate As obtaining requires the technical

ideal mixture to the etcrmincd

of 5% to the determined

meth d of determining a ount of material pecific gravity at par usually of found the

of voids, and the consequent substance apparatus

to fill them.

in a concrete-block

factory,

of this. test may

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22

CONCR£TE·8LOCK MANUFAC

VRE.

be dispensed

with by assuming the weight of weights,

solid and unbroken

cubic foot of sandstone

to be 150 lbs., of tr p-rock 180 lbs., and wbile 5 nd and gravel may be dried to a constant which

other stone of intermediate

be safely estimated
desired expected to determine to attain

at 165 lbs.
to that

The aggr gate of which it is


of com actncss block.

the voids should degree in the finished

weight, and shaken

it is
the from

By subtracting
in this condition

weight of a cubic foot of the aggregate ing the remainder Another method

the weight of a solid cubic foot, as above e timated,

and divid-

by the weight of a solid


of voids. commonly employed, of wate existing of water.

ubic foot, the result ut less accurate, is

will be the percentage


that of pouring and determining of aggregate the aggregate sian. but

a measured quantity

into the aggregate, t is evident percentage that if

the percentage

b tween the measure


of the

and the measure

be dry it will absorb -a certai

water, and if it be wet the particles should always be considered

arc sep rated by water tenination is necessary, ate, and subject to approxi

It is a speedy method where hasty deter by more accurate of proportioning, aggregate weights methods. and is of

verification tical method

Determination

by relative volume is dou tless the most pracspecial value when pro· test, A known weight

used as a check upon the last-mentioned of dry-mixed portions marked. deposited mixture applicable compelled maximum and cement of slightly is placed Equal attaining in a vessel, shaken

in sup roscdly correct differen mixtures

to ref isal, and the height arc then that the density. is It is evident

in the vessel in like manner. that

the smallest volume posse ses greatest ingredients, as

It must not be forgotten to fine and coarse

all of th se tests arc equally nd the operator


0

to rely on his own judgment size used in his aggregate.

v..... shall be the hat of great

This is a matter

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I

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PROPORTIONING.

importance, augmented it is not har mixture

as tests show conclusively

that

strength

is greatly

y admixture of coarse gravel or broken stone, while


to see the rapid increase in density and the marked into a fine by volume difference in amount of coarser aggregate. proportions is a marked

saying in cc cnt which result from the introduction of a considerable The cust mary manner is inaccurate the volume weight loose of moisture, than and misleading. of specifying There

f a given 'weight of cement packed The volume of sand increases owing to water tension between The relative weight

and the same

with the addition the grains, and the more rapidly of gravel

volume of fi e sand increases under such conditions does carse. and broken Proportions tone vary greatly, hould, therefore,

and volume

being lighter when the particles when thcv are correct lv graded. be stated by weight in all cases

arc of uniio m size and heavier where accur cv is desired . •

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CH' PTER VII.


1HXING.
THE

incorporation are

of mass, unifor

he

various ingredients
and

of concrete

into a homogeneous its constituents

the manipulation

of the mass until

that extent of turning and stirring necess ry to secure an even percentage of moisture throughout the v'hole, constitu tc essential factors of
success or failure in cone ete-block manufacture. Indeed, in all concrete work) mixing i a feature so essential that its neglect

y distributed,

entails failure,
averts

while a rec gnition of its importance that mig t be anticipated


!;

oftentimes
in is

the failure

from negligence This importance the duty

other branches of the proce accentuated rial therein, in other in concrete-block requires of the blocks, in proportio forms of concrete

of concreting. work) because

required 'which is, overcome quali-

to the bearing work,

area of solid mateand density, extent afforded

a un form strength ' nd the support

to a certain

by the volume of material, cent mass of material. ties of impermeability) tion, are demanded

by the adja-

Fu .ther than this, those peculiar extent

unif rmity of color and beauty of dccora in blo k work to a far greater

than

required in the classes of c nstruction to which monolithic work is especially adapted. It is only by most thorough manipulation
that these qualities may e developed in satisfactory degree. to mixing
24

Indeed,

in relation

to stren th, and to a certain

extent in rela-

tion to the other qualities m ntioned, a careful attention

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MIXiNG,

may serve to greatly in the nizant advising application of the

vercome faults of those

arising from ignorance While

of

other scientific princip es of block-making, principles. encouraging the use

or from carelessness by no means cogessenand while 'while thoroughly

f lean mixtures,
dherence to other

import' nee of correct in ot cr chapters,

proportioning,

the strictest

well-determined

tials as outlined as established mixed tioned

the facts must be recognized mixed mixing, ill-propora rich The rea-

by those tests which have proven that a thoroughly


nd even a thoroughly more concrete of indifferent t has already tl c thorough cement-paste, coating aflor s results satisfactory than

lean concrete, concrete,

and well-proportioned son is easily found. of concrete involves of the aggregate with

been said that the theory of every fine particle of every mortar and the coating

coarse pa.rticle of the aggregate

with sand and cement

It is evident that this


by most thorough of proportioning Sizes.

an be accomplished

in no other "vay than of aggregate mixing that the larger this sizes of the

mixi g.

It has also been said that the theory

invol -es such gradation


t at nothing but

finer particles will tend to fill the voids of the succeeding It is evident result, can attain desirable aggregate, whole. The order of ineo orating ingredients as fa lty mixing will leave the various of be oming distributed

as well as t c aggregate

and the cement, each gathered evenly throughout

to itself, instead

has been considered mentioned of order the practice

a matter of so great i portance in all sta.ndard and dump nately. ment most cement-block

that it is particularly although

conere e specifications,

rna ers is to disregard g under railroad,

any particular together municipal,

cement, sa d, gravel, and water redetermined are measured

indiscrimior governvarious or

In hand-rnixi
specifications,

quantities

of the

sizes of aggregate

in boxes having

no bottom

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CONCRETE-

LOCK MANUFACTURE_

top, so that when the box s filled it may be lifted from the measured materiaL The required The sack is the unit of cement amount of s d is first spread measurement. on the mixing-platon the sand, and shovels, are turned or prelatter mea-

form, which should be wat r-tight and, if possible, non-absorbent. The cement is then spread to an even thickness the two, by means of hoes or square-pointed together two or three time, water poured viously method surement centage The tinued is either (but thrown sprayed a not dashed) bette The the mixture into the center

or until of an even color, when the from a hose-nozzle of the material The accurate

into the f rm of a ring or crater. practice, as affording ixture is thcn turned st nc, previously on the mortar thro ghout

is considered of .... vatcr. of water

twice, the per wet mortar. further conthat for

being 5 ch as to form a rather

gravel

or broken

wet to avoid

absorption, such careful hand-mixing. to mix formity obviated

is then spread methods

and the turning

until uniform

the whole.

It

is evident possible

seeu e the maximum afterward

quality

an

It has, how ver, been the practice of block-makers

materials

dry an

apply the water, the latter uniare partially before wetting, and it is to this and lack of uni-

usually bcing unmeasured, results. While

and then mix until approximate the evils of this method color

by dry-mixing

to secure uniform cannot

it is obvious that the vance of standard cause formity that weakness,

deg cc of homogeneity obtain; por sity, permeability,

possible by obser-

specifications

in color arc often traceable. is at best a method which should be employed the installation There of are localities a plant, of' the plant warrants
t

Hand-mixing

only until the business a good power-mixer, which several reasons

or u on special work in isolated e full plant The reduction equipment.

may not justify

which sho ld induce one, in equipping

to include a power-mixer.

in labor is a cost item

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MIXING.

of great consequence, is the large expense results. superior periods Actual strength There tu-day cheapest There for block makeshifts, amount The to hand-work of time, tests upon

as one reason for labor

for defective

hand-mixing vastly

necessary

to secure really goo is not only be run for equal uniformity. outlay. The show a gain in

work done by power-mixing possesses handthe virtue

in quality, but, if batches and machine-mixing

of absolute the initial

for the latter

which fully justifies may err greatly

are so many different

kinds of mixers on the market in selection. on account by hand shovels. too much of inefficiency, arc but poor for the same Of the powerto block work. depends upon into continuous in layers, operfor deposit as

that the block-maker

may prove most expensive work. which The

arc two classes of mixers which cannot mixers operated scarcely

be recommended

give as good results

of labor as do square-pointed In the first place, the materials

mixers, the continuous for two reasons.

type is not well adapted are introduced must

the order in which the materials mixers, and therefore ations of hand-mixing; in much the same manner

be spread material

as described and shovelfuls

in the preliminary

of

in the mixer must cut perpendicularly so that the shovel will contain desired in the mixed material. of mixing is mechanically

through

the several layers, the time

the same relative proportions In the second place, and the manipulation

determined,

cannot be increased The electric degree batch

even though the advantages operated

of longer mixing engine, or

may be clearly apparent.


batch-mixers, motor,

by steam, gasoline
adapted

are especially

to concrete-block

work, the is

because the mixing may be continued of uniformity is run. consideration is dependent upon Consequent

at will, and thus any desired only upon the time that this advantage is that other

important

that the order in which the material

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I

CONCRETE-BLOCK MANUFACTURE.

ischarged is entirely independent of the order in which it enters C mixer, Batch-mixers mix thoroughly, while the more com-

FIG. I.-Rotary Mixer.

FIG. 2.-Cul)c

Mixer.

on forms of continuous misers are modified conveyors, callatcd to effect greater or less stirring of the material as it is

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MIXING.

29

conveyed from entry to discharge. in which deflecting as the mixer revolves. Fig.
2

Fig.

shows a rotary rruxer cube-mixer

blades throw the rna rial from end to end


shows a revolving

m which the shape of the mixing-box is plish the same result without interior d types shown have given excellent satisfa

accomm actual usc.

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CONCR£7 E-BLOCK MANUFACTURE.

While, in using a mi. cr of a type similar to those all materials better results tion given to the order it is well mixed afterward Whether running before
n which

illustrated, yet much

for a batch may be put in at one time and no attenthey arc introduced, the batch water

will be 01 rained by running


introducing
y hand t

dry until
and that

into the mixer, it is essential

the 1 atch wet a3, long as may be necessary. or machine, the size

mixing be

the initial set of the cen ent be avoided by so regulating of batch in proportion the capacity

of the block-machine that

no cement will be wet

ver thirty minutes.

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CHAPTER VIII.
SHAPE OF BLOCKS.

the many shapes of blocks now used f r formng hollow walls, the question naturally asked is, Why 5 much talk of hollow walls, and what are their advantages? " n reply
IN considering
H

it may be said that the chief advantages solid walls are four The fact that a wall exposed of discussion. ing are more

of hollow Insulation between

wa Is over

in number,

viz.:

agai st heat the face of t admit build-

and cold, saving of material, to the weather

water-tightness, air-space and the interior

and ventil tion. face larg ly pre-

a considerable

cludes the passage of heat has been too well established The result is, of course, that the rooms of comfortable in summer on account of

of the exterior surface not being transmitted in winter the conditions not lose its artificial It is a fact purchased recently that heat through

to the interi r, 'while to the A

are reversed and the interior surf cc docs transmission

approximately

25% of heating-bills
the past sum of this rooms house is a but th
31

saved by properly constructed a concrete-block remarked; "The who was not informed ably good one; comfortable." of the noticeable

hollow concrete walls. house during furnace

as to the real merits in that

it is surprising Doubtless warmth

how small a fire makes th

it was a good furnace,

from a small fire was, that t

© 2010 Forgotten Books

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I

32
remained
In

CONCRETE-BLOCK

A NUFA C TURE,

the house instead

of

and disseminating

itself througho

a solid wall surrounding country,

"~/',

FrG. 4.-Three-web

Hollow :Bloc s and Wall.

The saving in material is an mportant item to the blockmaker and to his customer. In the hole in the wall lies the

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SHAPE OF BLOCKS.

33

maker s profit were have

and

the consumer's from


20%

saving.

Originally and that

blocks bonding

esigned with
0

to 33% air-space, curing,

but modem blocks in

metho s of proportioning,
greatly increased to the actual serve factor

compacting,

the efficiency of concrete of solid material

amount

walls are

tly laid with from 50% to 55% of air-space, and still preof safety which insures conservative is not absolutely
50,

construction. and as one of

fact that concrete comm nly made

waterproof, was doubtless

is not approximately

the pr ncipal reasons for the original introduction

of an air-space

in the wall, the separation of the' outer and inner face being design d to prevent 'water penetrating beyond the intermediate
air-ch mber. Ve tilation usuall use of ventilators in the sense here intended is a consideration that, by the overlooked. It is, of course, well known between

similar to the usual hot-air register, any desired the outer atmosair-chambers now in the vertical

circul tion of air may be established pherc and the air of a room through in the hollow "vall. mind, damp room. wall but rather canst nt, absorption, This is, however, through the gradual,

not the thought

unrecognizable, the pores

but nevertheless in every occupied virtue.

in the concrete, of the

ess and injurious hat gives to block

gases accumulating construction

I t is the suction of the gases and vapor by the air in the its great sanitary of sweating on the interior is a notice-

and h nee the elimination

able f -ature of block construction.

In Fig. 3 is shown one of the earliest forms of hollow blocks


introd a vcr ced in the United large number States, a form which has been used in a form which has been, with of machines, features stands for the hollowthat the form is of buildings,

slight changes, adopted by very many manufacturers and a form which in its essential block construction of to-day. It will be noted

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CONCRETE-BLOCK

MA

UFACTURE.

very

simple,

having

a transverse

w b at either

end

and

two

transverse change ner-block types regular

webs midway of the block, so that a half block, which is made without coru~e Special attention blocks eliminate is called to the L-shape th s feature orncrs, and merely

is an essential feature in all block co struction,


of cores. of hollow used in connection blocks extending illustrated with thi

form, as some of the later

th rough at
in Fig. 4

with the end 'Ncb


different being in

flush with the front and back of the bI ck to form a corner return. The block s not essentially variance from that shown in Fig. 3, the only material the usc of one intermediate the number common machines

web inst ad of two. producing are


t

of machines
now advertised

by t, this is by far the most


Measured least twenty moulds for making machines. of the and urnals blocks

type of block.

There

in trade-j and

'with the three

cross-sections to upright block,

by usi g two interior ace-down

cores, and

the type is common

The single air-space ment, and hence

invol ing the elimination than the form , inasmuch ase of heavy

middle web and the use of but one int rior core, is a later developless common last mentioned. as any reducreduces rains. the liaThis block possesses tion in the number bility to penetration and between some advantag of moisture around in

and size of eros, -partitions

It is
grade

also more easy to tamp of labor employed, block will result. of tearing

one core than to tamp around and uniformly facilitated, compacted while

two or more,

and hen c, with the average

a more thoroughl The releasing is als

and the danger lessened,

blocks in removing

cores i somewhat

there is a slight saving in material. of purchasing inspected, completion, any of the standard in which

his is a vcry simple form of wood instead The author recently were of this

for those who prefer to make their a n molds mac ines, in the State of Washington all walls abov

a $5,000 residence, nearing ground-line

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SHAPE OF BLOCKS.

35

type of block, made in wooden molds manufactured. The work "vas most creditable, but, in justice to who may desire to go and do likewise, it should be said that company building the house mentioned had in its employ most expert modelmaker and a cement-worker of equal ability, Fig. 5 represents an attempt to combi c the one-piece and the two-piece form by the use of slabs d by metal rods or

FIG. S.-Blocks

consisting

of Two Slabs

by Metal Ties.

tics, the ends of which are imbedded slabs. The object is to secure a contin air-space of uniform has been scrisize throughout the wall. This form of t, and it has been ously criticised from an engineering the expense of carstated that the object sought is attained rect construction. By its advocates the is cited that metal rods are extensively and satisfactorily played in reinforced

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CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTURE.

concrete concrete, blocks therefore the wall.

worx ; while its opponents the iron or steel is protected illust ated, the tic-rods

answer

that, in reinforced

from rust and corrosion

by the cone cte in which it is imbedded,


are without from su ject to deterioration t from the moisture

while, in the type of


such protection, action, and as atmospheric

well as to r

penetrating

the outer shell of

owever this may be, the fact remains that at least one house w s built over twenty years ago from concrete slabs
tied by meta present day. vary slightly rods, and Is in a good state of preservation While the form and method from th at illustrated of fastening at the

the rods

in Fig. 5, substantially the same princip cs arc embodied in the blocks used in the house, which has tv 0 decades to its credit. It may be merely a coincidcncc, or i may be a fact worthy of note, that this house has been repeat ly struck by lightning. By some it is claimed
that this is ever, of grea made. In Fig. 6 arc shown blocks of the standard while Fig. 7 illustrates two-piece the type, of ue to the attraction
CT

of the metal rods.

It is, howdamage

importance

to observe that the resultant

has in each c se been so slight that repairs were easily and quickly

marc plainly the method of laying in the


horizontal air-space, and method walls were brought out some four years blocks, of

wall, the co tinuous


bonding. facture enabling standards struction, secured T vo-piccc atten th

ago with a view of overcoming operator

some of the difficulties of manuof the one-piece more closely the the builder practice insulation recognized to adhere than that in wall-con-

ant upon the making to follow

of good concreting, an by

of enabling

to the princi

lcs of the best engineering of affording a more thorough ne-piece blocks. attendant air-space,

Care was also taken to a void all upon efforts to construct and this could only be

of the object onable features two walls wi h an intervening

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SHAPE OF BLOCKS.

37

accomplished by blocks of such shape that those forming the outer face shall bond with those forming the inner surface

-:

~.,~~:.:
:

.. I

.... ~.::--:-

FIG. 6.-Two-piece

Blocks and Wall.

of projections in alternate courses. The ntinucd success of the two-piece system, and any structures of such size and importance

that it was scare proves that the

hoped that concrete blocks would be: adopted, t architects and engineers were guick to recog
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CONCRETE-BLOCK

MAN rACTURE.

of block shown in Fig, 6 is probably the earliest form of t ieee block to come into extensive commercial usc) as the buil ng shown in Fig, 8 is the earliest structure worthy of mention in which two- piece walls were used. It is a noticeable fact th J though the earliest, this type still maintains its supremacy, an is to-day regarded as the
nize its points of superiority. The

FIG. 8.-Angdus

Hotel,

:cr

acme of perfection, from the engineer's noted that, distinct advantage

because the lines of the block and the architect's in the short rein point of view. of t e Tvshape, its various
t breaks

arc correct It 'will be

while a modification

it possesses a parts in praand not joi n ts Ia terall y

ing arms at either end


n to withstand,

of the face-section.

It has strength

portion to stresses which it is called only breaks joints between courses,

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SHAPE OF BLOCKS

39
through of stablishcd alternate methods

in every course, thus leaving no vertical the wall. and giving the same result bonding that in brick and stone work advantages of long and short arms. one of its great one face, interior

jo nts extending as

by th lies.

overlapping of this block possible with-

It is in the m nufacture

s each block has but a d it becomes permits ecessary taneous pressure

cores are eliminated, This practice

to make the blocks under direct and insta out the usc of a tamper. large a percentage requirements
or quaking

the usc of as to fulfill the for a medium not only is a initial set and airpracbond strength of this

of water

as may be

of standard mixture, thorough with

engineering

specificaticns Thus

and at the same ti as may be desire crystallization a dry mixture, than can be not

e it allows the use of

as large size aggregate much than more is possible mixture.

sec red in the b t far greater ole advantages

and density cement

are obtained

ossiblc in a sand

One of the mast throughout

block lies in the facility with which a co tinuous horizontal space is produced leaving ticable without in the wall vention the wall, joints, open the interior vertical This is entirely

s shown in Fig. 7, by

loss of strength, 111is horizontal

owing to the indestructible air-space is valuable rly because


y capillary

in relation of its preattraction to multhat an may

to every phase of insulation, of the penetration insurance and the consequent tiple air-space interlocking be utilized designed houses, ciple to include

but particul of moisture

of a dry in erior in damp weather. of tw -piece blocks by so arrang ng the blocks of members
r

Fig. 9 shows the adaptability


construction is secured, a number bond

The extcn ion of the 'same prinrcatcr than three Such walls plants, ice-

to build a wall of any desired thickness, for any heavy constru requirements requiring unus to meet the of c ld-storage

are very serviceable

tion, and arc especially al insulation.

or any buildings

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I

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40 Fig.
10

CONCRETE-BLOCK MA UFACTURE.

shows a one-piece block described. and that

a pattern

radically different

from those heretofore by an air-chamber) will extend side, the object

Tl e idea of this block is to so no P rtion of the solid concrete of rnois-

dispose the webs and hollow spaces t at each 'web will be backed

directly from the outer f ce of the wall La the inner •


sough t being resista ce to penetration

FIG. 9.-Intcrlocking Thre -member Wall.

turc by rendering

it impossible pathway.

for

apillary

attraction

to draw the

water to the interior of a building


as to be an impossible past two years, demand purpose out the Mississippi for which been extensively

ex ept by a route so circuitous.


These int blocks have, during especially duced, humidity through. the

Valley, 'where th they are designe

is great and the manner,

for dry walls imperative.

hey have accomplished in an admirable

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SHAPE OF BLOCKS.

where due attention ing mixing press type; and mpacting, y employed nuiacturc in molds nvolvcd was f their the p

was given to proportionA blocks of this

have gi\'en general satisfaction. in .manufacturing

but as they must be made in an upright 'was discarded,

position, the form

prohibiting machine, made

in either a face-up or a face-down and they are now' generally style. in detail It that it describes of the (( roll-over"

by tamp

It is not clai
all of the points is manifestly asid

ed for this chapter

in any particular

shape of block.

from the scope of this work to give the minute

ro.-Block

with Staggered Air-space.

y variations types general mentioned. types ill some of the mOT more decidedly the market. patent trated,

in the shape of nearly been the purpose and disadvantages

all of the to present of the

It has rather

advantages

which may be said to fairly cover the of the many styles of blocks on cannot and

vel features

To one who
fail to come that various shapes

ows the subject concrete blocks.

closely, the thought From

much inventive genius is devoted to devising week to week,

h, the designs of different-shaped blocks from month to have increased in number until they are as the sands of the sea-

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42

CONCRETE-BLOCK MANUFACT

RE,

shorc,-no

man can number

them.

If any

ood could possibly it would be Ycry

come to mankind

from this waste of geniu., task. There

far from the purpose of this work to criticise th sc who are devoting their time to the fruitless tiplicity of designs is, hr wever, in this mulno added usefulness

d .veloped, no novel
w ill aid the advanceblock]f

Iea t u res d ispla yed, and no step taken which

ment of the industry. designers childish be well. that their appears variations

The sole idea of the present-clay

to be the a voidance, which are made

by t 1C sligh test ch angc


the
III

possible, of the rights of those who have pre cdcd them. were
-ritorious,
0

it would
to say of
:-:'0

In general, alterations that


ill

it docs the changers arc detrimental. for commercial

injustice

Incl .cd, \Try many usc, while others arc


ind

them arc never intended impracticable


onlv n-ult
:1 h"ol

any effort

to use them in actual practice


'Vh a t the ("(ncrctc- block

can
U~-

u 1C fa ilu rc.

try nL'l'ds is lx:tlcr workmen "'

rather

than

111

rc

,~

gCnill~L~.

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CHAPTER
PHUCF:-;SFS.

IX.

Ix considering th e procc:;.se" of conc rete- bin: k man ufa cturc, il is ncccssa ry to consider only the methods usc 1 in rompacting
the ma-s, because the
proCl'oC,S

the operations identical.

before

and af cr this part of wat


T

()f

arc, except as to tl« amount

used and the

d'sirablc to note that, while the subject-matter of this chapter ha: been the UlUSC of un Iimi ted con ten tion, it is not more C:'-:'-Cl1 till to sllcccs:,-ful work 1han th c prclirnina ry proportioning and mixing. or the final curing. While tJ1(' nature of general con .retc work and
It is, however, the necessities place namely, in connection of but
1\\0

size of aggregate,

with

dcpo:-iting

t 1C concrete

in

admitted
ramming

methods

of comIla ·ting the mass,


condi ions in a con-

or pouring,

the altered

factory have introduced the addi ional factor of prcsc.;ing, and each of these three methods has aga n been divided,
crete-hlock
so

that

lIT 1. 2.

11<l\"C

six different tamping.

procc~~e:;:

Hand-tamping.

Pneumatic

3. Pouring
4. Casting

in iron molds. in sand. pressurc, pressure,


43

5. Mechanical
6. Hydraulic

both hand and po vcr,

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44

CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTURE.

In hand-tamping the best possible results are obtained by light and frequent ramming of a dry mixture of sand or screenings and cement. The usc of a dry mixture is necessary to cause the mass to compact under the blows of the tamper instead of squashing, or being thrown outside the area of contact, which is necessary tamped by the force of adhesion pordislodgment adjacent

the blow.
of particles

It is only in a dry mixture


obtains,

that the quick to prevent

of those portions

already

by blows upon

FIG,

n.-Pneumatic

Tamper in Operation.

tions of the mass. gate is impracticable. Successful industry

For similar reasons, the use of a coarse aggre-

block-making

by hand-tamping
To reduce tampers Their

is a matter

of

and endurance, in Fig.


II

the labor and secure unisimilar to that shown number is, of course, rapid to secure to over-

formity in the product, in operation of factories and uniform, greater strength

pneumatic

are now used in a considerable action lighter. of water

with good results,

and the work much

The process of pouring

in iron moulds was designed

by using a. large percentage

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PROCESSES.

45
to place

come the lack of crystallization ture. As the mass is reduced

in the initial set of a- dry mixto a fluid state, it settle'

in the molds by its own weight and results in a very h rd block

To this process there are three valid objections. Th top and bottom of a block, considered according to its positl n in the mold) arc not uniform, as the heavier particles gravita e toward
the bottom. may attain support hours number Owing sufficient to the time required rigidity to prevent for a very wet mixdeformation a for a fac when the 'ery large ne work by aux·ays. By tu tc to absorb, or throw off, eno ugh of th e wa ter th at the block is removed from its side, the mold is in servi e several manufactured, and therefore to produce surface the a tput of a concre e into an

for each block factory.

of molds must be provided

moderate-size

No satisfactory

can be obtained iliary treatment.

by the simple act of pouring to produce This is accomplished

iron mold, and it becomes necessary one method the mold is arranged

in various

so that the face of the block and, while ve:r:y' et, coated text re to the by hand of pitch-face are chipped

will be uppermost surface. stone-work making method Havana,

and it is smoothed, method

with screened marble-dust, By another is secured. while in a semi-plastic

giving a fine granular the blocks

state, and thus an imitation

Casting in sand is not in veTY general use for ordi in this country, of manufacturing. owing to the expense It has, however, incide been of
0

t to this

xtensivcly
amental e general ccuratcly

used for the making work in the United

of blocks for all portions States.

of b ildings in

Cuba, and is largely used in the making

The process is on the sa but that

lines of casting as followed by iron-molders, that are not only very hard and very durable, follow the detail of the pattern appearance.

and results in blocks

and present a beautiful y finished

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CONCRETE·BLOCK MANUFACTURE.

The

p ssibilities

attendant

upon

thc

condensation

of con-

crete bloc s by mechanical pressure are of recent discovery. It is 'within thc last three years that both hand- and power-presses
have been devised for successfully producing high-grade blocks cost with a savi g of labor which has brought the manufacturing

below that of older processes. The principle upon which this devclopmc t is based is that, by confining in a mold, properly
vented for escape
W

of air, a medium-wet diameter, sufficient and

mixture

of coarse con-

crete, of
every part pressure

rich the larger-size aggregate may measure from


greatest simultaneously condense applying

i"
to

f the exposed area of the concrete


b power to thoroughly

an instantaneous the mass, than by and fire struc-

a marc de se and homogeneous block can be secured


any former y mentioned have withs ood the process. most severe tensile, compressive, The

The fact that blocks so made fact that blocks of its sueof means may for deter-

tests proves the correctness so pressed cess from tial that escape. mining adjusting concrete
c

of this theory.

ave been used in several of the most important practical view-point. In pressing

tures yet b ilt of blocks is sufficient recommendation \-' ids be eliminated by adequate provision

blocks it is essen-

by which t c air contained th t each block

in the mass of loose concrete is uniformly pressed. This pressure, deposited,

It is also essential that means be provided


by suitable device for measuring stop. uniformly

may be
or by and is not because,

done cithe

t e press to an arbitrary m st be uniformly

In the latter case the

mixed,

the mold fi led to a uniform height. The ap ilication of hydraulic pressure to block-making
of so recen origin as the a-pplication of mechanical

pressure;

but the for


while the recognition,

cr has not met with universal introduction,


cgrec of compactness the time required secured in the manipulation

has ever commanded of a hydraulic

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47

press has been an obstacle easily 0 'ercome by use of mechanical pressure. Recently, however, lar c presses have been constructed in which a number of bloc s may be pressed at one time; and, though cumbrous, this later d vclopment offsets to a degree the objectionable feature of the 't me lost in making a single hydraulic pressure.

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CHAPTER X.
PLASTICITY.

normal consistency of concrete for blockquestion manufacture has largely determined by prejudice instigated by man Iacturcrs whose machines were. adapted to but a single degre of plasticity. This is to be deplored, inasmuch as the valu of those v"ell-defined principles underlying good concrete cons ruction is greater than the value of any par· ticular machine, r any particular type of machines. These principles have gr dually been deduced from results obtained from actual work inder varying conditions during that period of years since cern nt assumed its place as an important factor in the industrial life of the nineteenth century. The best engineering talent of the gr at railways, and of our national government, has been directed toward, the ascertainment of those practices which would resul in concrete work of the greatest strength and durability; an for the almost unanimous decision reached, that a medium-wet mixture should be used whenever practicable, there must be a re son. It is to be found, in the first place, in the chemical actio produced.in the cement by the addition of a proper proportion In common parlance, this chemical activity is describe as setting, or crystallization. The exhaustive researches of Lc hatelier have not only established the fact that tricalciurn sili ate is the essential chemical element in the setting of Portland cement, but that crystallization only ensues
THE

48

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PLASTICITY.

49 to decompose this trihemical the use

after sufficient water has been consumed calcium question, silicate. the mere mechanical problem

In the second place, aside from any ground for abandoning

of coating the a gregatc

and filling the voids is sufficient

of an ultra-dry mixture. What is ordinarily known as a dry mixture is of he consistency of damp earth. If a lump of dry concrete c compressed in the hand, it will not give off sufficient watc to soil th e hand, but it will instantly acquire sufficient rigidity
its shape.

It is this latter quality which has brought


with block work. could forthwith e withhold the position to which it was

crete into such favor in connection that it would instantly

by the tamper, and that the face-plates the manufacture, product that make for quality and consequently

drawn from the block, has been so great a factor in fa ilitating in reducing scientific the cost, of the principle which those well-established have been sacrificed

to speed and ch apness.

In [Ill frankness

it must be said that the dire effects of the use


to cause weak blocks, liable to disint gration to the manu acturcrs the usc
0

of a mixture so dryas of machines. They

withi,: a few years, is not wholly chargeable customarily ignorant recommend turc as wet as practicable; ators of whom too many, the business manipulate tion as a license for them with the greatest mixture

a mix-

but this passes the matter on to operof the principles which un erlying this instruc-

in which they have engaged, interpret to use the mixture case. is available.

ey can

It is, however, only in machines which make blocks b' tamp lng that the ultra-dry mechanical The medi m mixwheth r hand, an water ture is used in all machines one containing operated by pressure,

power, or hydraulic. so much moisture

By a medium mixture i' meant


that it will quake, I is not

will flush to the surface when the mass is compressed.

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CONCRETE BLOCK MANUFACTURE.

possible

to specify

an u varying
a tcrials, ngg cgate

percentage In general,

of water

without

acquaintance

with local

it may he said

that a broken-stone gran:l aggregate.

will require

a larger percentage mixture


of more

of water than would be n -cdcd in concrete made from sand and By tl: usc of a medium-wet by reason a more thorough thorough coating crvstallization concrete of the aggregate i:-,secured in the initial set of the cement, is obtained and more complete as to reduce filling of voids. work, and involves to a fluid tamping

and a better

A wet mixture mix ture

is usc} only in poured requiring

the usc of so much watc nor preswre. the cement, through superfluous

the concrete neither

suita ble for po Hing, and

From a ch mical point of view, it is claimed that and, from a ncchanical water durin: induration. standpoint, This voids will result for the escape of is usually accom-

care must be exercised to a ·oielusing so much water as to" drown" evaporation unlc: s means be provided

plished in plain work by he usc of porous molds, while in ornamental work, by the proc ss of casting in sand, the water which is not consumed

by the nternal

chemical

action of the cement

readily finds its way into the sand.

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CHAPTER XI.
FACING.

by molding con texture, a suitable appearance for the better gra surfaces, has led to efforts along various lines I the attainment of more pleasing surfaces. O\ ving forms ordinarily used in monolithic constructio down as soon as the concrete will retain its shap port, the practice has been well-nigh universal i
THE

difficulty

of obtaining,

rete of usual e of exposed oking

toward

to the board-

being taken
without supthat class of been found

construction immediately that adhesion

to plaster after

a rich

mixture the boards.

on the c It h

removing

by rougheni g the surface of the set concrete with a wire brush, and thor ughly v vetting
can only be secured surface before this roughened these precautions, applying the facin. in which
t

Even with e contraction

cases are frequent

of the richer mixture during the setting of its cern nt has caused cracks and resulted in separation between layers. other objection to Ibis method which draws craz ing -era cks, lies in the troweling to the surface incide and res construction d, it was not, locks, though t the there t to finishing, the cement

As it was not prudent


of buildings, feasible such dangers

to risk, in blocks for th as have been mention of concrete with a mixture developments

in the earlier stages of the manufacture to face the blocks Later body of the block.

diffe ing from

have sho vn that

51

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52 are whic fad " and

CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTURE.

methods eliminate

of facing, after

applicable attendant
J :I I

to block-manufacture, upon The


I:

the difficulties

the method mixtures

of

troweling

manufacture.
10

com-

mon y used for facing yary from or b dy of the block varies from

3, while the backing In the case of a half-inch to that quite

:4 to 1:3 :4.

bloc s tamped in an upright position, one side of the mold must need- form the face; and the only way of applying face of the finer material this and eaves a distinct on to make whic contemplate is by the insertion sepa ate it from the main body of concrete, line of cleavage between permanency. face down. blocks There oes not insure absolute of a partition It is evident It is. Lemming arc

the two sections, now many of facing, first, and the coarser is is and line

mac ines on the market, adapted to the latter method the introduction against in the mold. under of the face-matter before its t orough tamping the face-plate

cone etc is deposited

In this ..,vay the partition pressure, pressure, the face-matter it becomes

cIrm' ated and, the line of cleavage less marked. fact re of two- piece blocks th us, upon imb I
IS

In the manu-

appI cd in the top of the mold before the block is pressed; subjection to heavy ded into the underlying has been generally influence of truth element coarse mass, and no distinct

firmly

of cl a vage remains. supposed that the color of cement had a ve y potent a of a gregate on the color of water

al' the

face.

While

there

in this belief, it is a fact that the color are factors more worthy cements of a parin cost approxifrom France block-factories,

and the purity In many

ticul r color-usually or
0

white-have countries, nearly an aggregate the

been imported

her European have obtained cements, more

when a smaller result sought.

increase For

waul land mat

giving, with the native Port-

y white facing, it is evident that white sand or stone screen-

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FACING.

53
of color, however, of a hard the selecis of the greatest a d close teximmebe sere ned

mgs should importance. ture, diately and

be used.

Irrespective

tion and preparation scrupulously mixing,

of sand for face-matter clean., It should

It should be fine, sharp,

before

not only to remove accomplished. Owing

any lar e particles, to the tendency to

but to loosen it up as much as possible, be more thoroughly stick to plates, face-matter tendency

so that the mixing may

is usually mixed dryer t an the body


th .rc is a slight It is, therefore, demands color. of obt ining strong manner neces ary to again the se of screen-

of the block, and, as it is always a rich mixture, to roll up into balls. immediately stone screen the mixture ings from and durable There crushed before it is used.

For colored work the best practice the only truly correct and practicable colors without sacrificing are but few plants are several

of the desired

the strength

f the block.
ust survive: v rious 0 colors course it is oils, greases,

in which this method

ha ~ been extcn-

sively used, but it is, nevertheless, There understood have ochre,

the method which as a base.

firms, now manufacturing colors, or colors containing

for block work, using iron pigments that vegetable

or acids, cannot safely be used in concrete work. undertaken lampblack, The second, to produce to give directions facts in the iron oxide, and a great variety case show
t\VO

1\ any writers,
0

for the use of ultramarine, other colorFirst,


t ings :

ing matters. with time; adequate

that all colors produced

by such artificial means arc iable to fade in quantity to Gen-

that the usc of such "adulterant.

the desired color, with sufficie t strength time, weakens the co .retc, by use of

prevent fading for a reasonable erally speaking, in concrete of the required it is probably color.

safe to say that an u fading color n aggregate

blocks can only be produced

In facing blocks the chief end sought, aside from appearance,

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54

CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTURE_

is to ob ain a surface approximately water-tight, The fact that only fin sand is used decreases the size of voids to such an extent that, b the use of a large proportion of cement, the face (if mixed r ascnably wet and properly compacted) may be made nearly i permeable without the use of any chemical adulterant. There a CJ however, a number of compounds on the market, for usc in fcc-matter, calculated to produce a perfectly waterproof surface, In absence of information as to their ingredients, it is manifes ly impossible to express an opinion either as to their perman nee or their ultimate effect upon the cement. The form of face is a matter 'of the particular plates used in the anufacture of blocks, being, in the case of upright onepiece bI cks, one side of the mold, in the case of face-down blocks the batt m of the mold, and in the case of two-piece blocks the pressing plate. In supplying these plates, it has been the usual custom to regard pitch-face as a standard design. That it is an imp rfect imitation of the cheapest class of stone-work, that it lacks he boldness and variety of outline found in the original, and tha it robs cement-work of its own intrinsic merit, docs not dete the block-maker from using a facc which will not show the imp rfection of his work or the loose texture of his blocks, and he nflicts upon a gullible public a design suitable only for baseme t and stable construction, Equally culpable and inartistic is he who, by a repetition of designs produced from the same fcc-plates, destroys the decorative possibilities of concrete ar hitccturc by a sucession of monotonous ornamentation. The rna ufacturer of machines, the block-maker, and the architect of oncrete- block structures will alike do well to consider that th decorative features of concrete blocks lie not less in plain a d imposing walls than in contrasting ornamentation. They ay also remember that the value of ornamentation is enhance 1 by beautiful walls of blocks that are plain, or by blocks

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FACING.

55

that are beveled to emphasize mortar-joints, after the manner of the rusticated exteriors of the Italian renaissance, wi h which tool-face blocks may be suitably interpolated. Such arc iitecturc will carry concrete blocks into structures where they co ld never go by the prevalent usc of a dull, plastic-like imitation of hewn stone, or a motley conglomeration of inartistic ornamen ation.

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I

CHAPTER

XII.

ORNAI\IENTATIOX.

s suggested
In

in the previous buildings, evident that construction, cost which

chapter,

ornamentation decorative

should, feature.

oncrete-block therefore

be a contrasting in quantity

Jt:i

and size it constitutes, of the buildwarrants for the reason

in t uly artistic a anufacturing

but a small proportion would be beyond

ing; and it may be fairly assumed portion of the walls.

that its production is further

This statement natural

emphasized rep1acing a

by

e fact that such ornamentation quality of ha.nd-cut nd that of ornamental n considering cement-work stated

is successfully produced in Chapter of machines, the undercut,

stone, the cost of \v hich is far by any process. may be manuXI, pass those whose by which ornamentation

the methods

pro uccd we may, for reasons des' ns furnished om mental ·ig.


I2

,~ ith a number ...

fact rers have modified the egg-and-dart features

and a few other standard and who furfor the Chicago

by eliminating

iron plates

cast from such patterns. work manufactured

shows ornamental

DT~ inage-canal Power-house, near Lockport) Ill. The process usc 1 in producing this work involved the casting of plaster molds
fro patterns. hardened. The cement was poured into these molds, and, g to the undercut, the molds were broken and removed without after the cement the molds.
56

ha

Of course, where there is no undercut in sections

can be made

breakage.

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ORNAMENTA

57

workers employs One very large company of 0 These must be sectional wooden molds almost e thoroughly shellacked to prevent wa ing and cracking. Glue molds have been used in the finer lines of olded glue negative may ornamental cement-work. be used about twenty times, as its permits removal from work. having a considerable

FIG. I2.-0rnamental

\Vork for Chicago

rainage-canal

Power-house.

Casting in sand seems to be the easiest and, all things considered, the most inexpensive meth of producing thoroughly
satisfactory ornamental work. As
1

requires

merely

a wooden

pattern, iron-molders' sand, and "vet concrete, it is evident that a high degree of skill is not essential to perfect work. The only item of great expense is the pattern, d this may often be secured

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CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTURE.

in natural stone or some other material, if of a design not dbtainable in wood, without the services of a pattern-maker. It is but fair, to that one who is about to embark in th business of manufacturing and selling concrete blocks, to stat that he should not undertake elaborate ornamental work without long experience in the more easy departments of concrete anufacture. The manufacture of ornamental work is dis inctly a separate branch of the cement industry, and one rec uiring great skill. The ease with which cement assumes any form, and the beautiful effects produced by the skillful operator, lead the novice to tread on most dangerous ground. It is one thing to make an ornament, and quite another thing t produce one that will stand the test of time. The sharp a rises, the [me lines, and the intricate designs of desirable orna entation require a degree of familiarity with the action of c ment, both in molding and in exposure to atmospheric infl enccs, which is too often gained by the loss of a customer's go d will. Above all things, the common practice of employing che icals for accelerating the set of cement, in the production of ornamental designs, is to be deprecated as irreparably harmi g the business of the future.

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I

CHAPTER XIII.
CURING.

can be no reater error in block-making than to consider the process of m nufacture complete when a block is taken from the mold. It i in the application of scientific methods to the subsequent ind ration of the block that this style of construction possesses a marked advantage over monolithic concrete construction. I is in the adaptability of concrete blocks to thorough curing be ore laying that they are capable of acquiring that degree of st cngth and durability which is ultimately destined to place the in the first rank as a building material. It must not, however be supposed that the mere setting away to cure, or allowing t dry, constitutes what is rightly embraced in the comprehensive process termed curing. It rather involves a most careful applic tion, during a series of days, of scientific methods calculated to give quality to the product, and it .is to a neglect of such metho s that most failures in block-making are attributable. As is well known cement is the bonding clement of concrete, and its value in that regard lies wholly in its hydraulicity. As mentioned in a pr vious chapter, crystallization is the result of hydration, and th rough crystallization is only effected by the use of a conside able quantity of water. It must be still further considered tha crystallization is by no means an instanTHERE

S9

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60

CONCRETE-BLOCK

AN UFACTURE.

taneous process; that only what i commonly termed the initial set is secured by the admixture t the cement and aggregate of the amount of 'water most comm nly used in molding blocks; and that reliance must be had upon subsequent addition of moisture to secure that later rystallization without which blocks are worthless for practical purposes. Maintenance of uniform con itions is the keynote to successful curing. It is absolutely ssential that blocks shall not, during the period of curing, be ex xised to the sun. The reason for this becomes apparent if a f cshly-made block, thoroughly saturated with water, be exposed for a few hours to the direct rays of the sun. It will be note that one side becomes very dry while the other remains moi t; and the exposed side will show a baked appearance, and, y the rapidity of contraction, develop checks and shrinkage-cr cks, while serious structural cracks are liable to result in the ntcrior of the block, owing to the variance in rate of contractio between the front and back. It may here be noted that alar e percentage of cracks, both structural and surface, arc cause by rushing green blocks into a wall. Many operators have, in their earlier experience, made the mistake of placing in a v vall locks only three or four days old; and the results, especially if t e wall be exposed to the sun, have fully justified a sweeping c ndcmnation of such practice. It will ever be a source of mortifi ation to the block-maker if he allows the insistence of a builder who is anxious for blocks on a certain day, to lead him to de ivcr partially cured blocks to be used above ground. The main clement in curing, ndcr methods now commonly in use, is water, and it should be applied at such intervals and in such manner that the conditio of moisture will at all times be uniform. This may be secu ed by sprinkling the blocks thoroughly three or four times day. The amount of water

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CUR.ING.

6I

a d the frequency

with which it should be applied are dependent conditions. atmosphere, It is evident sprinkling that in may occur

a great extent upon weather

c ld weather,
t less frequent

or in a humid intervals

than would be necessary Sprinkling

in a dry climate

r in very hot weather.


t e blocks have attained ot deface evident the surface. that a larger

as soon as sufficient rigidity that a fine spray will If a dry mixture has been used, it is
of water will be consumed than or case under require

.should begin

amount

will be the case where blocks h ave been made of a medium wet mixture. In the former o ghly moist for at least twenty t n days will suffice. a y circumstances c ring of fifteen inimum t orough curing days, while in the latter

case, blocks should be kcpt thor-

A rule which should not be violated of medium The sprinkling mixture

is that blocks of dry mixture require days, and blocks of seven days.

minimum

should, be so and espedesigns, as well

that no portion of any block will turn white; should be given to any ornamental which usually dry faster uniformity of moisture,

cal attention to corners,


r

th an the main surface. burlap, or any substance wetting the surthe but otherwise

maintain

it will be found useful to By first thoroughly

p otect the blocks with hay, excelsior, \- hich will serve to retain moisture. c vering o taining r unded bocks; matter thoroughly moist

a pile of blocks, covering in this manner, may be prevented, by uniformly

and then keeping

wet, the loss of moisture air.

and the blocks be constantly as bctv ..ecn and among with one another,

A circulation

of air is desirable

and not only for this reason, but also to prevent discolornot come in contact so that a slight air-space

a ion, blocks should a d layers should b uniform curing.

ti rs should be arranged

'will intervene,
In this color is a

be separated The

by laths laid between. of curing upon

c nnection it may be noted that uniform color can only be obtained influence

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62

CONCRETE-BLOCK

MANUfACTURE-

matter which has not been given so serious consid

'"

}I ". '

."k,

'

·d(::!.

.. ~-

,",

~I'
_",

• ,.

t.i~
'.

~;~~~,~.~
FIG. 13.-Full Set of Mold" and Accessories forming a Simple Equ Roll-over Type. t of the

" :::".1

:~

deserves, for it is a most essential factor in sccurl forrnity of appearance so much desired.

urn-

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CURING.

Steam- uring of blocks is a matter in which considerable interest is manifested at this time. It is of course well understood that placing blocks in live steam will efT an apparently cet thorough ure in an incredibly short time; but the experiment's along this line have been so few, and the statements of actual results ob erved during any eonsid~rable period of time arc so limited, th t the expression of decided views on the subject is not yet ju tified, It is, however, interesting to note that, in the constructi n of a vcry large public building in the State of New York, the local company which is manufacturing the blocks is also the 0 vncr of a sand-lime brick-plant, and has, in the steamcylinder a the latter plant, cured bloch. so effectively that when forty-cigh hours old they have been placed in the wall beside blocks cu ed for the customary time by usual methods. It is the presen belief that the best results in steam-curing are obtained by exposi g the blocks in thoroughly moist air for twenty-four hours bcf rc subjecting them to steam! thus following standard practice f [ accelerated tests of cement briquettes. Curin in freezing weather is difficult, but not impossible. The bloc s must be kept from freezing for the first four or five days to a ... id expansion-cracks caused by swelling from freezing. a At the e d of that time sufficient firmness should have been attained 0 withstand the tendency to expansion; and in that case no d mage will result, as freezing only suspends crystallization! and a subsequent rise in temperature causes a resumption of the ch mical process.

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CHAPTER

XIV.

1L\CH1!\'ES.

IN can idering of concrete


1.

machines

and

molds

for

the

manufacture

blocks it will be "well to divide them into three groups

and consid -r them in the following order:

:1 achincs
t rnping

and a dry

molds

for

manufacturing using

blocks

by fine a

mixture,

a comparatively

2.

Iachincs

for compressing mixture,

in molds, without

tamping, graded

edium-wct 3.
IS

using an aggregate

from

fine to coarse.
.!._

Lolds for forming be understood

blocks by pouring by the reader

a wet mixture.

It mus where

that this classification also be understood is not submitted per~ but it has certain

to a cer ain extent the various The

arbitrary,

and that there arc certain points It must or described

classes overlap, illustrated limitations

that the li- t of machines as comple c.

of this work by no means on the market, as exemplify

mit of a c escript ion of each machine been the i tcntion princirlcs )[ manufacture;

to select such machines

and the same principles arc in many changes, in a large numof any particufrom
6..J.

cases cmb xlicd, with slight mechanical ber of var ous makes. sets forth lar style. manuiacti Neither

is it claimed that the description to the operation are readily ascertainable

11 particulars
These rcrs' catalogues,

relative

particulars

and it is very far from the lnlrpo~e

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to make this ture, peculiarities more patent

rk .in any sense a compilation the various

of catalogue

litera-

cr the purpose to present some of the more marked types, and to mention some of their

ints of relative merit and demerit .

. 14.-Upright Machine with Drop Cores.

The objc
1.

of a concrete-block mold or machine for enclosing red shape for properly the mass during and quickly and size. compacting

are six:
into

Me
d

formation

the mass.

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66

CO CRETE-BLOCK

MANUFACTURE.

3. Means for giving desired variation

to exposed surfaces. from the

4. Means f r making
bod y 6. Means entit1ed machines or another comprising
0

a face of texture differing


of the product.

th c block. injury every to the block while green.

S. Means fo rapid dischargc f r preventing actors in

All of the six


show th of then.

mentioned

may fairly
machine, directed

be said the

to be various to one

to consid ration

and

result of attention

especially

In Fig. 13 is s own a full set of cores, plates, a medi m-pricc outfit of the roll-over or working-table the sides The ating this outfit plates comprising

anel the like, type. In operis set the to and until in height;

t11 plate to which the cores arc attached


of convenient

on a level surface the particular are clamped mixture the what

and ends are selected according


for the surface mold is then and above tamping of the block repeated The partly being

design desired
in pI ce. his filling d slightly

filled and the mixture

tamped,

the mold is heap larger than

the sides.

mold is then I veled with a straight-edge, he block put


50

and a board someThe whole. apparatus

on top.

is then turned

that thc mold rests on the board. The iron plate is now lifted straight up, 'withdrawing the cores with it; the sides of th mold arc undamped and removed, and the
block is set away a cure on the board, machine upon a metal stand, of block Simulas of is the dropping In Fig. 14 is s own an upright machines. taneously shown The e pedal with th feature

over

being the latest m del of one of the first manufacturers of this machine of the cores out a the block after it has been tamped. dropping

of cores the sides are opened, on an iron pallet

in Fig. IS, and the block removed to the c res and hollow spaces.

the shape and size of the block itself, and having openings sponding

corre-

This type of machine

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MACHINES.

has been very closely imitated by many manufacturer entered the field in later years, The variations which made from the original have been calculated to sec facility of operation, or to attain greater efficiency in

who have they have rc greater some one

FIG. Is.-Upright

Machine Releasing-block,

of the essential points mentioned in opening this appears, however, that the recent improvements this machine arc well calculated to enable it to main tion of supremacy among the upright machines. efforts of its imitators to belittle its efficiency, it must

apter. It odied m nits posicspite the acknowl-

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I

G8
edged worthy that
i1S

CONCRETE·BLOCK MANUFACT

RE.

product stand

is uniformly to its credit.

cxcelle 1, and

that many

buildings

FIG. r6.-1Ioving

the 110ld rather than t

Block.

In the mold illustrated


block from deformation

in Fig. 16 the poi t of preserving ... "bile green has n emphasized

the
by

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I

ooks

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MACHINES.

leaving handling

the block on the ground


IS

where made and removing hard.

the

mold from the block, until it has

relieving

the block from any jar in

me somewhat

Fig. 17 shows a

in which the characteristic feature

:,
.:Q-


'.0

is facility
factured illustration.

of facing.
embodying They are

ere are many machines


the same general principle mrnonly termed face-down

now manushown in the machines,

and usc the plate fa

g thc outer surface of the block as the

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CONCRETE-8

OCK MANUFACTURE.

bottom of the mold, on wbi h the fine facing matter, varying from
I: I

to

I:

3 mixture

of cern nt and fine sand, granite and thoroughly


I

screenings after which

or marble dust, is deposite the leaner mixture comprise and tamped in the usual

tamped,

in the body of the block is deposited anncr, except that the cores, which it arc not inserted to place. that, until In most when thc pallet or

will be noted enter and wit draw laterally, machines position

the lower half of the block has been tamped block is ready for delivery, and the block on an iron bottom-plate with the upright upright without ment petition the plate

of this type the mold is so arranged re ea-sed either i the manner achine
o

he mold may be turned described

to an upright in connection of the

on a wooden

machines. which was originally later arranged of depositing brought anufacturcrs to admit

In Fig. 18 is shown a type, on which the for tilting to an angle of 4 of the tilting device, which The

a device

face-matter comof

the use of a partiti on, and 'which, by 5tH! later improvehas been into direct with face-down m chines by the latest model, as shown till preserves echanical is he raising all the advantages of this feature machine

in the illustration,
uprigh t t ype_ claims upon stationary which

attention

and lowering

of the bedfor refill-

cores, and the engaging drop into position.

of side and end

plates by a frame which th ows the mold into position ing as the bed-plate two-piece aggregate In Fig. 19 is shown is employed. a mechanical

press for manufacturing mixture in which a coarse of this machine use which is in every respect

blocks from a m dium-wet

A. it is the perfection ethod of operation the process

which has brought at variance blocks.

two-pic e blocks into the extensive es already described, tl at the pressure

they now enjoy, and as the from the machi esting to consider

it may be interpressed by means

in some detail

of making is applied

It will be noted

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MACHINES.

71

of upright hand-levers, which, by lowering either to or to the left, bring into action an arrangement of co pound toggles "which exert upon the movable bed of the press a ressurc

t. ,I
'.~

..
"

FIG. rR.-Combination

Upright and Face-down

l\Iachine.

of

pounds. The molds are fined at their respc of the track, the medium-wet mixture of one part ce of sand, and four of gravel 01' broken stone being sh the mold and raked off level If it is desired that th
60,000

face be

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CONCRETE-BLOCK MA NliFACTURE.

of fine texture, a gauge is used at this stage of the

recess, raking
of the coarse

from the top of the mold a quarter or half


mixture, and a half-shovelful of fine

ter, previously

screened to avoid lumps, is applied. The """~1~n>-tJ.u~ of the .... particular design required is then put in place avjng grooved mold, and the mold, which is hung on trolleys wheels fitting the track, is then run into the pre and the pres-

FIG. 19.-1fcchanical

Press making Two-piece

sure made.

ation.

From three to four seconds is requi As the pressure is relieved, the mold is
thrown over the pressing-plate to

two hooks

while the mold is inverted and run to the end of releasing-stand, which is shown

and it in place, e track. The\\·11

below the mold


the

the illustraooks loosened,

tion, is then raised to engage the pressing-plate, and the block lowered

(face down), resting on the


process is very rapid,

it

was

pressed.

The

e by which men pro-

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MACHINES.

73
and faced blocks eturns arc in and other special blocks and the bevel noted two-

d ueing thirty. requires tilting pressure

unlaced

blocks

in twenty time.

seconds Comer

The making
somewhat

of corner, more

jamb,

faced by

the mold to admit the face-matter on the return the mass endwise. is peculiarly that two-piece as it exerts also

thc return, be especially manufacturing peculiarly

is given by an in enious interior It shoul adapted blocks


as they

which crowds piece blocks, the block; for manufacture

that this machine

fo ar

the pressure

dir ctly on the face of

adapted

h ve no interior cores, and can therefore be released from the mold ace down. It should
in this machine, be stated that the molds are provided which behind permit the escape admit air while releasing, the block. termed extending commonly for making in width thus obviating with umerous vent-holes, and of a vacuum of air when pr of differen and size sure is applied castings
r cores,

the creation

A number

which are
are provided

cores, but are not interi shapes from the thinnest

many different

of blocks, the range

par ition to a seventeen-

inch wall, all being made in the same mol and fillers. The poured materials and that system admits of the use becomes compact
0

by adjustable
a variety

cores

of differcnt settlement

in the molds. the block

The fact that com ression is eliminated, by the mere and ecausc

of the fluid mixture, any severe strain. adapted described

makes it unnecessary For this reason, moisture chapter,

f r the molds to resist


of its ability

to take up the superfluous for such molds; in a previous providing

in the mixture, sand is well

and the process has give kind of

f casting in sand, as
rather better Wooden years results molds

than has the use of any other may be used, to prevent of sheet-iron warping. Some

the wood be tho oughly two or three

waterproofed ago a system blocks

molds was placed on the mar et for making

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74 by the poured

CONCRETE-BLOCK MANUFACTU

E.

proce'Os.

The molds arc well a 1apte<1 to the purin a considcrab e number of Iuc-

[lose, and han> been installed

torics ; but the fact tha t th c na turn 1 gra vi iati: n of h ea vier portions of the mass to the bottom ca uses lack of u .iformity throughout the block.v-nd 11 H' a
SCT\Td

the difiiculry

of producing'

satisfactory

face,

as obstacles, large number

while the long time which blocks can be removed, of molds

the molds and the any

arc retained consequent

in service before of product,

required

or producing

consi.lcra blc output

have greatly hindered the popu·

lariza tion of these molds.

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CHAPTER XV.
PLANT ARRA:-\GEl-1ENT.

IN the location,
requisite to market. is ample The

uesigning, plant should

and equipping which he within

a plant the first be located close hauling

ground-space,

should

a reasonable

distance of that section in which it is anticipated of buildings of block construction to feel that the mistake from which long haul the essential of locating entailed will be located. a thing in choosing

that the majority One is inclined ocation is to get and hence make ,or near a stream , overlooking nlike the most conproduct. of blocks breakage opera total and

near the sources of supply of the raw materials a plant at a gravel-ban sand and gravel

may be procure
product. to haul

on the finished than

tract work, it will be found much cheaper rials for block-manufacture Great care must be exercised in the

to h ul the raw matethe finished tation

transpo

from the factory to the building-site

in order to prevent

and defacement.

It must be remembered

th t the tiniest chip


business,

from the corner of a block often means to a c nscientious ator, and not less to one who cares for future loss of the -block. Hence a long haul a short haul on blocks is preferable and a long haul on the latter. a great advantage, to a short cemen on r, w materials

aut on the former and such special


75

If possible to se ure trackage it is

both as to receiving

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CONCRETE.BLOCK MANUFACTuRE.

chara of aggregate as may occasionally be necessary, and as to ship ng blocks to outside points in contiguous territory. In caring for freshly-made blocks it is necessary, except under processes leaving the blocks on the ground, that they should be racked. In small plants, racks for this purpose may tly arranged by making for the ends and center of k a frame of 2" X6" lumber and placing thereon 2" X4"

FIG. 20.-l..,ar ounauic for Concrete Blocks.

stri The latter should not be nailed, but should be put in place s required, 50 that the off-bearers may have ample room for se ting blocks on the stringers, and, as each tier of blocks lace) the stringers for the next higher tier arc put on the For large fact.ories, however, it is much better to provide for the product. In Fig. 20 a convenient type is shown. These may be obtained in various sizes suited to the particular type blocks manufactured, or trucks may be purchased and

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PLANT

ARRANGEMENT.

77

the cars built up of rough lumber, according to individu merits. Tracks may be constructed of hard wood or T-rail, and should run from the machine to the curingis a frequent practice to have considerable trackage in adjoining the manufacturing-room, and to keep the ocks on the cars for several days before exposing them in the ope
,.".

FIG, 2J.-Sy~tem

of Cars and Tracks.

yard. In that case it becomes necessary to have a car for switching the regular cars from one track to consisting merely of a wheeled truck on a sunken track at a righ t angle to the surface tracks. In Fig. 2 I such a track is shown in the foreground. The cars shown in tration consist of wood frames built upon iron trucks. system of tracks, second-hand street-car rails were utiliz

ransferther, running ansfcris illusIn this

The-

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CONCRETE·BLOCK MANUFACTUR.E.

cars should sit very close to the machine while blocks arc bei manufactured, as an enormous amount of time is usually co sumed in off-bearing owing to lack of proper convenience. f cars or racks. Doubtless the most convenient and economical arrangemc t for handling materials is, where circumstances permit, to have overhead sand- and gravel-bins discharging into the mixer, wi .b the mixer elevated so that it will discharge on a platform of su h height that the concrete may be readily raked. into the moll. If, however, the contour of the ground renders such an arrang ment impracticable, the same result may be obtained by t c

use of inclined belt-conveyors, which will be found the most sr tisfactory means for elevating and transporting concreLe. Of course either one of the elaborate arrangements me tioned in the last paragraph 'will not be installed in the srn: 11 plant, but it is not of less importance for the smallest opcrat r to carefully arrange his plant with a view of securing the gre test compactness and convenience. The bins should be close 0 the mixing-platform, and the mixing-platform close to one sir c of the machine, with racks readily accessible on the other si There are now few places where sufficient water-prcssu e to use a hose is not obtainable, and the application of water fro a hose-nozzle is far preferable and more uniform than a.ny oth r method. In the large yards it is customary to save labor
running a water-pipe around the curing-yard, having automat c

lawn-sprinklers at intervals for wetting stacks of blocks. The curing-yard is an important consideration, and mu t be comparatively la.rge. It should be protected by a roof und T which the blocks may remain until curing is nearly, if not quit , completed. In winter it will become necessary to enclose the side , and this may be cheaply done with blocks. If desired, the c blocks may be laid in lime-mortar, and taken down in the spri g

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PLANT

ARRANGEMENT.

79 vinter one rail+ m, heating the -stove in either cks stacked at

for usc in other construction. During the past road company successfully operated on this pl temporary building by means of a large canno end and placing the machine midway, with bl the ends.

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CHAPTER XVI.
PLANT E1.IPLOYEES.

One of the most important factors in the su cess of a concrete-block plant is a foreman of intelligence, xperiencc, and character. The oft-repeated statement of m nufacturers of block machines, that the commonest kind of co mon labor can produce the best concrete blocks, is, to use the ildest language possible, misleading. It is to belief in this st tcmcnt that a considerable number of block-makers might jus ly charge their failure to introduce blocks into their commun ty, as well as their pecuniary loss. It is to the result of (his c ronco us advice that manufacturers may charge the failure of their salesmen to place machines in many towns adjacent to thos where failures have occurred. The foreman of a concrete-bloc factory must possess, in a marked degree, those qualities of st rling character which make one a handler of men: he must ha e the capacity to systematize their duties and to accomplish esults, and in addi tion to this a bility he must know the nature, u es, and limitations of cement; and he must be especially verse in the theory and practice of mixtures, proportioning, aggreg tes, voids, and general concreting. He must so thoroughly ndcrstand the particular machine in use and the materials I cally available that he will obtain the maximum of quality in his product under all conditions. He must know something of bui ding construeT

80

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