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Thread: Common building material - Blocks - 101

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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Common building material - Blocks - 101

    Second of two threads where the (Pun recycled ) strengths, weaknesses and misconceptions of local Nica building materials can be discussed..


    This is to do with blocks. Both the 24ish" LxW by 4ish" thick slab block and the stereotypical "Cinder" block.

    Which block is best suited for which application and/or location?

    What is the name for the reinforcing cement matrix that holds the 24" slab blocks. This is the vertical and horizontal rebared , 6ish" square typical in a 2'x2' or 3'x3' pattern?

    I have ran across a few articles that talk about bad tensile strength of the mix used in nica. How should one test their block source? I was thinking something like a hydrolic jack and a pressure gauge and crack known good one with that set up and compare against others..

    And again - are there any Nica block 101 guides or sites on successful use (spans, loads, morter etc etc)
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    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Common building material - Blocks - 101

    "Viga" is the term for the steel reinforced concrete seismic frame, which is usually a 6"x6" cross section. Depending on seismic zone, it's a grade beam, one or two horizontals, and a top beam.

    A 6" concrete masonry unit (CMU) which is nominally 6"x8" high x 16" long, or a piedra cantera (quarry stone), or brick are the usual infill materials.

    If you build a CMU wall without the seismic frame, it should be 8x8x16 block.

    A proper block plant will regularly test their materials and have written data on the tests.

    Whether any of this actually happens in Nicaragua is another question.

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    Default Re: Common building material - Blocks - 101

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    "Viga" is the term for the steel reinforced concrete seismic frame, which is usually a 6"x6" cross section. Depending on seismic zone, it's a grade beam, one or two horizontals, and a top beam.

    A 6" concrete masonry unit (CMU) which is nominally 6"x8" high x 16" long, or a piedra cantera (quarry stone), or brick are the usual infill materials.

    If you build a CMU wall without the seismic frame, it should be 8x8x16 block.

    A proper block plant will regularly test their materials and have written data on the tests.

    Whether any of this actually happens in Nicaragua is another question.
    Builders use to weld two 2"x6"xX", depends on the load and span, and seismic zone as you mentioned. You're right about masonry works as an infill. If you build a CMU wall without the seismic frame you must put rebars + concrete inside specifyc areas, like corners, windows and doors. The Nica code require a compresive strenght of 55kg/cm2 or 780 psi.
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    Default Re: Common building material - Blocks - 101

    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Default Re: Common building material - Blocks - 101

    that big crack down on concrete block was about 2 years ago... I wonder if they continue to make these busts on poor quality block manufacturers?

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    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Common building material - Blocks - 101

    Quote Originally Posted by tres frijoles View Post
    that was a big crack on concrete but it did have a little hair around it, it was about 2 years ago... I wonder if they continue to make these BUtts on poor quality block manufacturers?
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    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Common building material - Blocks - 101

    And a take away from this old thread - Start your sketch up drawing in imperial units....
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    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Common building material - Blocks - 101

    Ho hum, last finding on our current project is that 6x8x16 blocks come in different sizes! Both claim to be certified, although there is no marking or paperwork. Some are 1 cm wider (front to back) than others and the weight appears to be different, too. They all work, but not in the same wall. Best bet, get your whole load from the same supplier upfront. Look at the samples and hope for the best. Since they are not structural in normal Nic construction, its more a matter of cosmetics. They are just fill in between the vigas and pilares which are the structural components, kinda like post and beam but with cement instead of wood.

    Same deal on piedra cantera, it varies in quality between the different quarries. The good stuff we found has black inclusions and is hard and the corners sharp. The others are soft and the corners rapidly chipping. Hard to see the difference because they are covered with stone dust. When in doubt, get a sample and let the mason decide. Piedra is used below ground for water resistance and cost. Sometimes they are laid down acostado to serve as a footing between the concrete and iron zapatas. Above ground is kinda like "chef's surprise" for breakfast. They are cheaper than the other options and more durable than brick, which also varies in the extreme by source. Cheapest wall is unfinished brick. Once you repellar and afinar it it gets pricey, so piedra is generally the better bet.

    Part of Noc's backwardness is they don't use structral 8 inch block, although it has been used for quite some time in big projects in mga. I is unbelievable the waste in Nic. construction, time, labor, nails , and wood. We used 15 pounds of nails in our wall, and the finished wall has no nails. You get them back, bent and rusty, whoptydamdo.

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