Concrete blocks, additionally known as Concrete stonework Units or CMUs, provide an extremely durable structural and non-structural partitions. They are typically used as a backup wall that gets extended with a end up material or exposed in utilitarian spaces like mechanical rooms or basements. They deserve to be painted to provide a cleaner finish, however they are likewise manufactured with various finishes that aid improve the aesthetic top quality over the traditional gray CMU.

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Nominal vs. Actual Dimensions

As with brick, CMUs have actual dimensions and also nominal dimensions. The nominal dimension that a CMU is the actual dimension add to the broad of the mortar joint. Usual CMU mortar joints room 3/8". The nominal measurement works in ~ the 4" grid the other building materials follow. The graphic below shows the difference between nominal and actual sizes.

Concrete Block - nominal vs really Dimensions

Concrete Block (CMU) Sizes

Concrete masonry Units (CMUs) are made in a variety of sizes. Castle are identified by your depth – i.e. The thickness the the wall they create. Because that instance, a 6" CMU is nominally 6" deep when a 10" CMU is nominally 10" deep.

Concrete blocks additionally come in half-sizes, which are helpful in to reduce the need to cut blocks in the ar at corners or the finish of walls. The architect should always attempt to architecture buildings utilizing the nominal dimensions to the nearest half-block size to alleviate waste and also labor due to cut blocks.

The complying with table gives concrete block size in both nominal and actual dimensions. When 4", 6", 8", 10", and 12" space the conventional sizes, some manufacturers offer other sizes not noted below.

CMU SizeNominal DimensionsD x H x LActual DimensionsD x H x L
4" CMU full Block4" x 8" x 16"3 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 15 5/8"
4" CMU Half-Block4" x 8" x 8"3 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 7 5/8"
6" CMU full Block6" x 8" x 16"5 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 15 5/8"
6" CMU Half-Block6" x 8" x 8"5 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 7 5/8"
8" CMU full Block8" x 8" x 16"7 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 15 5/8"
8" CMU Half-Block8" x 8" x 8"7 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 7 5/8"
10" CMU full Block10" x 8" x 16"9 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 15 5/8"
10" CMU Half-Block10" x 8" x 8"9 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 7 5/8"
12" CMU complete Block12" x 8" x 16"11 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 15 5/8"
12" CMU Half-Block12" x 8" x 8"11 5/8" x 7 5/8" x 7 5/8"

Concrete stonework Unit (CMU) Specifications

CMU manufacturers need to conform come ASTM standards once fabricating concrete blocks. The standards identify suitable materials, compressive strength, dimensional tolerance, humidity absorption, and other performance characteristics.

Concrete brick is made from concrete comparable to concrete block, however concrete bricks space fabricated in sizes the match timeless clay bricks (i.e. 2 2/3" tall).

The weight of concrete masonry units varies depending on the thickness of concrete mix used. There are three classifications of CMU: lightweight (less 보다 105 lb/ft3), medium weight (between 105 lb/ft3 and 125 lb/ft, and also normal weight (more than 125 lb/ft3. Lighter CMUs are much less expensive, require much less labor come install, and tend come have far better fire resistance properties. More heavier units often tend to minimize sound transmission, have actually much greater compressive strengths, and have higher thermal storage capacity; however, lock are an ext expensive and cost much more to install. Architects should specify the CMU weight if a particular weight is required.

The following table provides the ASTM criter that use to concrete masonry units. ASTM C90 covers most conventional CMU construction and is the traditional referenced through the ICC codes.

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ASTM DesigntaionType that CMU
ATSM C55Concrete Brick
ASTM C73Calcium Silicate challenge Brick
ASTM C90Load Bearing Concrete stonework Units
ASTM C139CMUs for construction of capture Basins and Manholes
ASTM C744Prefaced Concrete and also Calcium Silicate masonry Units
ASTM C936Solid Interlocking Concrete Paving Units
ASTM C1372Segmental Retaining wall surface Units

Concrete stonework Unit (CMU) Shapes

There room an almost infinite variety of CMU shapes available. The images below cover the most typical shapes, however you should check with your neighborhood CMU manufacturer if you require special forms or finishes.