Nils Gore, Assistant Professor

Concrete Lab 3f: Understanding Masonry Systems

In the previous concrete block labs, we started developing a working knowledge of :

1. The potential constituents of a concrete masonry block (Lab 3a);

2. The consequences of different mixes of those constituents (Lab 3b, Lab 3c);

3. The ability to look at the products from a variety of viewpoints (strength, finish, color, density) through a rigorous(!) testing process (Lab 3d).

4. The potential for our initial investigations to be adapted to a different production system (the Cinva-Ram) (Lab 3e).

For the final lab project of the semester we will begin to understand how the cinva blocks can be deployed in a system, looking at system issues such as reinforcing, constructibility, and interface with other system components. This final project will be worth the equivalent of 3 lab grades.

As we agreed in class, the lab will be due on May 8th at 3:00, in room 40. There will be no late entries accepted.

For this lab, you will make a total of 10 blocks, in 5 categories (2 blocks per category). You will also supply the results of your design process (spreadsheet data, FormZ models, sketches, etc. As always, presentation of this information is important.)

Design Criteria are as follows: (Substantial bonus points will be awarded to the "winner" in each category.)

1. Strength. Make two identical blocks which are capable of withstanding high compressive strength.

2. Looks. Make two identical blocks which have the smoothest finish and the best overall looks. (no broken corners, chipped edges, etc.)

3. Color/Finish. Make two identical blocks which have a color/finish substantially different than the body on one face. (Think about how Columbus brick alters the face of the brick by adding colorants to the surface of the brick. There is a Cinva link which talks about this)

4. Assembly. Make two identical blocks which would simplify the assembly of a wall. (For instance, think about how indentations could be cast into the surface which would "lock" together individual blocks.)

5. Reinforcing. Make two identical blocks which will allow the introduction of steel and grout to permit a reinforced wall.

There will be a sign-up schedule for the machine to avoid conflicts.