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Mix Design Options

Here are the Top 3 considerations that you should keep in mind when selecting a mix design:


The “Basis of Design” for your next project should include regionally available materials. A general rule of thumb is to select a manufacturing plant that is within a few hundred miles of your project as concrete is heavy and you want to reduce transportation costs.



You should consider the available admixtures, you wish to include in your mix design. A number of advancements have been made in the areas of moisture control, specified block strength, carbon sequestration, and a number of specialty finishes. And because these admixtures must be included at the time of manufacturing, it is important to make decisions about admixtures very early in the design process. A few of the admixture options are explained in more detail below, and you should strongly consider reviewing all of your options with a product expert, prior to finalizing your mix design selection.



You might have to customize your mix design, which can be especially helpful when matching an existing CMU building. Occasionally you may need to match an existing facility, for which the block used cannot be identified. With the help of our internal lab teams, we are able to “reverse engineer” most existing mix designs, allowing us to develop viable matches to block across a range of densities, colors and textures. Using a “Test Batch Method”, we can produce a range of options on both sides of a target mix design, and can review those options with your team. Although this process is not necessarily a big cost factor, (and it occurs more frequently than you might think), it is important that you factor in a time allowance to explore the possible match options. Lead times can vary depending on the production schedule at the time of your inquiry, so please contact a product expert for assistance with this option as early in your design process as possible.

Admixtures to consider

Integral Water Repellant (“IWR”)
When it comes to moisture protection, you can specify an integral water repellant in both your block and in your mortar. The IWR increases resistance to wind-driven rain, moisture penetration, and reduces efflorescence.
More information is available in the Specifications section of this website. 

Additional Cement for Higher Strength Block
The strength of your block can be increased to meet the specified strength requirements of your project, however, this is a decision that must be made prior to placing a block order. Mix designs can be modified to increase the amount of cement, which has two primary effects: increased strength, and a smoother/tighter finish. Consult with your local product expert for more information on block strength.

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