Here are the Top 3 issues that you should keep in mind when selecting a block pattern:
1. Most patterns (scores, deep scores, flutes, and combs) are part of the manufacturing process and accurate information must be developed early in the design stage. The score and flute patterns are typically cast into the block as part of the form. Comb Face patterns are produced by a mechanical come after the block is released from the mold. Some scores can be "wheel cut", which means that rather than being cast into the block shape, they are cut into the face of a block after it is fully cured. You should note that there is a visible difference between a cast score or a cut score.
2. Patterns can be produced in the vertical direction of the block face, but are NOT available in a horizontal direction. CMU is made by pouring a mix design into a steel mold, which then uses a vertical motion to release the block from the mold. Because of this, only vertical features can be cast into the block. Until further advancements allow, be sure to specify textures as vertical. .Consult your local product expert for more information on your available pattern options.
3. There are a variety of pattern options available, yet some regional markets offer more than others. Be sure to review the available pattern options in the specific region of your project, by contacting your local product expert for further clarification.
Let's take a closer look at the available Pattern Options:
Single and Multi-Score
“Scored” units are available in a range of options, the most standard of which is intended to simulate a vertical mortar joint(s) on the face of the block, to appear as though there are several smaller sized units being used, while still allowing construction using full-sized units. For example, an 8 x 8 x 16 unit with a single score up the middle of the face, looks like two 8” long units, rather than one 16” long unit, whereas an 8 x 8 x 16 unit with three scores, looks like four 4” long units are used. Scored units may also be available in 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 11 scores per unit.
Scores are available as “STANDARD”, “TAPERED”, and “DEEP SCORE”. Standard scores are typically 3/8” wide and 3/8” deep (emulating a typical mortared head joint). Tapered scores are 3/4” wide, tapering to 3/8” wide, and are 5/8” deep. Deep Scores, (also called “1-inch scores”) are 1” wide and 1” deep. Deep Score units must be manufactured in a wider block width, to allow for the deep score to be achieved, while maintaining the minimum required face shell thickness.
The comb face pattern is unique, as it is slightly irregular in the spacing of the vertical striations. The effect is produced by raising the teeth of a mechanical comb vertically against the face of a precision unit, prior to being cured. As the unit cures, it holds the irregular comb pattern. This texture is common on perimeter property walls. An additional attribute to consider is that the pattern is very similar to an "integral scratch coat", over which a cementitious finish can be added. (For example, if the lower portion of a wall was intended to be split face block, with a stucco finish on the upper half, one could simply build the entire wall in CMU, using split face on the bottom, and comb face on the top, with a stucco finish directly applied).
Below are a few examples of patterns, including Single-Score, 5-Score, Comb Face and 5-Deep Score, respectively,
“Fluted” units are among the most expressive options in CMU. The term “flute”, refers to the deep void, cast into the face of the unit, which results in a series of projections, or “ribs”. The size, depth and quantity of the flutes are available in several options, and the face texture can be either Precision or Split Face. The flutes and ribs are always in a vertical orientation and horizontal flutes and ribs are not currently an option.
Fluted units typically have an equal number of flutes and ribs, (for example, a unit with four ribs, requires three flutes in the middle of the unit, and two “half” flutes at each end, thus 3 + ½ + ½ = 4 flutes). Fluted units are available with 4, 6 and 8 vertical flutes/ribs.
Much like Deep Score units, Fluted units must be manufactured in a wider block width, to allow for the deep flute to be achieved, while maintaining the minimum required face shell thickness.
Below are a few examples of patterns, including 3-Deep Score and 4-Flute CMU, respectively,
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