The Names For Concrete Blocks

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About The Many Names For Concrete Blocks

As we’ve mentioned before, concrete blocks have all sorts of styles, properties, sizes, shapes, and names. The names have such variation from block to block. Each block can receive a name for a number of different reasons. It could be because of the concrete block shape, a special design or characteristic the concrete block may have, or a certain origin a concrete block may have. It all really varies from block to block. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different concrete block types, all with their own set of unique and altering names. Below we will discuss, more in depth, some of the concrete block types that possess some unique names and how they possibly received their names. If you have any questions about any of the following information regarding concrete block names, uses, sizes, shapes, etc. please feel free to give us a call. We’d love to chat. Anyways, here are a few brief explanations of the commonly used concrete blocks and their names.


Bin Blocks

First off, we will discuss the concrete block type named “bin blocks”. These blocks can be used in a multitude of ways, but the most common way they are usually used is to create storage bins, as their name implies. These bins can be created with all shapes, sizes, and shapes, able to hold anything you could think of, in a whole bunch of different locations. Therefore, we can only assume that bin blocks received their special name based on their uses: to create very handy storage bins.

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Concrete Barrier Blocks

Much like bin blocks, concrete barrier blocks most likely received their name from their uses as well. Which, as their name states, are used as barriers. These barriers, made from these special blocks, can be used on so many different job sites and even on your own personal property. They can be used for protection for a number of utilities, propane and/or fuel tanks, or to close off, or secure, certain areas of property, land, or parking lots. They can be used in construction zones where cars may be present in order to redirect or block traffic. Again, we can only assume that these blocks simply came from the many uses they have as barriers.

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Mafia Blocks

Our best guess when it comes to mafia blocks is that the name originates in the New Jersey or New York area. Concrete block production in these areas used to be pretty controlled by the mafia, therefore, it is likely a block became nicknamed “mafia block” for that purpose. These blocks are used mostly on infrastructures for highways and bridges. They are usually used as dead weight on these types of constructions. When thinking of these blocks, I occasionally think of “cement shoes”, which were sometimes used for body disposal and murder in the mafia gang community. So, we aren’t one hundred percent sure about how the mafia concrete block’s got their name; but based off of mafia interference previously with the concrete industry within New York and New Jersey, I think it is safe to say it is a reasonable explanation of the concrete mafia block name.

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Ecology Blocks

These concrete blocks are most likely named after the method used in order to create these blocks, as the process involves recycling. Producers use excess and leftover concrete from a number of different job sites in order to fill the concrete block molds. By utilizing leftover concrete instead of letting it go to waste, it helps recycle and protect the environment. Normally, we wouldn’t really think of concrete being something you can recycle, but it is, and it can be very beneficial for the environment, for concrete block producing, and for the concrete block industry as a whole. So, therefore, these blocks can be referred to as “ecology blocks”, reminding you with every mention of their name, that you are making a responsible decision to help support the recycling of concrete products.

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Bunker Blocks

Well, since every other concrete block name seems to deem from their uses, we can most likely assume the same for this block as well. As far as I know, no one has ever made a bunker out of these blocks, but who knows? Besides the rare, and unlikely, possibility of being used for a bunker, these blocks do come in handy for protecting outdoor agricultural areas by helping to maintain small hills or slopes of earth and to block dirt from moving downwards, if used in a ditch or tunnel. They can be used in landscaping or supply yards as retaining walls, much like the concrete barrier blocks. But, since these blocks are different, they are regarded as bunker blocks instead, providing less confusion between the references of the two. 

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Interlocking Concrete V-Blocks

The name of this block actually comes from the characteristics of this block, not exactly its uses, unlike many of the other blocks we have discussed thus far. The block comes equipped with a v shaped wedge on the top and side of the block, along with a reverse version of that wedge on the bottom and opposite side. These special wedges enable each of these concrete blocks to interlock. This amazing feature can be quite useful in a handful of different construction projects. The wedges enable the concrete blocks to simply slide and latch together, interlocking them into whatever way you need them to. Therefore, that is why they have received the name “interlocking concrete v-blocks”.

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Lego Blocks

Everyone once played with legos right? The little, interlocking plastic bricks that we would use to create whatever our child heart desired? Yep, that’s essentially what these blocks are, except much more life size and “life weight”. These concrete blocks are named after their resemblance to the classic lego toys, having a normal rectangular shape, along with little cylindrical shapes on top of the block. These cylindrical shapes allow the blocks to interlock together, creating the same effect as the toy bricks. They can help create basic walls and many other constructions. So, it would make sense we would name them after the mini version of these blocks that we are all familiar with, right? 

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Knob Blocks

These blocks look actually a bit similar to the lego blocks mentioned above, being equipped with a special shape on top of the block used for interlocking together. Therefore, I believe that these blocks are also named after their interlocking feature.

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Large Concrete Retaining Wall Blocks 

This block’s name comes from its size and use. The block does not really have a universally known name, because it can vary from place to place and jobsite to jobsite. These blocks are used to create retaining walls, much like concrete barrier blocks. They are used in all sorts of projects, big and small. But again, as mentioned before this block’s name comes from its size, (large), and its use, (retaining walls). 

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Waste Blocks

These blocks are actually quite similar to ecology blocks because they are created from excess concrete from different job sites. Extra, seemingly-useless concrete block pieces are utilized to fill concrete block molds and forms to create brand new blocks, ready for use. By creating blocks with this method, it enables the price of these recycled concrete blocks to be lowered a lot, compared to that of brand new, un-recycled concrete blocks. 

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Gravity Wall Blocks

This block name comes from the uses of these blocks, similar to some of the other concrete block names. The “gravity wall” that these concrete blocks create is a special type of retaining wall that is essentially greater than the force of whatever the wall is withstanding, supporting, or holding back. Because of this, the blocks became nicknamed “gravity wall blocks” because of the way the blocks use gravity as their friend, in order to be put to good and efficient use. 

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So, as we’ve seen and learned, these block names can be derived from a multitude of things, their shape, their size, their uses, their origins, and so on. Each of these blocks has some of its own unique characteristics and uses, which characterize each block into the special block that it is, and this helps eventually create a name for these blocks. Surprisingly, each of these particular blocks could be known as something completely different in an alternate location or country. Sometimes block referral can become a little bit confusing with all the block names out there, but the names above are the block names we will typically use within our area of business and production. All names aside, each of these types of blocks are equally important because they each serve different purposes for a multitude of different projects and construction zones. If you have any questions regarding any of these block names, uses, sizes, shapes, or anything for that matter, please feel free to give us a call. We would love to chat with you about all things concrete blocks.