Blockpaving is as old as civilization. Segmental stone paving, thousands of years old, may be seen around the Mediterranean at the present time. Right up to the end of the 19th century, permanent paving was generally surfaced with stone or hardwood blocks.
Modern techniques for precision production of concrete paving stones were first developed in western Europe during the 1950s. Combining the unique centuries- proven benefits of stone paving with the quality and economy of modem technology sparked a major revival of block paving, which has now spread throughout the world.
There are a wide range of applications including malls, public forecourts. motorway on/off ramps, suburban streets, driveways, footpaths, residential patios, carparking areas, airports and container parks.
Advantages of Concrete Block Paving
Two major advantages of concrete block paving are aesthetic appeal and high strength. Interlocking paving has human scale, texture, pattern, and a sense of direction. It is often used for these reasons alone. Its high quality concrete riding surface also offers superior durability, skid resistance, abrasion and scuffing residence.
Since a concrete block paving surface is composed of many small segments separated by fine joints. It combines the virtues of a hard concrete surface with a degree of flexibility. Therefore, cracking of blocks is fairly rare and does not usually affect structural capacity.
Any damage that does occur is localized and readily repaired, if required for aesthetic purposes. On the other hand, compared with asphalt or chip seal surfacings, concrete pavers are very hard and are highly resistant to damage by heavy concentrated loads, (For example, those caused by Cargo container corner castings, trailer support legs etc). These properties are appropriate to the most severe service conditions such as those found in freight depots, container parks, logging yards etc.
Interlocking paving blocks can be lifted and relaid. Carefully relaying can be made without visible discontinuities, colour changes, textural or level differences to indicate where the work has been done. Relaying also does not reduce the structural value of the pavement. Little material cost is involved if interlocking paving is opened to permit repair to underground services, or when surface deformations are corrected by lifting or re-leveling of the sub-base, or if the pavement is removed to a new location. Therefore concrete blockpaving is ideal for temporary paving layout. On sites where future traffic loads or ground stability are uncertain, interlocking paving maybe installed with confidence, because subsequent surface deformations may be restored with virtually full utilization of the original paving stones.
Interlocking paving does not require expensive construction plant, and with good supervision, unskilled labour may be used. It can be laid in small or large areas at any time and if necessary stopped at any stage, it can also be used immediately after laying. These features are of great convenience to the home do-it yourselfer. They are also valuable in an industrial situation, because the pavement construction can be easily phased in with other on-site operations.