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RE: CMU California Practice in the 1950's

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We have used a thermal imaging camera on one job. We were able to see all the cells in real time on the LCD screen while moving the camera or by taking still pictures of an entire wall elevation.


Oshin Tosounian, S.E.

Los Angeles, CA



From: Harold Sprague [mailto:spraguehope(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Tuesday, May 05, 2009 7:21 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: CMU California Practice in the 1950's


Yes.  Sounding walls is possible, but requires verification by drilling a hole.  That is not a big deal.  I was just trying to find out what the practice was from 1,500 miles from the project site and having to go through all of the hoops to get into the facility. 
I will verify whether or not the cells are filled in the field. 

Regards, Harold Sprague


From: thorm(--nospam--at)
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Re: CMU California Practice in the 1950's
Date: Thu, 30 Apr 2009 07:42:51 -0700

Sorry if this is repetetively redundant by now--tried to send on Monday, but was having list issues.  Have not seen other comments on "sounding" CMU walls to find un-grouted vs. grouted cells.




        ---Original Message---




You can tell by "sounding" the wall which cells are grouted.  Tap the wall with a hammer--the grouted cells sound very different than the ungrouted ones.   Note:  If you're not on site, this method doesn't help you much....


I inspected a CMU addition in Lompoc built in the 50s or 60s and it was only grouted where the reinforcing was.


One reason solid-grouting became common is that it's less labor-intensive than blocking off the cells below your horizontal reinforcement--plus you can do high-lift grouting instead of having to grout every horizontal rebar course before continuing to lay block.  If you're using ready-mix trucks, you only bring them in once for grouting when the wall is topped out.


Best wishes,


Thor Matteson


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