In construction world, both cinder block and concrete block are used interchangeably even if they are entirely different products. Even though they look alike, they are not the same.
I am here to help to understand what actually is a cinder block and how does it differ from concrete blocks. 

What are Cinder Blocks?

Cinder blocks are concrete blocks that are made out of fly ashes or coal cinder materials instead of sand or gravel. Hence, the composition of cinder blocks are:

  1. Water
  2. Cement
  3. Ash 
Cinder Block; Image Courtesy:

They are basically light in weight and light in load carrying capacity which make it suitable to construct garden or retaining wall. But, don’t ever imagine the use of cinder blocks in substantial construction projects.

Features of Cinder Blocks

  • The cinder blocks mainly have a hollow rectangle shaped structured. They come in following shape and dimensions as per ASTM 90 Specifications.
  • The strength of cinder blocks is less that restricts its use in all places.
  • The cinder blocks are subjected to buckling or bowing whose repair is costly.
  • It lacks sufficient tensile strength.
  • Strength of Cinder Blocks in Construction
The cinder blocks are constructed with open cells. These cells can either take reinforcement or additional concrete to increase the resistance of the unit.