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close this bookSoil Block Presses (GTZ, 1988, 38 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentTechnology
View the documentEquipment
View the documentCriteria for selection and purchase
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CTA triple - block press

Manual Block Presses Produced in Latin America 3

Universidad Catolica
"Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion"
Centro de Tecnologia Apropiada
Casilla de Correos 1718
Tel. 31274


The CTA Triple-Block Press is a modified version of the CINVA-Ram, designed to produce three soil blocks per cycle. It was developed in 1982 by Thomas Gieth and Jorge Abatte of the Centre for Appropriate Technology, Asuncion.

The principal features of the CTA Block Press are the same as those of the CINVA-Ram, except that the mould box is much larger and divided into three sections by means of two steel plate dividers. By using the full mould space and special inserts, a great variety of components, such as large sized blocks, hollow or specially shaped blocks for earthquake resistant constructions, floor tiles and even roof tiles, can be produced.

The telescope-type lever arm consists of a 1 metre long casing of square cross-section, with a circular section pipe that can be pulled out as required, up to about 50 cm, depending on the height of the operator. The round inner component was chosen to avoid excessive friction or jamming due to earth falling between the sliding surfaces. All lever operations are carried out on one side of the press.

Operating the CTA Triple-Block Press

The procedure of blockmaking is the same as with the CINVA-Ram, except that prior to filling the mould, the two plate dividers have to be inserted in the slits.

Apart from producing three blocks per cycle, the use of the dividers has the additional advantage that the piston and base plate can only move up to the lower edges of the dividers, thus producing blocks of identical dimensions. This serves as an in-built quality control. Furthermore, straight and faultless edges are achieved by pulling out the dividers before opening the cover to eject the compacted blocks.

Another quality factor is the use of frogs, which penetrate more than half the height of the blocks, thus compacting them from within. This way bricks of relatively uniform density are obtained, approaching the quality of doubly compacted bricks.

Technical Details

Size of machine (length x width x height)

36 x 48 x 56 cm (14.2 x 18.9 x 22 in)

Weight of machine

121 kg

Size of crate for shipment

46 x 60 x 66 cm (18 x 24 x 26 in)

Weight of packed machine

140 kg

Standard block size (triple mould), each

24 x 11.5 x 11.3 cm (9.5 x 4.5 x 4.4 in)

Maximum nominal compaction force

11.6 tonnes

Nominal compaction pressure

1.4 N/mm² (200 p.s.i.)

Compression ratio

1.81: 1

Energy input/transmission


No. of blocks per cycle/output rate

3 / 130 - 170 blocks per hour

Labour force required (incl. excavation and mixing)

4 - 6 men

Price (ex works)

CTA Triple-Block Press

400000 ¢ (approx. 500 US$)

valid June 1988

¢ = Guarani