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close this bookSoil Block Presses (GTZ, 1988, 38 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentTechnology
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CINVA- ram

Manual Block Presses Produced in Latin America 1

Apartado 11 798
Carrera 68B no. 18-30
Bogota, D.E.
Tel. 261 32 77, 261 13 15
Tlx. 43 247


The CINVA-Ram, which was designed by Raul Ramirez at the Inter-American Housing Center (CINVA) in 1956, is the oldest, truly low-cost, portable soil block press, and numerous manual presses produced in different parts of the world are based on the design and working principle of this machine.

The press, made entirely of steel, basically consists of a mould box with a cover, onto which a toggle lever is rolled. This is connected via a yoke to a piston below the mould box, which has a moveable base plate fixed to the piston. When the lever is pressed down, the piston moves upwards between two adjustable angles. The whole unit is mounted on a heavy wooden base board (about 300 x 20 x 5 cm) to provide stability during operation.

For the production of blocks and tiles, which have the same dimensions as the blocks but less thickness, inserts are provided to reduce the height. These are usually wooden blocks with a metal face and can have various shapes (so called "frogs") to produce bricks with recesses, grooves, cavities, etc. for special uses.

The CINVA-Ram is also distributed by: Schrader-Bellows Inc. 200 W Exchange Street Akron, Ohio 44309, U.S.A.

Operating the CINVA-Ram

In the vertical position, the lever arm is fixed to the yoke by means of a latch. These are pulled back together and the mould cover swung open. After greasing the sides of the mould, the soil mix is filled in, making sure that the corners are properly filled and slightly compressed by hand. When swinging back the mould cover the surplus soil is removed.

The lever is brought back to the vertical position and the latch released. The lever arm is then pulled down on the side opposite to its previous position, to compress the block. When the block is fully compacted, the lever arm is swung back over the mould to its position during filling.

The mould cover is opened and the lever arm depressed further until the block is completely ejected and held in this position until it is removed from the press and placed on edge at the curing site.


Technical Details

Size of machine (length x width x height)

41 x 25 x 51 cm (16 x 10 x 20 in)

Weight of machine

58 kg

Size of crate for shipment

29 x 70 x 49 cm (12 x 28 x 19 in)

Weight of packed machine

67 kg

Standard block size (single mould)


29 x 14 x 9 cm (11.5 x 5.5 x 3.5 in)


29x 14x3.8cm(11.5x5.5xl.5in)

Maximum nominal compaction force

18 tonnes

Nominal compaction pressure

4.4 N/mm² (630 p.s.i.)

Compression ratio

1.7: 1

Energy input/transmission


No. of blocks per cycle/output rate


1 / 37 blocks per hour


1 / 60 blocks per hour

Labour force required (incl. excavation and mixing)

4 men

Price (ex works)


35500 Col. $ (approx. 230 US$)

valid January 1988

(Discount of 30 US$ per unit for purchases of 10 units or more.

Shipping cost for export are at buyer's expense.

Col.$ = Colombian Dollars

Spare parts, replacements and technical advice available on request.)