Bond Beams, Lintels, and Sills

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Figure 8-26.-Installed precast concrete sills. BOND BEAMS, LINTELS, AND SILLS Bond beams are reinforced courses of block that bond  and  integrate  a  concrete  masonry  wall  into  a stronger unit. They increase the bending strength of the wall and are particularly needed to resist the high winds  of  hurricanes  and  earthquake  forces.  In addition,  they  exert  restraint  against  wall  movement, reducing  the  formation  of  cracks. Bond beams are constructed with special-shape masonry  units  (beam  and  lintel  block)  filled  with concrete  or  grout  and  reinforced  with  embedded  steel bars. These beams are usually located at the top of walks  to  stiffen  them.  Since  bond  beams  have appreciable structural strength, they can be located to serve as lintels over doors and windows. Figure 8-24 shows the use of lintel blocks to place a lintel over a metal door, using the door case for support. Lintels should have a minimum bearing of 6 inches at each end. A rule of thumb is to provide 1 inch of bearing for every foot of clear space. When bond beams are located  just  above  the  floor,  they  act  to  distribute  the wall weight (making the wall a deep beam) and thus help avoid wall cracks if the floor sags. Bond beams may also be located below a window sill. Modular  door  and  window  openings  usually require lintels to support the blocks over the openings. You  can  use  precast  concrete  lintels  (figure  8-25, view  1)  that  contain  an  offset  on  the  underside (view  2)  to  fit  the  modular  openings.  You  can  also use steel lintel angles that you install with an offset on the  underside  (view  3)  to  fit  modular  openings.  In either case, place a noncorroding metal plate under the lintel ends at the control joints to allow the lintel to slip  and  the  control  joints  to  function  properly.  Apply a  full  bed  of  mortar  over  the  metal  plate  to  uniformly distribute the lintel load. You usually install precast concrete sills (figure 8-26)   following   wall   construction.   Fill   the   joints tightly  at  the  ends  of  the  sills  with  mortar  or  a caulking   compound. PIERS AND PILASTERS Piers are isolated columns of masonry, whereas pilasters  are  columns  or  thickened  wall  sections  built contiguous  to  and  forming  part  of  a  masonry  wall. 8-21

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