Padstones are specialised high-density concrete blocks
Precast concrete padstones are an important part of today’s construction methods. The function of a padstone is to provide a solid foundation or pad for a lintel or steel beam (RSJ, Universal Beam, Universal Column, Parallel Flange Channel) so that the load is distributed evenly across the surrounding block or brick structure (which would not commonly cope with the high loads imposed).
This weight would impose a devastating, crushing force on the blocks directly contacted by the lintel if padstones were not there. Padstones, on the other hand, are formed of a denser, more durable material than regular blockwork. Padstones are made of 50kN/m2 concrete and are designed to take a lot of weight from above and distribute it evenly across the blockwork below, preventing cracks and structural damage.
What size Padstone do I need?
The required size of a padstone depends on the amount of load, the area of the beam which is bearing on the wall, and on the compressive strength (usually in N/mm2, where N = Newtons, which is a measurement of the force applied by the weight of an object due to (multiplied by) gravity) of both the padstone and the masonry below, the latter of which is factored to take account of aspects such as the mortar type and format of masonry units (eg standard bricks or blocks, or hollow blocks).
The engineer’s specification and blueprints should ideally specify the padstone size. You can’t cut a pre-made padstone down to size since the compressive strength of the block will be compromised.
Your Structural Engineer should be able to recommend the sizes of the concrete padstones required for your project but you can also contact us so we can provide the necessary advice when it comes to padstone design and specification.