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ALTERNATIVE BUILDING MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES (Elective)

(Theory)
Course Code: 10CVA553 CIE Marks: 100
Hrs/Week: L:T:P : 3:0:0 SEE Marks: 100
Credits: 03 SEE Duration: 3 Hrs
Course Learning Objectives:
To study process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a
building's life-cycle.
To study innovative solutions using state-of-the-art technologies and building materials.
To study how to minimize environmental impact, facilities should use materials that have
been recycled and can generate a surplus of energy.
To study the behavior of structural masonry.
To study the cost effective alternative building technology and design.
To induce sustainable and inclusive technology.
Unit I 06 Hrs
Introduction: Energy in building materials, Environmental issues concerned to
building materials, Global warming and construction industry, Environmental
friendly and cost effective building technologies, Requirements for building of
different climatic regions, Traditional building methods and vernacular architecture
.

Unit II 08 Hrs
Alternative Building Materials: Characteristics of building blocks for walls,
Stones and Laterite blocks, Bricks and hollow clay blocks, Concrete blocks,
Stabilized blocks: mud blocks, steam cured blocks, Fal-G Blocks.

Unit III 08 Hrs
Alternative Building Technologies
Alternative Technology for wall construction, Types, Construction method,
Masonry mortars, Types, Preparation, Properties, Ferro cement and ferroconcrete
building, components, Materials and specifications, Properties, Construction
methods, Applications, Alternative roofing systems-Concepts, Filler slabs,
Composite beam panel roofs, Masonry vaults and domes.

Unit IV 08 Hrs
Structural Masonry: Compressive strength of masonry elements, Factors affecting
compressive strength, Strength of units, prisms / wallettes and walls, Effect of brick
work bond on strength, Bond strength of masonry: Flexure and shear, Elastic
properties of masonry materials and masonry

Unit V 06 Hrs
Cost Effective Building Design: Cost concepts in buildings, Cost saving
techniques in planning, design and construction Cost analysis: Case studies using
alternatives.


Course outcomes:
After going through this course the student will be able to:
Student should be able to understand the environmental impact of conventional
building materials and need for alternative materials . Students should be able
understand the need for sustainable and inclusive technology.
Should be able to design cost effective building planning, design and
construction. Should be able to understand the behavior of structural masonry
when subjected to various loadings on it.


Reference Books
1. K.S.Jagadish ,B.V.Venkataramareddy and K.S.Nanjunda Rao ., Alternative building
Materials and Technologies New Age International Publishers. 2009;ISBN 978-81-
224-2037-1, Unit I-V
2. K.S .Jagadish, Building Alternatives for housing. Lecture notes on Alternative Building,
Dept of Civil Engg, Indian Institute of Science ,1997, Unit I-V
3. A.W.Hendry, Structural Masonry Macmillan Press, London, ISBN 9780333733097,
Unit I-V
4. Sven Sahlin, Structural Masonry, Prentice Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey,
ISBN 9780138539375, Unit I-V
5. IS: 1905; 1997 Indian standard Specification For Code Of Practice for Structural Use Of
Unreinforced Masonry.
Scheme of Continuous Internal Evaluation:
CIE consists of Three Tests each for 45 marks (15 marks for Quiz + 30 marks for descriptive)
out of which best of two will be considered. In addition there will be one seminar on new
topics / model presentation etc. for 10 marks.
Scheme of Semester End Examination:
The question paper consists of Part A and Part B. Part A will be for 20 marks covering the
complete syllabus and is compulsory. Part B will be for 80 marks and shall consist of five
questions (descriptive, analytical, problems or/and design) carrying 16 marks each. All five
from Part B will have internal choice and one of the two have to be answered compulsorily.




INTRODUCTION
Although the Indian economy uses both commercial and non-commercial energy sources, the
share of these fuels in the primary energy supply has declined from over 70% in the early 50's to
a little over 30% as of today. The traditional fuels are gradually getting replaced by the
commercial fuels such as coal, lignite, petroleum products, natural gas and electricity The
ominous outcry for energy crisis in various sectors like agriculture, transportation, land use and
built environment are widely recognized during the past couple of decades as a threat for the
future generation.

Building Industry is one of the fastest growing and a major energy consuming sector in India.
Needless to say, the buildings too form a link in the energy-spatial structure relationship. Apart
from the structural and functional efficiencies, building infrastructure also needs to emphasize on
the energy conservation issues. The energy in buildings may be looked from two different
perspectives. Firstly the energy that goes into the construction of the building using a variety of
materials. Secondly the energy that is required to create a comfortable environment within the
building during its lifetime. Quite a few studies regarding the energy consumed during the
maintenance of the building (heating, cooling and lighting) have been published. However the
assessment of the embodied energy in buildings is still in its nascent stage in India and requires
serious research.
Need for Energy Efficient Buildings The International Energy Report (IER) 1987 points out
Investment in energy conservation at a margin provides a better return than investment in
energy supply. The concept of green buildings is still at an emerging stage in India. The concept
of sustainable buildings and use of environmentally friendly construction materials like stones,
timber, thatch, mud etc have been practiced since ancient times. But the perception of people
about strong and durable buildings have changed with the advent and lavish use of the present
modern materials like steel, cement, aluminium, glass etc. A large amount of fuel energy gets
consumed.in producing such materials. These materials being industrial products further need to
be transported to large distances before getting consumed in the buildings thus making them
energy intensive. An estimate of the energy consumed in buildings using different permutations
of materials and techniques will facilitate their appropriate selection and reduce the embodied
energy consumption .
Some of the salient features to optimize the energy consumption in buildings are to:
1. Minimal disturbance to landscape and site conditions
2. Use of renewable energy
3. Use of water recycling
4. Use of environmental friendly building materials
5. Effective controls for lighting and temperature for human comfort
Energy and Building Materials

Constructions consume a variety of building materials. Abundant raw materials are to be
transported from far off distances to the industry which requires further processing thus
consuming primary and commercial resources. The finished products from the industry further
need to be distributed to the local areas and construction sites which increase the pressure on the
commercial fuels like petrol/diesel etc.
The most common building materials used in construction activity today are cement, steel,
bricks, stones, glass, aluminium, timber, etc. The estimates of the energy consumed in the
manufacture/extraction of a few major building materials chosen from various sources have been
discussed below.
i) Cement
The principal methods for the manufacture of the Portland cement are
1) Wet process,
2) Dry process,
3) Semi dry process.
The dry process is preferred on account of very significant fuel economy. The dry process is
adopted in most of the cement industries. The heat energy required per Kg of the clinker in dry
process is
1.57 2.35 MJ/Kg while in wet process it is about 2.6 4.2 (MJ/Kg). The highest value of 4.2
MJ/Kg has
ii) Steel
The transportation of various raw materials like Iron ore lumps, sinters and pellets, coke and
fluxes such as limestone, dolomite and the various processes like Melting, Refining, Casting,
Rolling makes steel as an highly energy intensive material. The total energy in steel is estimated
to be 36MJ/Kg, including transportation.
iii) Bricks
The manual production of the bricks involves mainly four operations namely, Soil preparation,
Moulding, Drying and Firing. The main process in which energy is consumed is firing of bricks.
The amount of total coal required is about 18 tonnes to 22 tonnes depending upon the weather
condition, quality of coal, etc. A tonne of coal gives about 12.3MJ to 13.3MJ depending upon
quality of the coal generally transported from far off distances. The energy required to produce
each brick inclusive of transportation comes to about 5MJ per brick.
iv) Glass
Raw materials used in Manufacture of glass are 1) Glass sand 2) Soda ash 3) Salt cake 4) Lime
stone 5) Lead oxides, pearl ash, boric acid, etc. The various processes used are 1) Melting. 2)
Shaping or Forming 3) Annealing 4) Finishing The embodied energy of glass is some what high
due to melting process comes out
to be 15.9 MJ/ Kg.
Embodied Energy is the sum of all the energy required to produce goods or services, considered
as if that energy was incorporated or 'embodied' in the product itself. The concept can be useful
in determining the effectiveness of energy-producing or energy-saving devices (does the device
produce or save more energy that it took to make it?, of buildings, and, because energy-inputs
usually entail greenhouse emissions, in deciding whether a product contributes to or
mitigates global warming.
Embodied energy is an accounting method which aims to find the sum total of the energy
necessary for an entire product life-cycle. Determining what constitutes this life-cycle includes
assessing the relevance and extent of energy into raw material extraction, transport, manufacture,
assembly, installation, dis-assembly, deconstruction and/or decomposition as well as human and
secondary resources. Different methodologies produce different understandings of the scale and
scope of application and the type of energy embodied.
ENERGY EFFICIENT BUILDING MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGIES
Considerable amount of energy is spent in the manufacturing processes and transportation of
various building materials. Conservation of energy becomes important in the context of limiting
of green house gases emission in to the atmosphere and reducing costs of materials. Some issues
pertaining to embodied energy in buildings particularly in the Indian context have been
examined. Analysis of energy consumption in the production of basic building materials and
different types of materials used for construction along with energy spent in transportation of
various building materials has been made. Energy in different types of alternative roofing
systems has been discussed and compared with the energy of conventional R. C. slab roof. Total
embodied energy of a multi-storeyed building, a load bearing brickwork building and a soil-
cement block building using alternative building materials has been compared. It has been shown
that total embodied energy of load bearing masonry buildings can be reduced by 50% when
energy efficient/alternative building materials are used.
Cost Effective Environment Friendly Construction Technologies
Housing, next to food and clothing is the most important need of a human being. The house
reflects his/her socio-economic status in society. For most families, housing is perhaps a major
goal of family saving effort. So it must be durable, as it is an outcome of a long drawn process of
savings and aspirations.
Housing is a bundle of goods and services. It is not the product of uni-sectoral efforts. Housing
production includes a multitude of tasks like land acquisition, development, laying infrastructure,
site planning and architectural design on pre-conceived concepts of affordable densities, to
provide for shelter, social and physical infrastructure, project finance and finally construction
and delivery of the same.
It is within this context that a need was felt to look at ways of optimizing shelter cost. The usual
practice involved in this area till the recent past has been to:
1. Reduce area of the house to the minimum possible level
2. Reduce the finishing specification of flooring, external and internal walls, fittings etc.
In last two to three decades, cost effective appropriate technologies have cross the borders of
laboratory and research organizations and have reached real construction sites. Many
experimental and demonstrative projects have been constructed across the country proving the
strength and feasibility of these technologies.
A number of cost effective appropriate materials and technologies have been developed,
standardized and are being used in the field with success over the years. Many of them have even
proved themselves in the test of time. BIS has also included many of these technologies under
their umbrella and are working towards covering the remaining so that minimum standardization
is achieved and a standard specification for the same is evolved.



Some of the Cost effective appropriate Technologies are described in the table below
Building
Component Alternative Systems
Foundations
Random rubble masonry in mud/cement mortar placed in
excavation over thick sand bed. Rubble pointing above ground
level in stabilized cement mortar.
Use of lean cement concrete mix 1:8:16 for base with brick
masonry in 1:6 cement mortar footings.
Use of lean cement concrete mix as above for base and over
burned bricks masonry in cement lime mortar (1:2:12) footings.
Arch foundations in place of spread foundations
Walls
Brick work in 1:6 cement mortar using bricks from black cotton
and inferior soil stabilized with fly-ash.
Rat-trap bond brick work in 1:2:12 cement lime mortar/1:1.5:3
cement sand mortar.
Hollow concrete block masonry in cement mortar.
Compressed mud blocks masonry in mud mortar.
Stabilized mud blocks masonry (4% cement or lime) in stabilized
mud mortar.
Sand lime brick walls in 1:6 cement mortar.
FAL-G sand block with 1:6 cement mortar.
Roofs
Domes and vaults in brick or stabilized mud block with
appropriate mortar.
Upgraded thatch roof on appropriate frame work.
Pre-cast RCC L panel
Precast RCC cored units in M15 concrete.
Precast RCC channel units in M15 concrete
Precast Waffle units in M15 concrete
Burnt clay tube roofing in vault form.
Roof/ intermediate
slab
Filler slabs
Partly precast RCC planks and joist in M15 concrete.
Partly precast RCC joist and brick panels
Partly precast RCC in hollow concrete blocks
Thin RCC ribbed slabs
Ferrocement channels
Brick funicular shell on edge beam
Bamboo reinforced concrete
Brick funicular shells with RCC edge beams
Brick jack arched over RCC joist
Precast RCC cored units in M15 concrete.
Precast RCC channel units in M15 concrete
Spanning elements
for openings
Brick arches : Flat, semi circular and segmented
Precast thin lintel and lintel cum chajja
Brick arch with sand stone chajja
Ferro cement chajjas

Door cum window
frames
Precast RCC frames with wood insert
Resin bonded saw dust frame
Polyvinyl chloride frame
Fiber reinforced plastic frame
Door panels
Plantation timber styles with particle board inserts.
Medium density fiber board doors.
Cement bonded particle board
Plantation timber style with rice husk board inserts
Red mud polymer panel doors.
Ferrocement doors
Polyvinyl chloride doors panels.
Generic Characteristics
Building blocks have generic characteristics as follows:
A building block is a package of functionality defined to meet the business needs across
an organization.
A building block has published interfaces to access the functionality.
A building block may interoperate with other, inter-dependent, building blocks.
A good building block has the following characteristics:
o It considers implementation and usage, and evolves to exploit technology and
standards.
o It may be assembled from other building blocks.
o It may be a subassembly of other building blocks.
o Ideally a building block is re-usable and replaceable, and well. specified.
A building block may have multiple implementations but with different inter-dependent
building blocks.
A building block is therefore simply a package of functionality defined to meet business needs.
The way in which functionality, products, and custom developments are assembled into building
blocks will vary widely between individual architectures. Every organization must decide for
itself what arrangement of building blocks works best for it. A good choice of building blocks
can lead to improvements in legacy system integration, interoperability, and flexibility in the
creation of new systems and applications.
Systems are built up from collections of building blocks, so most building blocks have to
interoperate with other building blocks. Wherever that is true, it is important that the interfaces to
a building block are published and reasonably stable.
Building blocks can be defined at various levels of detail, depending on what stage of
architecture development has been reached.
For instance, at an early stage, a building block can simply consist of a grouping of functionality
such as a customer database and some retrieval tools. Building blocks at this functional level of
definition are described in TOGAF as Architecture Building Blocks (ABBs). Later on, real
products or specific custom developments replace these simple definitions of functionality, and
the building blocks are then described as Solution Building Blocks (SBBs).
More detail on each of these aspects of building blocks is given below.
Architecture Building Blocks
Architecture Building Blocks (ABBs) relate to the Architecture Continuum (The Architecture
Continuum), and are defined or selected as a result of the application of the ADM.
Characteristics
ABBs:
Define what functionality will be implemented
Capture business and technical requirements
Are technology aware
Direct and guide the development of SBBs
Specification Content
ABB specifications include the following as a minimum:
Fundamental functionality and attributes: semantic, unambiguous, including security
capability and manageability
Interfaces: chosen set, supplied (APIs, data formats, protocols, hardware interfaces,
standards)
Dependent building blocks with required functionality and named user interfaces
Map to business/organizational entities and policies
Solution Building Blocks
Solution Building Blocks (SBBs) relate to the Solutions Continuum (The Solutions Continuum),
and may be either procured or developed.
Characteristics
SBBs:
Define what products and components will implement the functionality
Define the implementation
Fulfil business requirements
Are product or vendor-aware
Specification Content
SBB specifications include the following as a minimum:
Specific functionality and attributes
Interfaces; the implemented set
Required SBBs used with required functionality and names of the interfaces used
Mapping from the SBBs to the IT topology and operational policies
Specifications of attributes shared across the environment (not to be confused with
functionality) such as security, manageability, localizability, scalability
Performance, configurability
Design drivers and constraints, including the physical architecture
Relationships between SBBs and ABBs
Building Blocks and the ADM
Basic Principles
This section focuses on the use of building blocks in the ADM. General considerations and
characteristics of building blocks are described in Introduction to Building Blocks .
Building Blocks in Architecture Design
An architecture is a set of building blocks depicted in an architectural model, and a specification
of how those building blocks are connected to meet the overall requirements of an information
system.The various building blocks in an architecture specify the services required in an
enterprise-specific system.
There are some general principles underlying the use of building blocks in the design of specific
architectures:
An architecture need only contain building blocks to implement those services that it
requires.
Building blocks may implement one, more than one, or only part of a service identified in
the architecture framework.
Building blocks should conform to standards relevant to the services they implement.


LATERITES
Laterites are soil types rich in iron and aluminium, formed in hot and wet tropical areas. Nearly
all laterites are rusty-red because of iron oxides. They develop by intensive and long-
asting weathering of the underlying parent rock. Tropical weathering (laterization) is a prolonged
process of chemical weathering which produces a wide variety in the thickness, grade, chemistry
and ore mineralogy of the resulting soils. The majority of the land areas with laterites was or is
between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Historically, laterite was cut into brick-like shapes and used in monument building. After 1000
CE construction at Angkor Wat and other southeast Asian sites changed to rectangular temple
enclosures made of laterite, brick and stone. Since the mid-1970s trial sections of bituminous-
surfaced low-volume roads have used laterite in place of stone as a base course. Thick laterite
layers are porous and slightly permeable, so the layers can function as aquifers in rural areas.
Locally available laterites are used in an acid solution, followed by precipitation to
remove phosphorus and heavy metals at sewage treatment facilities.
Laterites are a source of aluminium ore; the ore exists largely in clay minerals and
thehydroxides, gibbsite, boehmite, and diaspore, which resembles the composition of bauxite. In
Northern Ireland they once provided a major source of iron and aluminium ores. Laterite ores
also were the early major source of nickel.
Definition and physical description

Laterite in SnTy, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Francis Buchanan-Hamilton first described and named a laterite formation in southern Indiain
1807.He named it laterite from the Latin word later, which means a brick; this rock can easily be
cut into brick-shaped blocks for building.The word laterite has been used for
variably cemented, sesquioxide-rich soil horizons.A sesquioxide is an oxide with three atoms of
oxygen and two metal atoms. It has also been used for any reddish soil at or near the Earth's
surface.
Laterite covers are thick in the stable areas of the Western Ethiopian Shield, on cratons of the
South American Plate, and on the Australian Shield.In Madhya Pradesh, India, the laterite which
caps the plateau is 30 m (100 ft) thick.Laterites can be either soft and easily broken into smaller
pieces, or firm and physically resistant. Basement rocks are buried under the thick weathered
layer and rarely exposed.Lateritic soils form the uppermost part of the laterite cover.
Formation



Laterite is often located under residual soils.


A represents soil; B represents laterite, a regolith; C represents saprolite, a less-weathered
regolith; D represents bedrock
Tropical weathering (laterization) is a prolonged process of chemical weathering which produces
a wide variety in the thickness, grade, chemistry and ore mineralogy of the resulting soils. The
initial products of weathering are essentially kaolinized rocks calledsaprolites.A period of active
laterization extended from about the mid-Tertiary to the mid-Quaternary periods (35 to 1.5
million years ago).Statistical analyses show that the transition in the mean and variance levels
of O during the middle of the Pleistocene was abrupt.
[7]
It seems this abrupt change was global
and mainly represents an increase in ice mass; at about the same time an abrupt decrease in sea
surface temperatures occurred; these two changes indicate a sudden global cooling. The rate of
laterization would have decreased with the abrupt cooling of the earth. Weathering in tropical
climates continues to this day, at a reduced rate.
Laterites are formed from the leaching of parent sedimentary
rocks (sandstones, clays,limestones); metamorphic rocks (schists, gneisses, migmatites); igneous
rocks (granites,basalts, gabbros, peridotites); and mineralized proto-ores;which leaves the
moreinsoluble ions, predominantly iron and aluminium. The mechanism of leaching involves
acid dissolving the host mineral lattice, followed by hydrolysis and precipitation of insoluble
oxides and sulfates of iron, aluminium and silica under the high temperature conditions of a
humid sub-tropical monsoon climate. An essential feature for the formation of laterite is the
repetition of wet and dry seasons. Rocks are leached by percolating rain water during the wet
season; the resulting solution containing the leached ions is brought to the surface by capillary
action during the dry season. These ions form soluble salt compounds which dry on the surface;
these salts are washed away during the next wet season.
[10]
Laterite formation is favoured in
low topographical reliefs of gentle crests and plateaus which prevents erosion of the surface
coverThe reaction zone where rocks are in contact with water from the lowest to highest water
table levels is progressively depleted of the easily leached ions
of sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
[10]
A solution of these ions can have the
correct pH to preferentially dissolve silicon oxide rather than the aluminum oxides andiron
oxides.
The mineralogical and chemical compositions of laterites are dependant on their parent
rocks.Laterites consist mainly of quartz and oxides of titanium, zircon, iron, tin, aluminium
and manganese, which remain during the course of weathering.Quartz is the most abundant relic
mineral from the parent rock.Laterites vary significantly according to their location, climate and
depth. The main host minerals for nickel and cobalt can be either iron oxides, clay
minerals or manganese oxides. Iron oxides are derived from mafic igneous rocks and other iron-
rich rocks; bauxites are derived from granitic igneous rock and other iron-poor rocks.
[10]
Nickel
laterites occur in zones of the earth which experienced prolonged tropical weathering
of ultramafic rockscontaining the ferro-magnesian minerals olivine, pyroxene, and amphibole.
Locations
Yves Tardy, from the French Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse and the Centre
National de la RechercheScientifique, calculated that laterites cover about one-third of the
Earth's continental land area.Lateritic soils are the subsoils of the equatorial forests, of
the savannas of the humid tropical regions, and of the Sahelian steppes.They cover most of the
land area between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn; areas not covered within these latitudes
include the extreme western portion of South America, the southwestern portion of Africa, the
desert regions of north-central Africa, the Arabian peninsula and the interior of Australia.
Some of the oldest and most highly deformed ultramafic rocks which underwent laterization are
found in the complex Precambrianshields in Brazil and AustraliaSmaller highly
deformed Alpine-type intrusives have formed laterite profiles in Guatemala, Columbia, Central
Europe, India and Burma.Large thrust sheets of Mesozoic to Tertiary 251- to 65-million-year-
old island arcs and continental collision zones underwent laterization in New Caledonia, Cuba,
Indonesia and the Philippines.Laterites reflect past weathering conditions; laterites which are
found in present-day non-tropical areas are products of former geological epochs, when that area
was near the equator. Present-day laterite occurring outside the humid tropics are considered to
be indicators of climatic change, continental drift or a combination of both.
Uses Building blocks



When moist, laterites can be easily cut with a spade into regular-sized blocks.Laterite is mined
while it is below the water table, so it is wet and soft. Upon exposure to air it gradually hardens
as the moisture between the flat clay particles evaporates and the larger iron salts lock into a
rigid lattice structureand become resistant to atmospheric conditions.The art of quarrying laterite
material into masonry is suspected to have been introduced from the Indian subcontinent.
After 1000 CE Angkorian construction changed from circular or irregular earthen walls to
rectangular temple enclosures of laterite, brick and stone structures.Geographic surveys show
areas which have laterite stone alignments which may be foundations of temple sites that have
not survived.The Khmer people constructed the Angkor monuments which are widely
distributed in Cambodia and Thailand between the 9th and 13th centuries.The stone materials
used were sandstone and laterite; brick had been used in monuments constructed in the 9th and
10th centuries.Two types of laterite can be identified; both types consist of the minerals
kaolinite, quartz, hematite and goethite.Differences in the amounts of minor elements arsenic,
antimony, vanadium and strontium were measured between the two laterites.
Angkor Wat located in present-day Cambodia is the largest religious structure built
bySuryavarman II, who ruled the Khmer Empire from 1112 to 1152.It is a World Heritage
site.
[16]:39
The sandstone used for the building of Angkor Wat is Mesozoic sandstone quarried in
the Phnom Kulen Mountains, about 40 km (25 mi) away from the temple. The foundations and
internal parts of the temple contain laterite blocks behind the sandstone surface. The masonry
was laid without joint mortar.
Road building


Laterite road near Kounkane, Upper Casamance, Senegal
The French surfaced roads in the Cambodia, Thailand and Viet Nam area with crushed laterite,
stone or gravel. Kenya, during the mid-1970s, and Malawi, during the mid-1980s, constructed
trial sections of bituminous-surfaced low-volume roads using laterite in place of stone as a base
course. The laterite did not conform with any accepted specifications but performed equally well
when compared with adjoining sections of road using stone or other stabilized material as a
base. In 1984 US$40,000 per 1 km (0.62 mi) was saved in Malawi by using laterite in this way.
Water supply
Bedrock in tropical zones is often granite, gneiss, schist or sandstone; the thick laterite layer is
porous and slightly permeable so the layer can function as an aquifer in rural areas. One example
is the Southwestern Laterite (Cabook) Aquifer in Sri Lanka.This aquifer is on the southwest
border of Sri Lanka, with the narrow Shallow Aquifers on Coastal Sands between it and the
ocean.It has considerable water-holding capacity, depending on the depth of the formation.The
aquifer in this laterite recharges rapidly with the rains of AprilMay which follow the dry season
of FebruaryMarch, and continues to fill with the monsoon rains.The water table recedes slowly
and is recharged several times during the rest of the year.In some high-density suburban areas the
water table could recede to 15 m (50 ft) below ground level during a prolonged dry period of
more than 65 days.The Cabook Aquifer laterites support relatively shallow aquifers that are
accessible to dug wells.
Waste water treatment
In Northern Ireland phosphorus enrichment of lakes due to agriculture is a significant
problem. Locally available laterite a low-grade bauxite rich in iron and aluminium is used in
acid solution, followed by precipitation to remove phosphorus and heavy metals at several
sewage treatment facilities.Calcium-, iron- and aluminium-rich solid media are recommended for
phosphorus removal. A study, using both laboratory tests and pilot-scale constructed wetlands,
reports the effectiveness of granular laterite in removing phosphorus and heavy metals from
landfill leachate. Initial laboratory studies show that laterite is capable of 99% removal of
phosphorus from solution. A pilot-scale experimental facility containing laterite achieved 96%
removal of phosphorus. This removal is greater than reported in other systems. Initial removals
of aluminium and iron by pilot-scale facilities have been up to 85% and 98%
respectively.Percolating columns of laterite removed enough cadmium, chromium and lead to
undetectable concentrations. There is a possible application of this low-cost, low-technology,
visually unobtrusive, efficient system for rural areas with dispersed point sources of pollution.

Fal G Blocks
Overview of Technology
The FaL-G technology works with the strength of fly ash, lime and gypsum chemistry. The slow
chemistry of fly ash and lime is maneuvered by tapping ettringite phase to its threshold limits
through sufficient input of gypsum. Therefore, FaL-G does not require heavy duty-press or 2
autoclave, which are otherwise required in case of only fly ash and lime. The FaL-G process
completely eliminates the thermal treatment (except open air drying) and does not require
combustion of any fossil fuel. The ingredients of the FaL-G bricks and blocks, fly ash, lime, and
gypsum, are well-known minerals that are widely used in industries. All these materials are
available in form of wastes and bi-products from industrial activities and are available in
adequate quantities in the areas, where the project activities are located. In certain cases, where
by-product lime is not available in adequate quantity, ordinary Portland cement (OPC) is used as
the source of lime, producing the same quality of bricks and blocks. The technology is proved to
be environmentally safe and sound.

The schematic FaL-G process is provided in the following diagram.
Storage of raw materials
Fly ash : In open yard, duly wetted and covered by Plastic sheet.
Stone dust: In open yard, duly wetted and covered by Plastic sheet
Lime sludge Dumped in open yard or stored in packets
OPC: In bags, stored in godowns.
Gypsum: In bags, stored in godowns.
Wet mixing in Roller Mixer
Raw materials are kneaded under rollers for
achieving homogenous mortar
Casting of bricks/blocks
The homogenised mortar taken out of roller mixer is put
into the mould boxes. Depending on the type of machine,
the product is compacted under vibration/ vibropress/
hydraulic compression etc.
Drying & Curing
The green bricks are dried up under sun from 24 to 48 hours,
depending whether lime route or cement route; the dried up bricks
are stacked and subjected for water spray curing once or twice a
day, for 7-21 days, depending on ambience.
DESPATCH TO THE MARKET
Fly ash Lime/OPC Gypsum Stone Dust

IMPACT IDENTIFICATION & ASSESSMENT
Identification of Environmental and Social Issues&Identification of Environmental issues
The project promotes an eco-friendly technology for production of alternative building materials.
By avoiding use of fossil fuel in the production process of the alternative building material, the
project contributes to conservation of energy and fossil fuel (coal). By displacing burnt clay
bricks in the walling materials market, the project contributes to reduction of environmental
degradation such as land degradation and air pollution caused by the clay brick industry.

Furthermore since the alternative building material is manufactured using industrial wastes and
bi-products as raw materials, the environmental impacts associated with improper disposal of
such industrial wastes are mitigated by the project. The project is therefore considered
environmentally benign. On social front, the project creates business opportunities for the small
and micro enterprises. In contrast to the seasonal production-operations in the clay brick
industry, FaL-G plants have the advantage of continuous year-wide operation, and hence provide
yearlong employment opportunity for the skilled artisans and create self-help livelihood
opportunities for the illiterate poor.There are however certain environmental and social issues
pertaining to the operation of the FaLG plants, especially those pertaining to the handling of
different materials and the occupational health and safety issues of the workers.

These issues have been identified in the following Mixing, Moulding & Compression.
Degradation of ambient air quality due to operation of diesel engine
Accidental hazards of workers due to working near mechanical equipments
Direct exposure of workers to exhausts from diesel engines


Identification of Social Issues
The FaL-G technology offers several positive social benefits. These include employment
opportunity for workers, longer employment in a year compared to seasonal employment in
conventional brick plants, business opportunity or the small entrepreneurs. Some of the
incidental adverse impacts of the project include the possibility of employment of child and
bonded labour, possibility of wage disparity between male and female workers. Though there is
not even a single case of HIV reported so far out of over 20000 workers working in over 1800
plants, risk of HIV/AIDS among the migrant workers need to be guarded. These issues have
been assessed in the subsequent sections.
Assessment of Environmental and Social Impacts
Generally, the environmental impacts can be categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary
impacts are those, which are attributed directly by the project, and secondary impacts are those,
which are indirectly induced and typically include the associated investment and changed
patterns of social and economic activities by the proposed actions. In this chapter only direct
impacts have been considered. The environmental impacts may include all those that are
beneficial or adverse, short or long term (acute or chronic), temporary or permanent, direct or
indirect, and local or regional. The adverse impacts may include all those leading to, harm to
living resources, damage to human health, hindrance to other activities, impairment of quality for
use, reduction of amenities, damage to physical structures, etc. For each identified potential
environmental impact, the associated environmental risk is assessed based on its nature, duration,
likelihood, significance and level.
Environmental Aspects and Potential Impacts
Land Use
Land requirement for FaL-G unit is varied from 0.5 to 1.0 hectare and confined to one place
mainly, unlike red brick unit. As such FaL-G units could be operational on wide type of land,
preferably flat. It should be ideal if FaL-G unit is located at notified industrial areas.
Raw materials
The raw materials used for manufacturing of bricks by using FaL-G technology are: Fly ash
produced as waste material from coal based thermal power plant; Lime Produced as waste
material from paper and other industries; Gypsum produced as by product from fertilizers
and aluminium plant; Sand sourced from riverbed; Stone dust produced as rejects from
stone crushers; and OPC product from cement plant, which is used as a substitute of lime. It
is evident that about 85 100% of the total raw materials are either waste material or byproduct,
barring sand. Only OPC is used in case of non-availability/non-suitability of Lime. Hence, there
is lot of saving of natural resources like fertile soil and coal, if compared with red bricks activity.

Cement stabilized mud block
Overview of technology and block production
Earth has widely been used as a material for building with significant variations resulting from
topography and climatic differences. The common methods used for earth construction are cob,
wattle and daub, rammed earth, and adobe. Earth based construction has several limitations such
as water penetration, erosion at lower levels due to splashing of water and attack by termites.
Cement Stabilized Soil Blocks (CSSB) overcomes these limitations by an increase in block
density through compaction using a mechanical press. The strength obtained at the optimum
moisture content is stabilized by using an additive such as cement or lime in the mixture. The
water content required in the soil is low for compaction as compared to puddle clay required for
mud bricks, which ensures much greater dimensional stability.
CSSBs are dense solid blocks produced by compacting a mixture of soil, sand, stabilizer
(cement/lime) and water using a machine. The blocks are cured for 21 days before being used for
wall construction. Typical block sizes of 305 143 100 mm and 230 190 100 mm are
produced using a soil compaction press (Reddy, 2004). The compressive strength of the block
greatly depends upon the soil composition, density of the block and percentage of stabilizer
(cement/lime). Therefore, careful consideration of clay-sand percentages in soil is required to
ensure adequate block strength. Cement content of 6-7% cement and clay content of about 15%
can yield blocks having wet compressive strength of 3.0 MPa, sufficient for two storied buildings
(Jagadish et al, 2007). Higher strength for the block can be obtained by increasing the quantity of
stabilizer.
CSSBs are economical and easy to manufacture locally and have been produced in certain areas
using soil excavated at the construction site. Their use in India has been more popular for small
scale construction projects with blocks being produced using a manual press. Although
motorized hydraulic presses are available, their use has been limited in India. Since CSSBs are
produced at site and there is no production unit in India, information on production was obtained
from literature and discussions with practitioners of this technology. CSSBs have been used
predominantly in small scale residential construction and in regions such as Karnataka,
Pondicherry, Gujarat, Haryana and West Bengal, where research and dissemination activities
have been concentrated. Although this form of construction is economical, the production of
blocks requires technical expertise to assess soil characteristics and the appropriate mix of
cement. This has been a barrier for its adoption. The perceptions of this material having a very
small quantity of cement and thus not having adequate strength have also been impediments.
The process of producing CSSBs first involves sieving soil and mixing sand or quarry dust to
achieve the correct clay-sand percentages. Cement and/or lime is then added and mixed with
water to obtain optimum moisture content. The correct amount of soil is weighed and compacted
in a press. The block is then stacked and cured before being used for construction. A block of
305 mm x 143 mm x 100 mm requires 1.52 kg (17%) of clay, 0.54 kg (6%) of cement, 5.81 kg
(65%) of sand and 1.07 kg (12%) of silt.
Where clay and sand are sourced from other locations and not from excavated earth at site, they
are transported to the site from an average distance of about 40 km. The quantities of raw
materials mixed are carefully controlled and the production of the blocks is supervised to ensure
uniform compressive strengths. The total water used in the mix and for curing the blocks was
estimated to be 6.0 liters. Since the mixing and moulding processes are manual, electricity or fuel
is not used in the production process. About 350 blocks can be produced in a day employing six
persons. The blocks are typically produced and used at the construction site and have no
transportation requirement for the finished blocks.


Fired bricks
Overview
Fired clay bricks are one of the most important building materials used in India and the country
is the second largest producer of bricks, representing over 10% of global production. There is no
reliable inventory of brick kilns or of brick production in the country and estimates vary
significantly by organizations reporting these numbers. Singh and Asgher (2005) have reported
an estimated 100,000 operating units producing about 140 billion bricks annually in India while
a more recent Central Pollution Control Board estimate reports 150,000 brick kilns operating in
the country in 2008. Coal is the main fuel used for firing bricks. The annual consumption of coal
in brick kilns is estimated to be around 25 million tonnes.
The majority of brick production takes place in the unorganized, small-scale/micro sector. Brick
making in India is a traditional, unorganized industry generally confined to the rural and peri-
urban areas. A major proportion of bricks are made using very basic tools and techniques.
Primitive brick kilns have been recognized as having large environmental, health, and a range of
social problems. Historically, fired clay brick has been the material of choice for small
residential construction in rural and urban areas and is expected to remain the primary choice
even for the next two decades. More recently however, the availability of good quality bricks has
been on the decline and demand has been growing due to increasing construction activity. The
perception among end users on alternate walling material is also gradually changing and
masonry material such as concrete blocks is gaining acceptance. Although brick manufacturers
face several barriers in labor and input costs, and alternate material have been gradually filling
the demand gap and entering the mainstream, bricks are still expected to dominate the walling
material landscape over the next two decades.
The brick industry in the Gangetic plain differs from the brick industry in peninsular and coastal
India. The Gangetic plains of North India account for about 65% of total brick production.
Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal are the major brick producing states in
this region. Brick kilns, generally of medium and large production capacities (210 million
bricks per year), are located in clusters around major towns and cities (Singh and Asgher, 2005).
The availability of good fertile alluvium soils in north India has caused the fringe areas of cities
in this region to be dotted with brick kilns and consequently is a significant force in bringing
about land use/ landcover changes around cities. Peninsular and coastal India accounts for the
remaining 35% of the brick production. In this region bricks are produced in numerous small
units (production capacities generally range from 0.1 to 3 million bricks per year). Gujarat,
Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are important brick producing states in
the peninsular plateau and coastal India. Apart from coal, a variety of biomass fuels such as
firewood, dry dung, rice husk are used for firing bricks.
Brick production
The primary material used in the production of bricks is clay. Argillaceous materials used are
mixed well with sand to improve the workability. Clay is relatively easy to extract as it does not
usually lie too deep in the ground. After the top soil has been removed and the clay extracted, it
is sieved, blended and mixed well with water, either manually or with mechanical mixers. The
forming of bricks with the prepared clay is done manually or by moulding machines.
Hand moulding is done a four sided mould using a soft mud process where soil with high
moisture content is used to facilitate easier pressing. The moulding is done on level ground and
the wet brick is sun dried. A five sided mould is used to shape a relatively stiffer mud into a
brick. The wet brick is released onto a level platform by turning the brick upside down. These
bricks generally have a frog on one of the faces. Wire cut bricks are produced by a mechanized
operation. The selected soil is plugged adequately and then extruded into a continuous slab of
clay. This slab is then sliced by a wire frame into a number of bricks.

Cement Concrete Blocks
Overview
Cement is a collective name for mineral binders in powder form, which sets to become solid
when mixed with water. Cement reacts with water in a hydrating process. The cement most
usually used in building today is Portland cement. The main constituent of Portland cement is
limestone (65%), which is broken up and ground with quartz sand and clay or just clay. The
mixture is calcined in kilns at 14001500 C and sintered to small pellets called cement clinker.
After firing, the mass is ground again with additives such as gypsum to regulate setting. The
cement industry is an energy intensive industry with total energy cost typically accounting for
40-45% of production costs. At present, about 96% of Indias cement production is from dry
process kilns, which is considerably less energy intensive than wet process kilns (Infrastructure
Leasing and Financial Services, 2009).
The manufacture of concrete blocks is based on the principle of densification of a lean concrete
mix to make a regular shaped, uniform, high performance masonry unit. Blocks typically
manufactured are solid or hollow and are available in sizes of 400 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm, 400
mm x 200 mm x 150 mm, and 400 mm x 200 mm x 100 mm. The material has high potential in
areas where fired bricks are not easily available or are of poor quality. In large scale construction
such as apartments and commercial complexes, concrete blocks have found favor among
developers primarily because of the advantages of faster construction with the larger sized blocks
and also due to costs being comparable with fired clay bricks. The slightly lower width of
concrete blocks in relation to standard-size fired clay bricks also offers a higher usable area of
constructed space. The demand for concrete blocks has therefore grown considerably in urban
areas and small production units have been established around towns and cities in India.
However, the quality of blocks produced at these units has not been consistent and is a cause for
concern. Certain large developers have established their own cement concrete block
manufacturing units to overcome this issue. The demand for cement concrete blocks has been
growing rapidly over the past decade and has also been gaining in acceptance for use in
residential buildings both in urban as well as semi-urban areas.
Production of cement concrete blocks
The basic raw materials for the manufacture of cement concrete blocks are cement, fine
aggregate and coarse aggregate. Wastes generated by stone crushers, quarrying and stone
processing units can also be used as aggregates and has now become increasingly common.
Concrete blocks are usually produced using a semi-mechanized stationary type machine.
Although manual moulding requiring hand tamping is an alternative method that does not require
electrically operated machinery, this process is low in productivity and often with high variation
in quality of the product. A fully mechanized system which combines compression and vibration
is also used in a few instances but these are large scale units that require significant investments.
Adequate vibration of the mix, best obtained in high quality machines, can lower the cement
content substantially without compromising on the strength of the block. Mechanization in the
moulding process provides adequate compaction of the mix and can yield uniform dimensions of
blocks. Very little water is used in the mix where compaction and vibration is mechanized.
Blocks need to be cured for a period of 10-14 days and this part of the production process results
in a high level of water consumption overall.
A case study of a concrete block unit in Bangalore that uses a semi-mechanized production
process was carried out as part of this study. The mixing of the raw materials is done using a
concrete mixer and a concrete block making machine is used for moulding. The annual
production of this unit is equivalent to 459,000 blocks of 400 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm size. The
quantity of sand, cement and stone dust used to produce one block of this size was estimated to
be 5.80 kg (25%), 3.48 kg (15%) and 13.92 kg (60%) respectively. The total water used in the
mix and for curing the blocks was estimated to be 33.0 liters. Sand and stone dust are transported
to the unit from a distance of about 40 km and 10 km respectively.materials mixed are not
adequately controlled. This could lead to non-uniform compressive strengths that vary by batch
of mixes.The green bricks are stacked and allowed to dry in a covered area until the moisture
content is reduced to about 2%. This generally is a natural drying process. When clay is heated
up to boiling point the water in the pores evaporates, and at 200300 C the hydrate water
evaporates. After this change, the clay will not revert to soft clay with the addition of water,
unlike an air-dried earth block.
In India, the Bulls Trench Kiln (BTK) accounts for around 70% of brick production and is
prevalent in the Indo-Gangetic plains as well as in certain pockets around the country. Clamps
are temporary firing structures adopted to manufacture bricks on a small scale and used widely
all over peninsular India. Down-draught kilns, Vertical Shaft Brick Kilns (VSBK), Hoffmann
kilns, and zig-zag kilns are some of the other types of kilns used but make up less than 5% of all
kilns in the country. The energy and environmental performance of different types of kiln
technologies using different types of fuels was monitored in the second component of this study.
Seven kilns across India and one tunnel kiln in Vietnam have been assessed. These kilns all use
clay (99.5% with 0.5% sand) as the raw material to produce bricks. A more detailed description
of these kilns is provided in the Cleaner Brick Industry for India study report.

Clay Bricks
overview
Clay bricks are used in a wide range of buildings from housing to factories, and in the
construction of tunnels, waterways, bridges etc. Their properties vary according to the purpose
for which they are intended, but clays have provided the basic material of construction for
centuries. Brick is the oldest manufactured building material, and much of its history is lost in
antiquity. The oldest burnt or fired bricks have been found on the sites of the ancient cities of
Babylonia, some of which are estimated to be about 6000 years old. Brick is, after all, virtually
indestructible. The industry developed on traditional lines, using hand-making processes for the
most part. The first patent for a clay-working machine was granted in the year 1619.
Mechanisation, however, did not begin to take the place of manual methods until the middle of
the nineteenth century.

The moulded products were fired in relatively inefficient intermittent or static kilns until about
1858, when Hoffmann introduced a continuous kiln, which enabled all processes connected with
the firing to be carried out concurrently and continuously.
Since the introduction of clay working machinery and the Hoffmann Kiln, the Industry has made
great progress, particularly since 1930, the output of bricks in Great Britain was doubled between
1930 and 1938.
Raw Materials
What is clay?
In brick-making terms, clay covers a range of naturally occurring raw materials which are used
to make a product. The clays vary considerably in physical properties, colour, hardness etc, and
mineralogical content. They do, however, have certain properties in common. They have the
ability to be crushed and mixed with water to form a plastic material which can be moulded into
various shapes. This can then be fired to a high temperature during which process it attains a
hard, weather resistant characteristic. The key, in geological terms, is the mineral content of the
raw material. This is common to all clay types.Pure clay mineral is formed from the erosion and
weathering of primary igneous rocks. The clay mineral is transported away by the action of
water, wind, ice etc., and re-deposited elsewhere. In the process it picks up a number of
impurities, Quartz, mica, Calcium Carbonate (lime), Iron Oxide etc, etc. The subsequent deposit
becomes a sedimentary rock. Due to variances in the age of the deposit, the conditions of its
deposition and the impurities involved there will be variations between different clay types and
even on occasions within the same deposit. These variations may affect the brick making process
and the properties of the finished product. Clay Winning The choice of method of clay winning
will depend on the depth, thickness, hardness and physical geology of the clay beds. The usual
method for winning clay (extracting from the quarry) is once or twice a year by heavy plant
machinery, whether it be excavators, back actors etc, to stockpile large amounts. The
advantages of bulk winning are that it can take place during good weather, a large reserve close
to the factory means that breakdown of quarry plant is not critical to the production schedule.
The layering of the stockpile from large reserves helps to eliminate localised variations in the
clay strata.by Clay being extracted from a quarry by a mechanical digger. Laboratory testing of
the clays from different parts of the quarry determine the likely characteristics of the layers and
clay is mixed according to the required properties of the finished item. Particular attention is
given to environmental factors both during the clay win and when restoring the landscape after
excavations are complete.
Clay Preparation
Clay preparation methods may have to accommodate the physical characteristics of the raw
material and special provision may have to be made to deal with certain impurities.Preparation
consists of transforming the clay rock into plastic mouldable material by a process of
grinding and mixing with water. A typical factory might have a Primary crusher, these are used
to break down large lumps of rock to manageable size, which can then be fed to a Secondary
crusher, for example Pan mill, where the clay is reduced in size further. Water can be added here
or if it is a dry pan the clay is reduced to dust and water added later. Further crushing takes place
through conveyor rollers reducing the clay particles to about 1-2mm.
Forming The Brick Shape
Most bricks are formed by one of two basic processes.
Extrusion
The clay body is mixed to a fairly stiff texture and is then loaded into an extruder where a worm
screw pushes it along a barrel into a vacuum chamber which compresses it through a taper and
out through a die. The die is machined to a precise size and shape larger than the finished size of
the brick, calculating how much the clay will shrink during the drying and firing process. The
clay emerges as a continuous brick shaped column. Initially this is smooth but it can be modified
by removing a thin sliver from the top and sides using a taught wire to produce a wiredrag
effect or by placing textured rollers over the column to create a rusticated effect or even by
blasting the column with sand. The clay column is then cut into single bricks and palletised ready
for the dryers or in some factories, are loaded directly onto kiln cars. Extruded bricks are
generally perforated and can be solid but cannot be frogged.


Soft mud moulding.
This covers a number of processes where bricks
are formed in mould boxes. There are several methods but all have a common theme. Soft clay
is thrown into a mould, a mould release medium prevents the clay from sticking to the box
(sand, oil or water). The excess clay is stuck off from the top of the mould and the bricks are
turned out. In its most simple form this is done by hand by a craftsman who would produce one
brick at a time. This is labour intensive, slow and expensive usually only used now for making
special shapes or decorative bricks. For standard bricks large automated machines can replicate
the hand-making process much quicker by using banks of mould boxes continually on a circuit
where the boxes are washed, sanded, filled with pre sanded clots of clay, struck off level and the
formed brick turned out. Clots of clay being mechanically thrown into moulds Because the clay
is dropped into the moulds a creased effect is achieved. Soft mud pressing is achieved in a
similar way with the moulds but the clay is pressed into them creating a smoother, sandy
texture. A variation of this process is water-struck where water is used as the release medium. A
relatively smooth, sand free texture is achieved. Again the boxes are made larger to
accommodate clay shrinkage during the rest of the process. As a general rule, moulded bricks
tend to be frogged (a indentation in one or more of the bed surfaces) although some are also
solid.
Drying
Before the bricks can be fired, as much moisture as possible must be removed or they will
explode in the kilns. Drying involves the removal of water from the wet brick in such a way as to
dry them out evenly from inside out. If the outer skin of the brick dries first it becomes
impossible for the moisture inside to escape. In the kiln the extreme temperatures will force out
this moisture and some cracking may occur. To prevent this happening the dryers are kept at
temperatures of about 80 120 degrees centigrade and the atmosphere is very humid keeping the
exterior of the brick as moist as possible. This is monitored very closely to reduce surface
cracking. The bricks will shrink in the dryers as the clay particles come together and they
become strong enough to be stacked, but at this stage they have no weather resistant qualities.
Drying schedules vary but between 18 to 40 hours is typical for an automated plant. Special
shapes and large units can take up to a week or more. The dry bricks are then set onto kiln cars
ready to be fired.


Firing
Firing temperatures vary considerably between different clay types and are often quite critical.
During firing, bricks undergo a physical change. Clay particles and impurities are fused together
to produce a hard durable and weather resistant product. This is called vitrification. This is
usually accompanied by further shrinkage and a colour change. Temperatures vary greatly
depending on clay type but are generally in the range of 900 1200 degrees centigrade.
Obviously bricks cannot suddenly be subjected to these temperatures so firing is in three stages.
1. Pre heating this ensures total dryness of the brick and utilises combustion gasses in the kiln
to raise the brick temperature. (Where wet setting has taken place great care needs to be taken at
this stage)
2. Firing - A fuel, usually natural gas, LPG, oil or coal is used to raise and maintain the
temperature to the required level over a few hours.
3. Cooling Cold air is drawn into the kiln to cool the bricks slowly ready for sorting and
packing. This air becomes hot and can be drawn off and recycled for use in the drying process.
KILNS
There are several different types of kiln but they can be allocated to two main categories.
Intermittent kilns These are static, usually small kilns and are used for firing small batches of
products eg. Special shapes. The kiln is loaded with ware, taken through the firing process then
unloaded.
Continuous kilns
For large scale production continuous kilns are more economical and are capable of turning out
large
quantities of bricks at a steady constant rate.
There are two main types of continuous kiln Chamber and Tunnel.
Chamber kiln In its simplest form a chamber kiln is an annular tunnel divided off into chambers
(usually 12-20). A section of the kiln (about 4-5 cambers) is being fired at any one time. The
firing is drawn round the kiln with chambers being lit in front of the firing and the chambers
behind are allowed to go out.
Bricks are loaded into the kiln in front of the fire and pre-heat for 1-2 days before the fire reaches
them. The bricks then fire for 2-3 days. Once the fire has passed, the bricks cool before being
removed from the kiln. They are then replaced with fresh dry bricks awaiting the fires next
circuit.

Tunnel kiln
In a tunnel kiln dry bricks are loaded onto a fireproof trolley or kiln car. This then travels very
slowly through the kiln. Typical schedule through the kiln from end to end is 3-4 days but
variations occur depending on production schedules. Although tunnel kilns are generally more
expensive to build than chamber kilns they are more economical to run and lend themselves to
high degrees of automatic control. It is essential that tunnel kilns are run on a continuous basis
for ideally several years at a time between shutdowns. Different firing schedules are necessary
for different clay types. This is not just a matter of peak temperature. To maximise production it
is clearly necessary to arrange for long production runs and as few changes as possible in order
to achieve best results.
SELECTION & PACKAGING
Following firing, bricks are selected and packaged. This may be by a manual method or by
machine.
Mechanised packing is limited to regular production types where all bricks are of the same size
and shape. Special shapes are packed manually. Packing machines present bricks to the
inspectors who remove any substandard product leaving the best quality to be banded together in
packs of between 300 500 bricks.