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Chapter One: Brick

History of Bricks
Bricks are one of the oldest types of building blocks.
They were first found in southern Turkey and around Jericho about
7000 BC.
The first sun-dried bricks were made in Mesopotamia (what is now
Iraq), in the ancient city of Ur in about 4000 BC.
They are an ideal building material because they are relatively
cheap to make, very durable, and require little maintenance.
A brick is an artificial kind of stone made of clay whose chief
characteristics are plasticity when wet and stone like hardness after
being heated to high temperature.

Factors that Affecting the Quality of Bricks:

Chemical properties of clay used
Preparation of clay
Process of drying
Different degrees of burning.
Constituents of Brick Clay:
Constituents Percentage Functions
Silica 55% • Prevents cracking, shrinkage and warping.
• Too much makes brick brittle and weak.
Alumina 30% • Imparts plasticity and density to clay.
• Too much causes crack and warp during burning.
Iron Oxide 8% • Makes impermeable and durable.
• Gives color to the brick.
Magnesia 5% • Decreases shrinkage.
• Gives yellow tint.
Lime 1% • Reduces shrinkage during drying.
• Binds the particles of brick.
Organic Matters 1% • Assists burning of bricks.
• Too much causes brick porous.
Total 100%
Harmful Constituents of Brick Clay:
Constituents Functions
Iron Pyrites • Cause crystallization and disintegration of bricks during burning.

Alkalies • Produce a dark greenish hue.

• Cause the bricks to fuse, twist and warp during burning.
• Absorb moisture and causes efflorescence.
Stone Particles • Non uniformity of brick texture.
• Makes brick porous and weak.
Vegetation and • Makes brick porous and weak.
Organic Matter
Lime • Excess lime causes the brick to fuse too readily and the shape is lost.
• Lime in form of limestone (CaCO3) is converted into lime (CaO) and
carbon-di-oxide (CO2). On contact with water, lime gets hydrated and
swells and cause the bricks to split and crumble to pieces.
The Manufacturing Process
• Manufacture - 4 stages
• Material preparation
• Manufacturing
• drying
• Firing
• Preparation: material (clay)
washed and grinding
Sample of grinding machine
for clay

Sample of crushing machine

• Manufacturing: Clay is grinded
with 15% of water. The clay is then
pushed through the mold base to
take the shape. After that, Clay is
cut to get a standard size and shape
of brick using wire.
• Sometimes, bricks are produced
using big mold in which clay will
be pressed using hydraulic machine
or without hydraulic press.

“Molded” or “Handmade”

 Solid units
 Pressed into fiberglass, wood
or steel molds
 Used to be by hand, now
 Sand or water coated molds to
release bricks
 Usually rougher surface and
• After bricks in form,
identification or perforation
to the bricks.
• Drying: Wet unit bricks are
then dried by keeping them
in space or in a room with
controlled temperature to
make sure that bricks will be
complete dry.

Brick was compile

before bring to the
• Firing: Dry bricks, are then
compiled in kiln for firing
process with 600oC as initial
temperature. This is to burn
the carbon and sulfur that
have remained. After that,
temperature is increased to
900oC to start the
vetrification process.
• Normally, vitrification
process occurrs at around
• Bricks become hard/strong
after vitrification process.

Flowchart of Brick Manufacturing

Bricks manufacturing process flow

Characteristics of Good Bricks:
Uniform in color, size and shape.
Sound & compact
Free form cracks & others flows such as air bubbles, stone nodules etc.
Should not absorb more than 1/6 of the their own weight of water when
immerged in water for 24 hours
Compressive strength in the range of 5000-8000 psi
Percentage of salts (Sulphates of Ca, Mg, Na, K) should not exceed 25%
Non -inflammable and incombustible.
No change in volume when wetted.
Should have low thermal conductivity
Weight should be 6 lbs per brick and weight per cubic ft. should not be less
than 125 lbs.
Should be neither over-burnt or under-burnt.
Field Test of Bricks:
Test-o1: Take a brick and try to mark on the
surface by nail. If you can make it, it is not a good
brick, but if not, it is hard and compact.
Test-02: Take a brick and strike it with another
brick or a hammer. It gives a clear ringing or
metallic sound, it is good brick, if not a bad one.
Test-03: Take two bricks and form a tee (T) and
drop from a height of 6 ft on a more or less solid
surface. If remain unbroken they are good bricks.

According to PWD (Public Works Department) the size of bricks
is D
9.5”×4.5” ×2.75” (without mortar) and 10” ×5” ×3” (with
mortar). W
Laboratory Tests of Brick:
• Crushing strength test
• Water Absorption test
• Efflorescence test
• Hardness test
• Size, Shape and Color test
• Soundness test
• Structure test
Frog Marks:
It is the identification marks of bricks. It is generally left on the face of the
brick during the process of molding to indicate the name of the manufacturers
of the brick
Properties of Bricks:
The most important properties of brick are
1. Durability 2. Color 3. Texture 4. Size variation 5. Compressive strength
and 6. Absorption.
Uses of Bricks:
• Construction of walls of any size
• Construction of floors
• Construction of arches and cornices
• Making khoa to use as aggregate in concrete
• Manufacturing surki to be used in lime
• Plaster and lime concrete.
Classification of Brick:
 First class brick
 Second class brick
 Third class brick
 First class bat or broken brick Assignment:
Describe the classification of
 Second class bat
 Jhama brick
 Picked jhama brick
 Jhama bat.
Special Types of Bricks:

Concrete Bricks:
These bricks have either pale green or gray color. These are prepared from a
small, dry aggregate concrete which is formed in steel molds by using vibration
and compaction.

High Alumina Bricks:

High alumina bricks from 50% upto 90% Alumina are made with various
selected superior grade aggregates to meet the various service conditions of
various types of furnaces. They have excellent resistance to wear and thermal
Fire Brick:
A fire brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction.
These are built primarily to withstand high heat and also find applications in
extreme mechanical, chemical, or thermal stresses. The brick is widely used
as maintaining insistent temperature.

Light Weight Hollow Blocks:

This blocks are used in construction of houses in earthquake prone areas.
These bricks are made of fly ash, cement, lime, gypsum, stone dust etc.
Available in different sizes. Hollow concrete blocks is used as substitute for
conventional bricks or stones used in construction of buildings.
Brick Positions: