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Types of Bricks used in Construction

Depending on the type of material, such as clay, concrete, lime, fly ash, etc., several types of bricks are used in masonry construction. Bricks should be identified in the field for their qualities, applications, and suitability for various construction projects. Brick is a significant building material that is often made of clay and comes in rectangular shape. They have been quite staple due to their affordability and durability.

Bricks can be made in a number of ways, frequently using a clay-based substance that is molded into the desired shape and then cemented in place using heat or other drying techniques.

The earliest bricks were made of sun-dried natural clay. While being the oldest, sun-dried bricks are also the weakest. Over time, methods for strengthening and enhancing bricks resistance to weight, heat, weather, and erosion emerged.

Sun-Dried or Unburnt Clay Bricks:

Unburned or sun-dried bricks are used for temporary buildings since they are less durable. Clay preparation, moulding, and drying are the three phases involved in the preparation of unburned bricks. Bricks are exposed to sunlight after shaping to use the heat from the sun to dry. They are therefore not as sturdy and have lower levels of fire and water resistance. These bricks are not appropriate for long-term construction. 

Burnt Clay Bricks:

Burnt clay bricks are a very old building material that may be found in many of the world’s ancient buildings. The traditional type of brick is burnt clay brick, which is made by putting wet clay into moulds, drying them out, and then burning them in kilns. These bricks resemble solid, typically reddish blocks of dried clay. There are normally four grades of burned clay bricks for sale. The best burnt-clay bricks are the highest quality and most durable. These premium burnt clay bricks are flawless and more expensive than inferior varieties. Burnt clay bricks used in walls must be rendered or plastered with mortar. Bricks made of burnt clay can be used to build columns, foundations, and masonry walls.

Sand Lime Bricks:

By combining sand, fly ash, and lime, sand lime bricks (calcium silicate bricks) are formed. For colour, pigments can be used as well. The slurry is then pressurised and shaped to create bricks. Sand Lime Bricks are not heated in kilns. Instead, the components combine chemically while the wet bricks dry under heat and pressure. Sand lime bricks have benefits like:

  • Their consistent form offers a better finish without plastering.
  • They provide high strength for buildings that sustain weight. 
  • Salts and minerals do not effervesce in them.
  • Instead of the usual crimson hue, they are grey. To create a decorative effect, various pigments can be used.
  • Less mortar is used for building.
  • Because the edges are clean and straight, construction is simplified.

Concrete Bricks:

Concrete made from cement, sand, coarse aggregates and water is used to make concrete bricks. The needed sizes for these bricks can be created. Concrete bricks have a number of advantages over clay bricks, including the ability to be created on the job site, the need for less mortar  and the ability to be tinted in a variety of colours. Concrete bricks are used to make masonry and frame buildings, fences, and facades, and they have a very attractive appearance. Concrete bricks can be utilised practically anywhere in construction because of their endurance except for underground because they are frequently permeable.

Engineering Bricks:

Engineering bricks are typically utilised in civil constructions where resistance to the elements and strength are crucial requirements. They are made of clay and can be combined with numerous other substances. Engineering bricks are extremely durable and are burnt at exceptionally high temperatures to create a brick that is as hard as iron, setting them apart from other types. In areas where resistance to water and ice is essential, such as sewers, retaining walls, manholes, foundational work, and subterranean tunnels, they are also used because of their extremely low porosity. There are two grades available: A and B. For the most demanding conditions, A offers a stronger compression strength and less water absorption.

Fly Ash Bricks:

Fly ash and water are combined to create fly ash bricks. Compared to clay bricks, these bricks are more durable and resistant to freeze-thaw cycles. These bricks are also known as self-cementing bricks because they contain a lot of calcium oxide, which is used to make cement. Due to their lightweight, fly ash bricks help reduce the self-weight of constructions. In comparison to clay bricks, fly ash bricks have the following advantages: excellent fire insulation, high strength, consistent sizes for better joints and plaster, decreased water penetration and no pre-soaking requirement.

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