Types of Bricks and their Application

Posted on: April 1, 2020

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Since the dawn of civilization, bricks have already played a part in the lives of man. From its earliest recorded use in the valleys of Egypt to the Gothic architectural constructions during the middle ages, bricks have been proven to be a part of man’s history. As time progressed, there have been many developments in the structure and materials used in bricks. It has also evolved from a simple construction supply to aesthetic and ornamental materials. As your reliable brickwork construction buddies here in Tulsa, Brick 1 Masonry is here to provide you more information about the different types of bricks and their application.

In this blog, we will focus on the classification of bricks based on the raw material used in creating them. Basically, there are five types that are identified according to raw material: Burnt Clay Bricks; Sand Lime Bricks; Concrete Bricks; Fly Ash Clay Bricks; and Firebrick. Knowing additional information about these types of bricks may give us better ideas on how to maximize their usage in our next construction project.

  • BURNT CLAY BRICKS

This is the most basic and classic type of brick. Made by pressing wet clay into a molder, then drying and baking the molded clay in kilns (furnace or oven for pottery and brick making).

Just a bit of fun fact, these types of bricks are considered as the most ‘ancient’ among all other types of bricks. These bricks are found in many of the ancient structures in history.

USES: Because of these bricks’ thickness and density, it is recommended to use them on masonry walls, foundations, and columns. However, because of the warm and inviting feel that clay bricks offer, they are also layered on top of the concrete walls of homes for aesthetic purposes. Nowadays, they are also used to accentuate some parts of the home like external posts and wall outlines - instead of covering the whole wall with bricks to give it a rustic look.

  • SAND LIME BRICKS

Also known as calcium silicate bricks, this type of brick is created by combining sand, fly ash, and lime. Similar to all types of brick, sand lime bricks are then poured to the molder to achieve the desired shape. The unique thing about this type of brick, however, is: these are molded under heat and pressure to bond the materials used. Also, this type of brick is not baked in kilns.

Moreover, a pretty good advantage of this type of brick is its color. See, the color of the brick may vary from light gray to regular gray (depending on the base color of the sand used). This makes it easier to add pigments into the mixture to create multi-colored bricks.

USES: Just like all bricks, this type of brick is used on the walls and foundations of buildings, but this type is much more preferred for load-bearing structures. Also, since it is easy to find these bricks in different colors, it is often used for ornamental and aesthetic purposes.

  • CONCRETE BRICKS

A mixture of cement and aggregate, more often than not: sand, this type of brick is slowly gaining popularity among small business owners and homeowners. Similar to sand lime bricks, pigments may be added into the mixture to produce colored bricks and the manufacturing process does not include placing the molded bricks into a kiln.

One known disadvantage of concrete bricks is that it’s less durable than the other types of brick. This is the reason why these types of bricks should never be used for below-ground applications such as foundation making.

USES: Since they are not as sturdy as other types of brick, these types are often just used for aesthetic purposes. Concrete bricks, however, are widely used on fences, facades, and internal brickwork.

  • FLY ASH BRICKS

Fly ash bricks as the name implies is created by mixing clay and fly ash - a by-product of burning coal at about 1,000 celsius. As for the manufacturing process, it would take 28 days for the molded bricks to be ready for construction purposes. Also, it is not fired in a kiln and is usually dried in normal atmospheric pressure and temperature. Regardless of the long process of making such bricks, it is still better compared to clay bricks especially when it comes to density, comprehensive strength, and dimensional stability.

USES: Because it is more sturdy and durable than the aforementioned types of bricks, fly ash bricks are used for the foundations, walls, and columns of bigger construction projects and load-bearing structures.

  • FIREBRICKS

Last on the list are fire bricks. Also referred to as refractory bricks, these types of construction supplies are manufactured with specially formulated earth which has a high aluminum oxide content. After the whole process of manufacturing, these types of bricks can be exposed to high temperatures and still maintain their shape, size, and durability.

USES: Because it can withstand high amounts of heat and can be exposed to fire without bearing much damage, firebricks are especially used on areas of the structure that are exposed to high temperatures and flames like chimneys, furnaces, pizza ovens, outdoor brick barbecue areas, and even firewalls.

Now that we know the different types of bricks and where they are more recommended to be used, we can now assess the right choice for our next construction or renovation project. This is but a simple piece of information but it will surely save you the time, effort, and resources that may be wasted because of using the wrong type of brick in the structure that you are building.

If you happen to have no background in the construction industry but you want to have bricks installed in your house or property, it is advisable to speak with an expert about this matter.

Speaking of experts, when it comes to masonry, brickwork construction, or brickwork ideas, no other company can compare with the expertise that Brick 1 Masonry has about this matter. Get in touch with us today so that we can help you out in making the best brick choices for your property!

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