A single drop of water may not seem very significant, but billions and billions of such drops go on to make the Ocean. Similarly every single brick plays a pivotal role in forming strong foundation when you are constructing your house. One can never beat the rugged good looks and durability of brick pavers to make a dramatic walkway to a front door or a winding path through a garden. Bricks are essential but people are hardly aware about its types and utilities.
Brick is the oldest construction material. Bricks began its history in Egypt and Ancient Rome. This is the time when bricks were used for the construction of complex structures, which included arches, vaults and other items. While these bricks were somewhat different from what we see today, but their name sounded like plinth, which translated from Greek – a brick.
It is said that the earliest bricks which were used were considered as “dry bricks”. Dry bricks were made by giving a particular shape to clay or mud. In earlier times heat baking was not familiar to humans. Thus, they used to bake and dry the bricks in sun till the time they did not get strong enough to be used.
Today, a brick, perhaps, is at the peak of its evolution. Its properties are almost perfect, being stronger, resistant to water and frost. Brick is a very reliable material with which no other material can be compared in the preservation of warmth and durability. Also, brick is a pure material from the viewpoint of ecology, which meets modern standards of sustainability.
There are varieties of bricks which are present in the market and they are named according to their use, size, quality, origin, texture, materials used and the method of their formation. Bricks are not only used in construction of residences and buildings but also are an essential element of manufacturing unit in industries. In the industries bricks are used in furnaces. It is also used in lining of furnaces.
Fire bricks are also known as refractory brick. It is the most common type of brick used in buildings and industries. These kinds of bricks are manufactured to stand high temperature and also to absorb heat. It helps to increase energy efficiency. In fire bricks Aluminium Oxide is the most valuable content present. It has a volume of 50-80%. These kind of bricks can withstand temperatures as high as 1648 degree Celsius. Following are the types of fire clay bricks:
- Common or building
- Ceramic glazed,
- Chemically resistant,
- Industrial floor,
- Acid brick,
- Fire or refractory
The other types of the most common bricks which are used in the market are chemically set bricks. These kinds of bricks are not baked. These are manufactured by applying heat and pressure in an autoclave.
- Calcium silicate Bricks: Also called sandlime or flintlime according to the ingredients present in it. These kinds of bricks are made of lime which binds with a silicate material instead of getting baked with clay. The raw materials required for manufacturing these kinds of bricks include lime, sand, quartz, flint or siliceous rocks which are used in crushed form and they all are mixed together with minerals to add colours. It takes a long duration of around thirteen to fourteen hours for the bricks to get hardened. The final result is uniform and accurate. It requires careful handling to avoid damage to brick and brick layer.
- Concrete bricks: These kinds of bricks are made with concrete and sand with the help of simple machine. The process to make these kind of bricks starts when a conveyor belt adds sand and concrete mixture to a machine. These machines then put down a particular amount of concrete into a mould which are vibrated so as to remove the bubbles. Later they are taken to brick yard for drying which are then available in many colours.
Hollow Bricks (Smart Bricks)
Hollow bricks are 100% natural, green products which are used in building long lasting homes. The homes build by hollow bricks are user-friendly and are low in cost. It provides natural comfort for the generation and helps in faster construction. These homes stay cool in summers and warm in winters. A lot of companies manufacture traditional bricks but at the same time, there is an Austrian company by the name Wienerberger which is considered to be the pioneer in manufacturing hollow bricks.
Hollow bricks gained an edge over traditional bricks in a very short span of time and there are certain reasons for it.
They are cost effective, Eco – Friendly and consume Low energy. Since these are insulated they keep the interiors cool in summers and warm in winters. They display good compressive strength. A report by MinEnergy, says hollow bricks provide more safety during earthquakes”.
Now the choice is absolutely yours while buying the primary and crucial element for constructing your house that is a Brick, or one must say- a Smart Brick
Authored by a Building Expert from Wienerberger India
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