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Article about bricks by Shri sai homes (Builders/ Flat promoters Guduvanchery, Chennai)

Bricks

Bricks are usually made of clay. These are chiefly employed in building construction and architectural compositions. Bricks are very popular because of their easy availability, economy, strenght, durability and insulating properties.

Composition of brick earth:

Mechanical composition: The mechanical composition of suitable brick earth should confrim the following requirements
Clay : 20 to 30%
Silt: 20 to 35%
Sand : 35 to 50%
The total content of clay and silt should preferably be not less than 50%

If a Single earth or soil does not confrim to the above requirements, two or more soils may be added. The soil should be free from gravel, coarse sand, kankar particles, lime nodules, roots, organic and vegetable matter, iron pyrite and carbonaceous matter.

Chemical composition: The chemical composition of suitable brick earth should confirm to the following requirements:
Silica : 50 to 60%
Alumina : 20 to 30%
Lime : up to 5%
Ferric oxide : less than 7%
Magnesia : less than 1%
Alkalies : less than 10% The standard size of burnt clay bricks as per IS: 1077 is 190 mm X 90mm X 90 mm


Manufacturing of bricks:

Manufacturing of bricks involves the following four operations:
1) Preparation of brick earth
2) Moulding
3) Drying and
4) Burning

The top layer of loose soil should be removed for a depth of 200mm. It should not be used for preparation of bricks. The earth removed from below 200 mm is spread on a level ground. All undesirable materials like grass, roots, gravels etc are removed and then left for a few weeks to allow the clay to mellow.

Additional ingredients are added with clay and mixing is done by turning up and down many times, so as to make the whole mass as homogeneous.

The clay is moulded to the required shape in moulds, Moulding can be done on the ground or on top of a table, either by hand or machine

The Moulded bricks are allowed to dry for a period of 7 to 14 days. During drying it must be protected from wind, rain and direct sun.

After drying, the bricks ar burnt in kilns or clamps to make them harder, stronger, denser, less absorbent and more durable.


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