GRADE SW is brick designed to withstand exposure
to below-freezing temperatures in a moist climate like that of the northern regions of the United States.
GRADE MW is brick designed to withstand exposure to below-freezing temperatures in a drier climate than that mentioned in the previous paragraph.
GRADE NW is brick primarily intended for interior or backup brick. It may be used exposed; however, it can only be used in regions where no frost action occurs.
Brick masonry units may be solid, hollow, or architectural terra cotta. All types can serve a structural function, a decorative function, or a combination of both. The various types differ in their formation and composition.
Building brick, also called common, hard, or kiln-run brick, is made from ordinary clay or shale and is fired in kilns. These bricks have no special shoring, markings, surface texture, or color. Because building bricks are generally used as the backing courses in either solid or cavity brick walls, the harder and more durable types are preferred.
Face brick is better quality and has better durability and appearance than building brick. Because of this, face bricks are used in exposed wall faces. The most common face brick colors are various shades of brown, red, gray, yellow, and white.
Clinker brick is overburned in the kiln. Clinker bricks are usually rough, hard, durable, and sometimes irregular in shape.
Pressed brick is made by a dry-press process, rather than by kiln firing. Pressed bricks have regular, smooth faces, sharp edges, and perfectly square corners. Ordinarily, they are used like face brick.
Glazed brick has one surface coated with a white or colored ceramic glazing. The glazing forms when mineral ingredients fuse together in a glasslike coating during burning. Glazed bricks are particularly suited to walls or partitions in hospitals, dairies, laboratories, and other structures requiring sanitary conditions and ease of cleaning.
Fire brick is made from a special type of clay. This clay is very pure and uniform and is able to withstand the high temperatures of fireplaces, boilers, and similar constructions. Fire bricks are generally larger than other structural bricks and are often hand-molded.
Cored bricks have ten holes - two rows of five holes each-extending through their beds to reduce weight. Walls built from cored brick are not much different in strength than walls built from solid brick. Also, both have about the same resistance to moisture penetration. Whether cored or solid, use the more available brick that meets building requirements.
European brick has strength and durability about equal to U.S. clay brick. This is particularly true of the English and Dutch types.
Sand-lime brick is made from a lean mixture of slaked lime and fine sand. Sand-lime bricks are molded under mechanical pressure and are hardened under steam pressure. These bricks are used extensively in Germany.
The main factors governing the strength of a brick structure include brick strength, mortar strength and elasticity, bricklayer workmanship, brick uniformity, and the method used to lay brick. In this section, we'll cover strength and elasticity. "Workmanship" is covered separately in the next section.
The strength of a single brick masonry unit varies widely, depending on its ingredients and manufacturing method. Brick can have an ultimate compressive strength as low as 1,600 psi. On the other hand, some well-burned brick has compressive strength exceeding 15,000 psi.
Because portland-cement-lime mortar is normally stronger than the brick, brick masonry laid with this mortar is stronger than an individual brick unit. The load-carrying capacity of a wall or column made with plain lime mortar is less than half of that made with portland-cement-lime mortar. The compressive working strength of a brick wall or column laid with plain lime mortar normally ranges from 500 to 600 psi.
For mortar to bond to brick properly, sufficient water must be present to hydrate the portland cement in the mortar completely. Bricks sometimes have high absorption rates, and, if not properly treated, can "suck" the water out of the mortar, preventing complete hydration. Here is a quick field test to determine brick absorptive qualities. Using a medicine dropper, place 20 drops of water in a l-inch circle (about the size of a quarter) on a brick. A brick that absorbs all the water in less than 1 1/2 minutes will suck the water out of the mortar when laid. To correct this condition, thoroughly wet the bricks anContinue Reading