10 Structural and Non-structural Applications of Bricks
Bricks have been a fundamental building material for centuries, offering durability and versatility in various construction projects. In this blog post, we will explore ten structural and non-structural applications of bricks, showcasing their importance and wide range of uses in the field of civil engineering.
1. Permanent Structural Construction:
High-quality bricks with standard shapes, sharp edges, smooth surfaces, and excellent strength are ideal for permanent structural constructions. Buildings, dams, roads, bridge piers, and other critical structures can be constructed using these bricks, ensuring long-lasting durability and stability.
2. Walls of Various Types:
Bricks are commonly used to construct walls of different sizes and types. Whether it’s exposed brick walls, foundation walls, fences, or brick retaining walls, bricks provide a sturdy and aesthetically pleasing solution. They contribute to the overall strength and stability of the structure.
3. Decorative Purposes:
High-quality bricks offer a diverse range of options for decorative purposes. They can be used to create architectural effects on structures, adding beauty and character to buildings. Bricks are available in various colors, textures, bonds, and joint patterns, allowing architects and designers to achieve desired visual effects.
4. Temporary Structures:
Sun-dried or unburnt bricks are suitable for temporary structures. These bricks, although not as durable as their fired counterparts, can be used for construction projects where permanence is not a priority. It’s important to avoid using them in areas with heavy dampness and frequent rain to prevent damage.
5. Low-Quality Bricks:
Low-quality or over-burned bricks that lack strength and durability can still find a purpose in construction. They can be used as aggregates for foundation concrete and road metal works. However, their vulnerability to breaking makes them unsuitable for load-bearing applications.
6. Refractory Bricks:
Refractory bricks, such as silica, magnesia, chamotte, and neutral refractory, serve specific purposes in high-temperature environments. These bricks are used for lining chimneys, furnaces, pizza ovens, and outdoor brick barbecues. They possess thermal shock resistance, high melting points, and satisfactory porosity.
7. Manufacture of Surki:
Bricks can be crushed and powdered to create surki, which is used in lime plaster and lime concrete. Surki enhances the binding properties of lime, improving the overall strength and durability of the construction.
8. Informal Walkways and Paths:
Bricks can be creatively utilized to create informal walkways or paths leading to doors and through flower gardens. These pathways not only provide functionality but also add a touch of charm to outdoor spaces.
9. Ornamental Planter/Candleholders:
With a little imagination, bricks can be transformed into stunning planters or candle holders. By utilizing the existing holes in bricks, you can create unique and visually appealing pieces that enhance the ambiance of indoor or outdoor spaces.
Bricks continue to be an indispensable material in civil engineering, offering both structural integrity and aesthetic appeal. From permanent structural constructions to decorative applications, bricks have proven their versatility and durability. By understanding the various uses of bricks, engineers, architects, and homeowners can make informed decisions to optimize their construction projects.