What is Brick Manufacturing?
Brick manufacturing is the process of making bricks. A brick consists of clay, silica, alumina, iron oxide, manganese, etc. Bricks are produced by mixing the clayey soil with the water, and then it is shaped in the desired shape. After moulding, the bricks it is dried, and then it is burnt at some specified temperature. Manufacturing of bricks is done in many steps, which will be explained further.
Certain additives such as fly ash, sandy loam, rice husk ash, basalt stone dust, etc., are often required to modify the shaping, drying and firing behaviour of clay mass and to help conserve agricultural land and utilise waste materials available in large quantities. These additives should, however, have a desirable level of physical and chemical characteristics to modify the clay mass behaviour within the optimum range without any adverse effect on performance and durability.
Flow Chart of Manufacturing of Bricks
The flow chart for brick manufacturing consists of the steps involved in the process of making bricks. These brick manufacturing processes may include the preparation of clay material, moulding of clay, drying of bricks and burning of bricks, etc. The clay preparation involves many steps like unsoiling, digging, weathering, etc.
Process of Making Bricks
Brick material consists of silica, alumina, manganese and iron oxides. The process of making bricks consists of the following operations.
- Unsoiling: In this process, the soil is prepared to form bricks. It should be free from gravel, coarse sand, organic matter etc. Earth material for manufacturing bricks should be free from pebbles, roots, etc.
- Digging: After removing the top layer of the earth, proportions of additives such as fly ash, sandy Loam, rice husk ash, stone dust etc., should be spread over the plane ground surface on a volume basis. The digging operation should be done before the rains.
- Weathering: it is the process of removing large particles like gravel, pebbles etc. It is done to develop homogeneity in the mass of soil, particularly if they are from different sources, and also to eliminate the impurities which get oxidized. Soluble salts in the clay would also be eroded by rain, which otherwise could have caused scumming when burning the bricks in the kiln. The soil should be turned over at least twice and ensured that the entire soil is wet throughout the period of weathering.
- Blending: The earth is mixed with sandy and calcareous earth in suitable proportions to modify soil composition. A moderate amount of water is mixed to obtain the correct mould consistency. The addition of water to the soil at the dumps is necessary for easy mixing and workability, but the addition of water should be controlled so that it may not create a problem in moulding and drying. Moisture content in excess amounts may affect the shape and size of the finished brick.
- Tempering: Tempering consists of kneading the earth to make the mass stiff and plastic (by plasticity, we mean wet clay's property of being permanently deformed without cracking). It should preferably be carried out by storing die soil in a cool place in layers of about 30 cm thickness for not less than 36 hours. It will ensure homogeneity in the mass of clay for subsequent processing.
- Vitrification: To convert the mass into a glass-like substance — the temperature ranges from 900-1100°C for low-melting clay and 1000-1250°C for high-melting clay. Cooling the bricks below the cherry red heat requires great care to avoid checking and cracking. The vitrification period may further be divided into incipient vitrification, complete vitrification, and viscous vitrification.
Manufacturing Process of Bricks
Manufacturing of bricks should be taken under the proper attention of atmospheric conditions because various properties depend upon the formation of bricks. The temperature and duration of burning the bricks should be controlled because it may cause the formation of the over burnt brick, which does not remain useful for constructing masonry structures. The manufacturing process of bricks can be explained as follows:
- Preparation of clay material
- Moulding of bricks in rectangular shapes
- Drying of bricks
- Burning of bricks
Uses of Bricks
Bricks are used for the construction of masonry structures. Based on the strength parameters, it can be classified into different classes of bricks like class A, B, C, and D. The strength of class A bricks is higher, and the strength of class D bricks will be lower among all bricks. Its use in structures is based on the different classes of bricks. Here some common use of bricks is given.
- Bricks are used in the construction of masonry structures.
- Bricks can be used for the construction of floors.
- It can be used in the case of the construction of arch structures
- It can also be used for the construction of partition walls
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