Building Materials: Characteristics of Bricks

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17 Questions

What is a characteristic of bricks that makes them a popular choice for building materials?

They offer a variety of colour, shape, and texture

What is the primary material used to make calcium silicate bricks?

Sand and lime

What type of brick is used for decorative purposes and is more expensive than common brick?

Facing brick

What is the primary characteristic of engineering bricks?

They are very hard, dense, and have a smooth texture

What is the typical size of a concrete block?

450mm long by 150mm or 225mm high

What is the process by which calcium silicate bricks are hardened?

Exposure to steam at pressure

What is the primary purpose of the insulation in a cavity wall?

To prevent heat loss in the building

What is the minimum width of the blocks typically used in construction?

100 mm

What is the purpose of a plasticizer in mortar?

To make the mortar more workable

What is the typical material used to manufacture blocks?

Sand, cement and aggregate

Why is it important to use a well-graded clean sand in mortar?

To produce a good workable mix of adequate strength

What is the purpose of the stainless-steel wire wall tie?

To hold the sheet insulation in place

What is the primary function of a damp-proof course (DPC) in a building?

To prevent the passage of moisture or water through parts of a structure in contact with the ground

What is the purpose of a vertical DPC in a wall structure?

To prevent the downward passage of moisture or water through parts of a wall structure

What is the typical final coat used in internal plastering?

Gypsum

What is a popular finish for external plastering?

Wet dash or marble chips

What is the primary purpose of internal plastering?

To provide a smooth and level surface to walls and ceilings

Study Notes

Bricks

  • Bricks are one of the oldest manufactured materials, with a variety of colors, shapes, and textures.
  • They are produced to withstand load-bearing compressive loads and must be fairly impervious, weather/frost resistant, and have an attractive appearance.

Types of Bricks

  • Clay bricks: made from clay, silica, and alumina, with small quantities of lime, iron, and manganese, and baked in a kiln.
  • Calcium silicate bricks: made from sand and lime, and hardened by exposure to steam at pressure.
  • Common brick: generally used for building, can vary in quality, and has no decorative face.
  • Facing brick: used for decorative appearance, more expensive than common brick.
  • Engineering brick: very hard, dense, and smooth, with high load-bearing capacity and used for strength and durability.

Concrete Blocks

  • Produced in a range of shapes and sizes, typically 450mm long by 150mm or 225mm high, and 100mm wide.
  • Manufactured from sand, cement, and aggregate, and usually used where the surface will be covered with plaster.

Mortar for Bricks and Blocks

  • Typically includes water, sand, cement, lime, or plasticizer.
  • Well-graded clean sand helps produce a good workable mix of adequate strength.
  • Ordinary Portland Cement is normally used for mortar.
  • Plasticizer is an additive that can be mixed to make the mortar more workable.

Insulation

  • Various types of insulation are available to place in a cavity wall to prevent heat loss in the building.

Damp-Proof Courses (DPC)

  • Function: to prevent the passage of moisture or water through those parts of a structure in contact with the ground.
  • Used to prevent downward passage of moisture or water through wall structures, such as window jambs.

Plaster

  • Internal plaster: provides a smooth and level surface to walls and ceilings, and can improve fire resistance, acoustic, or thermal properties.
  • External plaster: typically sand and cement, rubbed smooth, and painted with a masonry paint.

This quiz covers the characteristics and advantages of bricks as a building material, including their load-bearing capacity, weather resistance, and aesthetic appeal.

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