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Information @ a Glance

General
  • A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction and sized to be layed with one hand using mortar. The oldest shaped bricks found date back to 7,500 B.C. They have been found in Çayönü, a place located in the upper Tigris area in south east Anatolia close to Diyarbakir. Other more recent findings, dated between 7,000 and 6,395 B.C., come from Jericho and Catal Hüyük.
  • From archaeological evidence, the inven­tion of the fired brick (as opposed to the consid­erably earlier sun-dried mud brick) is believed to have arisen in about the third millennium BC in the Middle East. The Romans made use of fired bricks, and the Roman legions, which operated mobile kilns, introduced bricks to many parts of the empire. Roman bricks are often stamped with the mark of the legion that supervised its production.

Manufacturing Process

  • Brick making is an ancient trade. We read in the Bible of the problems the Israelites had making mud bricks for Pharaoh. Mud bricks dried in the sun are still being made in Egypt today, but when we think of bricks we think of bricks made of clay and fired in an oven to make them hard. Houses made of brick are the rule in Toronto especially after the disastrous fires of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  • In brick-making terms, clay covers a range of naturally occurring raw materials which are used to make a product. The clays vary considerably in physical properties, colour, hardness etc, and mineralogical content. They have the ability to be crushed and mixed with water to form a plastic material which can be moulded into various shapes.

Technology

  • Production of lightweight clay bricks and blocks with higher thermal insulation properties is possible by using combustible additives in appropriate amounts and particle sizes. It was aimed within the scope of another research project to establish the technological preconditions for the manufacture of lightweight bricks and blocks using foamed polystyrene as poreforming additive. The results are very promising.
  • Tunnel kilns technology are capital intensive and suitable only for higher production levels. Since a large portion of brick production in India is done in small and medium operations, tunnel kilns may not be suitable. On the other hand, VSBK technology (mainly developed and used for smallscale production in rural China) is probably more suited for the brick industry in India due to its lower capital requirements and ability to meet emissions standards.

Market

  • National production of common bricks, which comprised 64% of total output, fell substantially from 4,659m to only 1,591m. The market for bricks is developing into a national market, replacing the traditional series of highly localised markets. At the same time the individuality of the product has become increasingly important in competition for sales.
  • The total fly ash generation at TPPs by the turn of the century is estimated at about 90 million tonne. Utilization of fly ash while reducing the environmental problems is a resource for value added products. Utilization of fly ash in building materials is of special importance. Clay-fly ash bricks have advantages of Fuel saving in the range of 15%-35% (coal consumption) or coal saving upto 3-7 tonne per lakh bricks.

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