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ELEMENTS OF CIVIL ENGINEERING AND
MECHANICS
Module-1
Building materials
BRICKS
• Bricks are obtained by moulding clay in rectangular blocks of uniform size
and then by drying and burning these blocks.
• As bricks are of uniform size, they can be properly arranged and further as
they are light in weight, no need of any lifting equipments for them.
• The bricks do not require any dressing and the art of laying bricks is simple,
so that it can be carried out with the help of unskilled labors.
• Thus, at places where stones are not easily available and if plenty of clay is
available we go for manufacturing the bricks. Thus bricks replace stones.
MANUFACTURING OF CLAY BRICKS
 In the process of manufacturing bricks, the following four distinct operations are
involved.
a) Preparation of clay
b) Moulding
c) Drying
d) Burning
MANUFACTURING OF CLAY BRICKS
Preparation of clay: The clay for bricks is prepared in the following order
(i) The top layer of soil about 200mm in depth is taken out and thrown away. The clay in
top soil is full of impurities and hence is to be rejected for the purpose of preparing
bricks.
(ii) The clay is then dug out from the ground. It is spread out on the leveled ground, just a
little deeper than the general level of ground.
(iii) The clay as obtained in the process of digging should be cleaned of stones, pebbles,
vegetative matter etc.
(iv) The lumps of clay should be converted into powder form in the earth crushing roller.
 Moulding: The Clay which is prepared as above is
then sent for the next operation of moulding.
In case of hand moulding, the bricks are moulded by
hand i.e., manually.
It is adopted where manpower is cheap and is readily
available for the manufacture process of bricks on a
small scale.
The moulds are rectangular boxes which are opened at
both top and bottom. They may be of wood or steel.
Drying :-
 The damp brick, if burnt, are likely to be cracked and distorted.
 Hence the moulded bricks are dried before they are taken into next step of operation i.e.,
burning.
For drying, the bricks are arranged longitudinally in stacks.
 The bricks are allowed to dry till they become hard with moisture content of about 2% or
so.
 The bricks should be arranged in such a way that sufficient air space is left between them
for circulation of air.
For the drying purpose, special drying yards should be prepared. It should be slightly on a
higher level and it is desirable to cover it with sand.
 The time required by moulded bricks to dry depends on prevailing weather conditions.
Usually it takes about 3 to 10 days for bricks to become dry.
It is to be seen that bricks are not directly exposed to the wind or sun for drying. Suitable
screens.
BURNING
a) This is a very important operation in the manufacturing process of bricks. It imparts
hardness and strength to the bricks and makes them dense and durable.
b) The bricks should be burnt properly. If bricks are over burnt, they will be brittle and
hence break easily.
c) If they are under burnt, they will be soft and hence cannot carry loads. When the
temperature of dull red heat, about 650̊ C, is attained, the organic matter contained in the
brick is oxidized and also the water of crystallization is driven away.
d) But heating of bricks is done beyond this limit for the following purposes
1. If the bricks are cooled after attaining the temperature of about 650̊ C, the bricks formed
will absorb moisture from the air and gets rehydrated.
2. When the temperature of about 1100̊ C is reached, the particles of two important
constituents of brick clay minerals namely, alumina and sand, binds themselves together
resulting in the increase of strength and density of bricks. Further heating is not desirable.
QUALITIES OR REQUIREMENTS OF GOOD BRICK
1. The bricks should be well-burnt in kilns, copper-colored, free from cracks and with
sharp and square edges. The color should be uniform and bright.
2. The bricks should be uniform in shape and should be of standard size.
3. The bricks should give a clear metallic ringing sound when stuck with each other.
4. The bricks when broken or fractured should show a bright homogenous and uniform
compact structure free from voids.
5. The bricks should not absorb water more than 20 percent by weight for I class brick and
22 percent by weight for II class brick when soaked in water for 24hrs.
6. The bricks should be sufficiently hard. No impression should be left on brick surface,
when it is scratched with finger nail.
7. The bricks should not break into pieces when it is dropped on hard ground from a height
of 1 meter.
QUALITIES OR REQUIREMENTS OF GOOD BRICK
8. The bricks when soaked in water for 24hrs should not show deposits of white
salts when allowed to dry in shade.
9. No brick should have the crushing strength less than 3.5 N/mm2
Tests on Bricks
1. Absorption: A brick is taken and it is weighed dry. It is then immersed in water for a
period of 16hrs. It is weighed again and the difference in weight indicates the amount of
water absorbed by brick. It should not in any case exceed 20% of weight of dry brick.
2. Crushing strength: The crushing strength of a brick is found out by placing it in a
compression testing machine. It is pressed till it breaks. As per the code IS: 1077-1970,
the minimum crushing strength should not be less than 3.5N/mm2. The brick with
crushing strength of about 7 to 14 N/mm2 are graded as A and those having greater than
14N/mm2 are graded as AA.
3. Hardness: In this test, a scratch is made on brick surface with the help of a finger nail. If
no impression is left on the surface, the brick is treated to be sufficiently hard.
4. Soundness: In this test, the two bricks are taken and they are strucked with each other.
The bricks should not break and a clear Metallic ringing sound should be produced.
5. Structure: A brick is broken and its structure is examined. It should be homogeneous,
compact and free from any defects such as holes, lumps etc.
CLASSIFICATION OF BRICKS
I Class Bricks:
• The surface and edges of the bricks are sharp, square, smooth and straight.
• They satisfy all the qualities of good bricks which are mentioned earlier.
• These bricks are used for superior work of permanent nature.
II Class Bricks:
• The surface of these bricks is somewhat rough and shape is also straightly irregular.
• These bricks may have hair-cracks and their edges may not be sharp and uniform.
• These bricks are commonly used at places where brick work is to be provided with a
coat of plaster.
CLASSIFICATION OF BRICKS
III Class Bricks:
• These bricks are not hard and they have rough surfaces with irregular and distorted edges.
• These bricks give dull sound when strucked with each other.
• They are used for unimportant and temporary structures and at places where rainfall is not
heavy.
IV Class Bricks:
• These are over-burnt bricks with irregular shape and dark colored.
• These bricks are used as aggregate for concrete in foundations, floors, roads etc.
• Because of the fact that the over-burnt bricks have a compact structure and they are seems
to be stronger than I Class bricks
TIMBER
The word timber is derived from an old English word “timbrian” which means to build. The
timber thus denotes wood which is suitable for building or carpentry or various other
engineering purposes
Following are the three terms to be noted in connection with the timber:
1. Converted Timber: This indicates timber which is cut into suitable commercially
sizes.
2. Rough timber: This indicates timber which is obtained after felling a tree.
3. Standing timber: This indicates timber contained in living tree.
 The timber or wood as a building material possesses a number of valuable properties
such as low heat conductivity, lower bulk density, relatively high strength.
However it has also its own drawbacks such as susceptibility to decay and inflammability.
These drawbacks can be overcome by adopting new wood processing techniques.
CLASSIFICATION OF TREES
For the engineering purposes, the trees
are classified according to their mode
of growth.
1. Exogenous trees: These tress
increases in bulk by growing
outwards and distinct consecutive
rings are formed in the horizontal
section of tree. These rings are
known as annual rings because,
one such ring is added every year
& these rings are useful in
predicting the age of the tree.
CLASSIFICATION OF TREES
2. Endogenous trees:
These trees grow inwards. The timber from
these types of trees has limited engineering
application. The common examples are
bamboo, cane etc.

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Civil Engineering Fundamentals of Building Materials

  • 1. ELEMENTS OF CIVIL ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS Module-1 Building materials
  • 2. BRICKS • Bricks are obtained by moulding clay in rectangular blocks of uniform size and then by drying and burning these blocks. • As bricks are of uniform size, they can be properly arranged and further as they are light in weight, no need of any lifting equipments for them. • The bricks do not require any dressing and the art of laying bricks is simple, so that it can be carried out with the help of unskilled labors. • Thus, at places where stones are not easily available and if plenty of clay is available we go for manufacturing the bricks. Thus bricks replace stones.
  • 3. MANUFACTURING OF CLAY BRICKS  In the process of manufacturing bricks, the following four distinct operations are involved. a) Preparation of clay b) Moulding c) Drying d) Burning
  • 4. MANUFACTURING OF CLAY BRICKS Preparation of clay: The clay for bricks is prepared in the following order (i) The top layer of soil about 200mm in depth is taken out and thrown away. The clay in top soil is full of impurities and hence is to be rejected for the purpose of preparing bricks. (ii) The clay is then dug out from the ground. It is spread out on the leveled ground, just a little deeper than the general level of ground. (iii) The clay as obtained in the process of digging should be cleaned of stones, pebbles, vegetative matter etc. (iv) The lumps of clay should be converted into powder form in the earth crushing roller.
  • 5.  Moulding: The Clay which is prepared as above is then sent for the next operation of moulding. In case of hand moulding, the bricks are moulded by hand i.e., manually. It is adopted where manpower is cheap and is readily available for the manufacture process of bricks on a small scale. The moulds are rectangular boxes which are opened at both top and bottom. They may be of wood or steel.
  • 6. Drying :-  The damp brick, if burnt, are likely to be cracked and distorted.  Hence the moulded bricks are dried before they are taken into next step of operation i.e., burning. For drying, the bricks are arranged longitudinally in stacks.  The bricks are allowed to dry till they become hard with moisture content of about 2% or so.  The bricks should be arranged in such a way that sufficient air space is left between them for circulation of air. For the drying purpose, special drying yards should be prepared. It should be slightly on a higher level and it is desirable to cover it with sand.  The time required by moulded bricks to dry depends on prevailing weather conditions. Usually it takes about 3 to 10 days for bricks to become dry. It is to be seen that bricks are not directly exposed to the wind or sun for drying. Suitable screens.
  • 7. BURNING a) This is a very important operation in the manufacturing process of bricks. It imparts hardness and strength to the bricks and makes them dense and durable. b) The bricks should be burnt properly. If bricks are over burnt, they will be brittle and hence break easily. c) If they are under burnt, they will be soft and hence cannot carry loads. When the temperature of dull red heat, about 650̊ C, is attained, the organic matter contained in the brick is oxidized and also the water of crystallization is driven away. d) But heating of bricks is done beyond this limit for the following purposes 1. If the bricks are cooled after attaining the temperature of about 650̊ C, the bricks formed will absorb moisture from the air and gets rehydrated. 2. When the temperature of about 1100̊ C is reached, the particles of two important constituents of brick clay minerals namely, alumina and sand, binds themselves together resulting in the increase of strength and density of bricks. Further heating is not desirable.
  • 8. QUALITIES OR REQUIREMENTS OF GOOD BRICK 1. The bricks should be well-burnt in kilns, copper-colored, free from cracks and with sharp and square edges. The color should be uniform and bright. 2. The bricks should be uniform in shape and should be of standard size. 3. The bricks should give a clear metallic ringing sound when stuck with each other. 4. The bricks when broken or fractured should show a bright homogenous and uniform compact structure free from voids. 5. The bricks should not absorb water more than 20 percent by weight for I class brick and 22 percent by weight for II class brick when soaked in water for 24hrs. 6. The bricks should be sufficiently hard. No impression should be left on brick surface, when it is scratched with finger nail. 7. The bricks should not break into pieces when it is dropped on hard ground from a height of 1 meter.
  • 9. QUALITIES OR REQUIREMENTS OF GOOD BRICK 8. The bricks when soaked in water for 24hrs should not show deposits of white salts when allowed to dry in shade. 9. No brick should have the crushing strength less than 3.5 N/mm2
  • 10. Tests on Bricks 1. Absorption: A brick is taken and it is weighed dry. It is then immersed in water for a period of 16hrs. It is weighed again and the difference in weight indicates the amount of water absorbed by brick. It should not in any case exceed 20% of weight of dry brick. 2. Crushing strength: The crushing strength of a brick is found out by placing it in a compression testing machine. It is pressed till it breaks. As per the code IS: 1077-1970, the minimum crushing strength should not be less than 3.5N/mm2. The brick with crushing strength of about 7 to 14 N/mm2 are graded as A and those having greater than 14N/mm2 are graded as AA. 3. Hardness: In this test, a scratch is made on brick surface with the help of a finger nail. If no impression is left on the surface, the brick is treated to be sufficiently hard. 4. Soundness: In this test, the two bricks are taken and they are strucked with each other. The bricks should not break and a clear Metallic ringing sound should be produced. 5. Structure: A brick is broken and its structure is examined. It should be homogeneous, compact and free from any defects such as holes, lumps etc.
  • 11. CLASSIFICATION OF BRICKS I Class Bricks: • The surface and edges of the bricks are sharp, square, smooth and straight. • They satisfy all the qualities of good bricks which are mentioned earlier. • These bricks are used for superior work of permanent nature. II Class Bricks: • The surface of these bricks is somewhat rough and shape is also straightly irregular. • These bricks may have hair-cracks and their edges may not be sharp and uniform. • These bricks are commonly used at places where brick work is to be provided with a coat of plaster.
  • 12. CLASSIFICATION OF BRICKS III Class Bricks: • These bricks are not hard and they have rough surfaces with irregular and distorted edges. • These bricks give dull sound when strucked with each other. • They are used for unimportant and temporary structures and at places where rainfall is not heavy. IV Class Bricks: • These are over-burnt bricks with irregular shape and dark colored. • These bricks are used as aggregate for concrete in foundations, floors, roads etc. • Because of the fact that the over-burnt bricks have a compact structure and they are seems to be stronger than I Class bricks
  • 13. TIMBER The word timber is derived from an old English word “timbrian” which means to build. The timber thus denotes wood which is suitable for building or carpentry or various other engineering purposes Following are the three terms to be noted in connection with the timber: 1. Converted Timber: This indicates timber which is cut into suitable commercially sizes. 2. Rough timber: This indicates timber which is obtained after felling a tree. 3. Standing timber: This indicates timber contained in living tree.  The timber or wood as a building material possesses a number of valuable properties such as low heat conductivity, lower bulk density, relatively high strength. However it has also its own drawbacks such as susceptibility to decay and inflammability. These drawbacks can be overcome by adopting new wood processing techniques.
  • 14. CLASSIFICATION OF TREES For the engineering purposes, the trees are classified according to their mode of growth. 1. Exogenous trees: These tress increases in bulk by growing outwards and distinct consecutive rings are formed in the horizontal section of tree. These rings are known as annual rings because, one such ring is added every year & these rings are useful in predicting the age of the tree.
  • 15. CLASSIFICATION OF TREES 2. Endogenous trees: These trees grow inwards. The timber from these types of trees has limited engineering application. The common examples are bamboo, cane etc.