The Constructor

Types of Defects in Bricks and their Identification at Construction Site

Identifying defects in bricks

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There can be many defects in bricks. Identifying defective bricks is important for the consideration of stability and durability of load bearing brick masonry walls and structures.

Types of Defects in Bricks and their Identification

Following are the different types of defects generally found in bricks:

1. Over burning of bricks

When bricks over-burn, soft molten mass is produced and the brick will its shape along with other designated requirements.

Fig.1: over burnt bricks

2. Under burning of bricks

Fig.2:under burnt bricks

3. Bloating of bricks 

Bloating of bricks is spongy swollen mass over the surface of burned bricks. Presence of excess carbonaceous matter and Sulphur in brick-clay is the main cause of bloating.

Fig.3:bloating of bricks

4. Black core

Improper burning is the prime cause of brick black core. Bricks, which contains bituminous matter or carbon and they are not completely removed by oxidation, will commonly experience such problem.

Fig.4:black core brick

5. Efflorescence

Presence of drying grey or white powder patches on the brick surface is the efflorescence indicator. This defect is caused because of alkalis present in bricks. When bricks come in contact with moisture, water is absorbed and the alkalis crystalize. Lastly, efflorescence can be minimized by selecting proper clay materials for brick manufacturing, preventing moisture to come in contact with the masonry, by providing waterproof coping and by using water repellent materials in mortar and by providing damp proof course.

Fig.5:efflorescence on bricks

6. Brick cracking

Straight cracks

Straight cracks at right angles from one of the long surfaces of the brick will develop. Considerably rapid drying is the cause of straight cracks. Possibly, brick damage occurs even if fired adequately.

Fig.6:brick straight cracking on one of long surfaces

Random cracks

Fig.7:multiple brick surface cracking in random directions

7. Brick spalling

Fig.8:Spalling of bricks

8. Chuffs

The deformation of the shape of bricks due to rain water falling on hot bricks is known as chuffs.

9.Lime blowing

Fig.9:Lime blowing defects

10. Spots

Fig.10:spots in bricks

11. Lamination bricks 

Fig.11:Brick lamination

12. Defects in brick size

Oversize bricks

Fig.12:oversize brick in all dimensions

Fig.13:brick set on the ground cause oversize in length and width

Fig.14:over sized bricks during wire cut process

Under-size bricks

13. Defects in brick shape

Slump brick shape

Fig.15:Defects in brick shape; slump

Rounded corner brick

Fig.16:defects in brick shape; round corner

Lip on bed face

Fig.17:Defects in brick shape, lip on top face

Banana brick shape

Fig.18: Defects in brick shape, banana shapes

Contaminated or distorted of brick under face

Fig.19: defects in brick shape, contaminated or distorted brick under face

Stacking marks on bricks

Fig.20:defects in brick shape, stacking marks

Brick multiple distortions

Fig.21:defects in brick shape, multiple distortions

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