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Partition walls are vertical dividers which are used to separate building internal spaces into rooms and circulation areas like corridors. Types of partition walls and their applications are discussed in the following sections.

Partition wall types

Types of Partition Walls

Depending upon the material used partition walls may be divided into the following different types:

  1. Brick partitions wall
  2. Clay brick partition wall
  3. Glass partitions wall
  4. Concrete partitions wall
  5. plaster slab partition wall
  6. Metal lath partition wall
  7. A.C. sheet or G.I. sheet partitions wall
  8. wood-wool partition wall
  9. Timber partitions

1. Brick Partition Wall

There are three types of brick partition walls which include plain brick partition wall, reinforced brick partition wall, and brick nogging partition wall.

Plain brick partition wall

  • It is constructed from plain bricks, and it is common and cost effective
  • The bricks are laid as stretchers in cement mortar.
  • Thickness of plain brick partition wall is 10cm or half a brick.
  • Recommended height is maximum 2m for construction in a day
  • It is plastered on both sides
  • Strong and fire resistant if the brick wall is constructed properly
Plain Brick Parition Wall

Fig. 1: Plain Brick Parition Wall

Reinforced brick partition wall

  • It is similar to plain brick partition but reinforced brick is much stronger due to the placement of reinforcements.
  • Reinforcements, which is in from of wire mesh strips or iron bare, are placed at every third or fourth course.
  • Reinforced wire strip width ranges from 25mm to 28mm and thickness is 1.6mm.
  • Steel bar diameter is 6mm
  • The thickness of the wall equal to 10cm or half a brick
  • This type of partition wall used when better longitudinal bond is need and when the partition wall has to support other super imposed loads.
Reinforced Brick Partition wall

Fig. 2: Reinforced Brick Partition wall

Brick nogging partition wall

  • Brick nogging partition wall consists of brickworkbuilt within a framework of wooden members.
  • The timber framework consists of vertical posts (studs). Horizontal members (nogging), sill, and head as explained in
  • Studs spaced at 60 cm to 150 cm and held in position by nogging pieces.
  • The nogging pieces are housed into the studs at 60 cm to 90cm apart vertically.
  • The wooden framework provide stability to the partition against lateral loads and vibrations caused due to opening the adjoining door and windows
  • The bricks are commonly laid flat, but they also may be laid on edge
  • The brickwork is plastered from both sides.
  • Cement mortar proportion 1:3 is used
  • The size of the studs and nogging depends upon the thickness of partition wall.
  • For 10cm thick partition wall, the studs and nogging should be 15 cm wide so that after the brickwork is plastered from both the faces, the timber framework may finish flush with the wall face.
  • The surfaces of the timber frame work coming in contact with brick work are coated with coal tar.
  • This type of partition wall suffers from the drawback of the timber getting delayed.
  • The mortar used may not stick well to the timber members and thus the brickwork is likely to become loose after sometime.
Timber framework in brick nogging partition wall

Fig. 3: Timber framework in brick nogging partition wall

Brick nogging partition wall

Fig. 4: Brick nogging partition wall; bricks are liad flat

Brick nogging partition wall

Fig. 5: Brick nogging partition wall; bricks are laid on edge

2. Clay brick partition wall

  • The blocks which are used for clay brick partition wall, is manufactured from clay or terracotta.
  • Blocks may hollow or solid
  • Hollow clay bricks are commonly employed for light partition wall
  • The blocks are placed in mortar
  • Hollow brick partition walls are rigid, economical, strong, fire resistant, and good heat sound insulator.
  • The sizes of the hollow blocks differ with the texture of the material.
  • The thickness of this type of partition wall varies between 6 cm to 15 cm.
  • Hollow brick partitions walls are constructed in similar manner as structural load bearing walls.
  • Grooves are provided on top, bottom, and sides of block to improve the bond between the block and plaster.
hollow clay brick units

Fig. 6: hollow clay brick units

Hollow Clay Brick Partition wall

Fig.7: Hollow Clay Brick Partition wall

3. Glass partition walls

They are cheap, light, and easy in construction and provide reasonable privacy and sound insulation. such walls are constructed from glass sheet or hollow glass blocks which will be discussed below

Glass sheet partition wall

  • It is constructed by fixing sheet of glass in a wooden framework.
  • Glass sheets are fixed in timber framework using using timber beadings or by putty.
  • The wooden framework consists of a number of horizontal and vertical posts, suitably spaced, to divide the entire area into a number of panels.
  • The panels might be rectangular or square and their size varies with the choice of individual.
  • Glass sheet partition wall is light, vermin proof, damp proof, and sound proof.
  • Wired glass, bullet proof glass, and three-ply glass are examples of strong glass sheets which are suitable for glass sheet partition wall construction.
glass sheet partion wall

Fig.8: glass sheet partion wall

Hollow glass block partition wall

  • It is constructed from hollow glass blocks.
  • Hollow glass blocks are translucent glass units which are light and manufacture with various thicknesses, shapes, and sizes.
  • The size of square hollow glass blocks, which is most widely used, is 14X14cm or 19X19cm with a thickness of 10cm.
  • The hollow blocks are
  • The jointing edges are painted internally and sanded externally to help the bond between mortar and glass block.
  • The front and back sides are either decorated or left plain.
  • Block glass is laid in cement- lime mortar- fine sand (1:1:4)
  • All joints shall be filled adequately
  • Metal strip reinforcement is placed at every third or fourth course for block height up to 15.
  • Reinforcement is placed at every course if the blocks height exceeds 25cm
  • There is another type of glass block with joggles and end grooves as well.
Glass block partition wall

Fig.9: Glass block partition wall

4. Concrete Partition wall

It consists of concrete slab, plain or reinforced, supported laterally by vertical members. These slabs may be either precast of cast in situ.

Cast in situ concrete partition wall 

  • Thickness ranges from 80mm to 100mm
  • It is poured monolothically with intermediate columns
  • It is rigid and stable both in vertical and horizontal directions but the framework is costly.
  • The reinforcement consisting of mild steel bars or B R C fabric is placed in the center of the wall thickness.
  • Concrete mix usually adopted in the work is M15 (1:2:4).
Cast in situ concrete partition wall

Fig.10: Cast in situ concrete partition wall

Precast concrete slab partitions wall 

  • the wall is built from precast concrete slab units
  • precast unit thickness ranges from 25mm to 40mm
  • precast units are secured to precast posts
  • joints shall be filled with mortar
  • Concrete mix is M15 (1:2:4).
Precast concrete partition wall

Fig.11: Precast concrete partition wall

Wall partitions constructed from special precast units

  • the wall is constructed from precast T-shaped or L-shaped units
  • light weight, hollow partitions can be built without the need for vertical posts
  • cement mortar mix proportion of 1:3 is used for jointing

5. Plaster slab partition wall

  • Plaster slabs or plaster boards are made from burnt gypsum or plaster of paris, mixed with sawdust or other fibrous material to reduce its weight
  • Units of plaster slab prepared in an iron or timber mould with size 1 to 2m long, 30cm high and 50 to 100mm thick.
  • they are equipped with suitable grooves to create rigid joints
  • Plaster slab surface may be smooth or rough. The former is not plastered but rough surface act as key for plaster.

    Plaster slab partition wall

    Fig.12: Plaster slab partition wall

6. Metal lath partition wall

  • Metal lath partition wall are thin, strong, durable and considerably fire resistant.
  • Metal lath partition walls are constructed by placing 2cm or 2.5cm channels vertically (called studs) and fixing metal lath to it on one side.
  • Plaster is applied to both the sides of the metal
  • If hallow partition is required, metal lath is fixed to the channels on both the sides and then plaster is applied.
Metal lath partition wall

Fig.13: Metal lath partition wall

7. A.C. Sheet or G.I. Sheet partition wall

  • Partition walls constructed from asbestos cement sheeting or galvanized sheet fixed to wooden or steel frame.
  • It is mostly adopted in works of temporary character.
  • Such walls are economical, light and fairly rigid if constructed properly.
  • Slab consists of core or corrugated asbestos cement sheet with the plain asbestos cement sheet attached to it on either side. The use of such slabs renders the partition wall more fire-resistant and makes it have good heat and sound insulation properties.
Asbestos sheet or GI sheet partition wall

Fig.14:Asbestos sheet or GI sheet partition wall

8. Wood-wool partition wall

  • Wood wool consist of long tangled wood fibers, uncompacted, coated and bound together with cement or plaster, and with a rough open surface which provides an excellent key for plaster.
  • It is good heat and sound insulator
Wood-wool partition wall

Fig.15: Wood-wool partition wall

 9. Timber partitions wall

  • This type of partition walls that consists of a wooden framework is either supported on the floor below or by side walls.
  • The framework consists of a rigid arrangement of timber members which may be plastered or covered with boarding etc from both the sides.
  • Such partitions are not fire-resistant and the timber forming the partition is likely to decay or be eaten away by white ants.
  • The use of timber partition walls is decreasing.
Timber Partition wall

Fig.16:Timber Partition wall

About Madeh Izat HamakareemVerified

Madeh is a Structural Engineer who works as Assistant Lecturer in Koya University. He is the author, editor and partner at theconstructor.org.