Bricks used in construction industry can have the following defects. So before using the bricks, it should be inspected properly for presence of any of the following defects.

Different Types of Defects Found on Bricks

1. Over-burning of Bricks

Bricks should be burned at temperatures at which incipient, complete and viscous vitrification occur. However, if the bricks are over burnt, a soft molten mass is produced and the bricks loose their shape. Such bricks are not used for construction works.

2. Under burning of Bricks

When bricks are not burnt to cause complete vitrification, the clay is not softened because of insufficient heat and the pores are not closed. This results in higher degree of water absorption and less compressive strength. Such bricks are not recommended for construction works.

3. Bloating

This defect observed as spongy swollen mass over the surface of burned bricks. This is caused due to the presence of excess carbonaceous matter and sulphur in brick-clay.

4. Black Core

Presence of bituminous matter or carbon in the brick clay is the cause of this defect. When these matters are not completely removed by oxidation, due to improper burning, the brick results in black core.

5. Efflorescence

The presence of soluble salts is the primary cause of this defect. When bricks come in contact with moisture, water is absorbed and the salts crystallize. On drying grey or white powder patches appear on the brick surface. This can be minimized by implementing any of the following methods, such as

  • 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.
Efflorescence of Brick- Defects found on bricks
Efflorescence of Brick

6. Chuffs

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

7. Checks or Cracks

This defect may be because of lumps of lime or excess of water. In case of the former, when bricks come in contact with water, the absorbed water reacts with lime nodules causing expansion and a consequent disintegration of bricks, whereas shrinkage and burning cracks result when excess of water is added during brick manufacturing.

8. Spots

Iron sulphide, if present in the brick clay, results in dark surface spots on the brick surfaces. Such bricks though not harmful are unsuitable for exposed masonry work.

9. Blisters

Broken blisters are generally caused on the surface of sewer pipes and drain tiles due to air imprisoned during their moulding.

10. Laminations

These are caused by the entrapped air in the voids of clay. Laminations produce thin lamina on the brick faces which weather out on exposure. Such bricks are weak in structure.

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