Brickwork properties


Solid brickwork is made of two or more layers of bricks with the units running horizontally called “stretcher” bricks bound together with bricks running transverse to the wall called “header” bricks. Each row of bricks is known as a course. The pattern of headers and stretchers employed gives rise to different bonds such as the common bond (having every 6th course featured with headers), the English bond and the Flemish bond (with alternating stretcher and header bricks present on every course). Bonds may differ in strength and in insulating capacity. Vertically staggered bonds are found to be comparatively stronger and durable, less prone to major cracking than a non-staggered bond.

Common Properties of brick:

  • Weight per unit volume= 19kN/m3
  • Modulus of elasticity= 3*10^6 KN/m2
  • Poisson’s ratio= 0.3
  • Shear modulus (G) = 1153846.2
  • Compressive strength of brick= 1.190 Mpa
  • Dimension= (230*110*55) mm

Brick dimensions:

Brick sizes are in general co-ordinate so that two rows of bricks laid alongside having a mortar joint between them are the same width as the length of single brick laid across the two rows. That allows headers; bricks laid at 90 degrees to the direction of wall, to built in and tie together two or more layers of brick. The thickness of a brick wall is measured by the length of a brick, so a wall one brick thick contains two layers of brick; a wall one and a half brick thick contains three layers, etc. a common metric coordinating size is 230 millimeters (9inch) x 110 millimeters (4.5 inch) x 55 millimeters (2 inch), that is required to work with a 10 millimeters (0.39 inch) mortars joint, 75 mm (3 inch) course height, 230 mm (9inch) wall thickness. This is a common brick dimensions, however you may find numerous standard brick sizes worldwide, with some coordinating principle and theories.

Different terminologies:

  • Bond: a pattern in which brick is laid.
  • Stretcher: a brick laid horizontally, flat with the long side of the brick exposed on the outer face of wall.
  • Header: a brick laid flat with the short end of the brick exposed.
  • Soldier: a brick laid vertically with the narrow (stretcher) side exposed.
  • Sailor: a brick laid vertically with the broad side exposed.
  • Rowlock or bull header: a brick laid on the long, narrow side with the small or header side exposed.
  • Shiner: a brick laid on the long narrow side with the broad side exposed.


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