Bricks are one of the most common building materials around the world. It is available in different sizes but there is a certain standard brick size adopted in many countries. In this article, we will discuss the standard brick size in different countries and types of bricks.
Why Standard Brick Size.?
Standard brick size is the ideal choice to maintain structural integrity when it comes to large construction projects. Also, standard brick size is designed to use bricks easily in the hands.
Standard Brick Size Around The World
Every country has a different system of measurement either an imperial system or metric system. We will discuss how the size of the bricks being used around the world.
Standard Brick Size in The United States
In the US, the American society of testing material (ASTM) is responsible for testing the strength and sizes of common building materials such as bricks. According to the ASTM, the Standard brick size in America is (203 x 92 x 57) mm.
A generally used modular brick size is (194 x 92 x 57) mm. Because of the modular size, it is easy to calculate the bricks in the given run.
Standard Brick Size in the United Kingdom
The standard brick dimension in the UK is (215 x 102.5 x 65) mm laid with a 10mm mortar Joint. However, there is a new trend of using non-standard bricks by architects and designers, such as wienerberger roman bricks(400 x 100 x 40 mm) and mega line bricks (288 x 88 x 48 mm).
Roman Bricks are available in a variety of colors such as brown, black and gray. While mega line bricks are dark red, orange, and smoked black colors.
Standard Brick Size in South Africa
The standard brick size in South Africa is (222 x 106 x 73 mm). The size is because of two important factors, first one is that the bricks fit well in the hands of the mason without any strain, secondly, the size is perfect to create bonds on various types. The arithmetic relationship between length and width is 2:1 and the length to height ratio is 3:1. This proportion allows the brick to bond in any direction.
Standard Brick Size in India
The standard brick size in India is ( 190 x 90 x 90 mm) in inches it will be 7.48” x 3.54” x 3.54”.For some government projects, 9” x 4” x 3” size is used.
There are many other types of bricks used in India as follows:
- Conventional Bricks
- Modular Bricks
- Non-Modular Bricks
- English Bricks
Types of Bricks
Bricks can be classified into types based on the material of composition, following is the types of bricks;
- Clay bricks
- Fly ash bricks
- Concrete Bricks
- Engineering Bricks
- Calcium Silicate Bricks
Clay bricks were the first artificial building material invented by men for construction. Clay Bricks are produced by mixing clay and water and mold them in standard brick size. Normal clay bricks contain the following ingredients :
- Sand ( silica) 50-60 % of the weight
- Clay ( alumina) 20-30 % of the weight
- Lime 2-5 % of the weight
- Iron Oxide 7 % of the weight
- Magnesia 1 % of the weight
Clay bricks must be soaked in water 24 hours prior to use. Generally, Clay Bricks are classified into two main types, Fire bricks, and sun-dried unburnt bricks.
Fire bricks are burned in the kiln at a high temperature of 800-1100 C. Burning process makes bricks more durable and suitable to use in permanent structures. This process usually involves three stages, 1. Clay and water mixing, 2. Molding and drying, 3. Burning at high temperature. Fire bricks are good quality bricks and are further classified into five different types:
- First Class Fire Bricks
- Second Class Fire Bricks
- Third Class Fire Bricks
- Fourth Class Fire Bricks
- Over Burnt Bricks
First Class Fire Bricks
First Class fire bricks are good quality bricks that are used for high-class projects. These bricks are molded by a table molding machine and burnet in large kilns for fine results. First-class bricks are mostly the same size, same color, and have regular edges, and smooth surfaces. Because of their durability and strength, they are expensive than other classes of bricks.
Second Class Fire Bricks
Second Class fire bricks are medium quality bricks, they are molded on the ground and burnt in kilns. Because they are molded on the ground on irregular surfaces, they don’t have a smooth finish and sharp edges. Their color is also not the same with some bricks are light and others are dark colors. They are also durable and provides strength but because of irregular faces, smooth plaster is required for finishing.
Third Class Fire Bricks
Third Class fire bricks are molded on the ground and burnet in clamps because these bricks are molded on the ground by less trained workers, the shape is irregular and the finishing and size are also not the same. They are vulnerable to water and can not be used in exposed structures or where water contact is immediate. It can be used for the construction of temporary structures like construction stores or temporary walls.
Fourth Class Fire Bricks
Fourth class bricks are not used for construction but rather crushed and used as sub-floor below the concrete. They are also used as filling material and sometimes crushed and used in the manufacturing of concrete. Fourth class bricks are not durable and can not be used in any type of structure.
Over Burnt Bricks
Over Burnt Bricks is Class one or class two bricks but because of high temperature, they are over burnt. Over burnt bricks are generally used in the foundations of small houses because of their physical properties. Over burnt bricks provides good strength and water resistance in foundation with used with good cement sand ratio of 1:4. They are also used as formwork for a concrete beam on foundation concrete because of the cheap price.
ii. Sun-Dried or Unburnt Bricks
Sun-dried bricks are unburnt bricks that are mold on the ground and dried in the sun. these types of bricks are not suitable to use in load-bearing structures, because of their vulnerability to water and fire. Unburnt bricks are used to form temporary perimeter walls in villages, or used in temporary structures for a limited time.
2. Fly Ash Bricks
Fly ash bricks are also known as self-cementing bricks because of their high calcium oxide concentration. It is made of fly ash and water and provides great resistance to freeze-thaw cycles as compared to clay bricks. Fly ash bricks are lightweight bricks and are used to reduce the dead load on structures. They have better fire resistance, high strength, uniform shapes and size, and better finishing than clay bricks.
3. Concrete Bricks
Concrete bricks are made of plain cement concrete. They are available in a variety of sizes and colors as required by the client. Concrete bricks are more durable and strong as compare to ordinary clay bricks. Concrete bricks are easy to produced by placing a mix of cement concrete in a molding machine and cured. Concrete bricks are getting popular in the construction industry because of their modifiable properties.it can be produced according to the need of the project in any size, shape, and color.
4. Engineering Bricks
Engineering bricks are highly durable bricks and are used in such places where high strength and low water permeability are required. They can be used in damp-proof courses and foundations. Engineering bricks are available in a variety of sizes and shapes.
5. Calcium Silicate Bricks
Calcium silicate bricks are not a common type of bricks and are used for special projects. They are made of lime, sand, and water, and mold under high pressure. The bricks are steam autoclaved so lime can chemically react with silica. And form and hydrated calcium silica. The pigments can be added in this stage. These bricks are used for special purposes such are ornamental works in the buildings.