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Dating brickwork - Brickwork - Wikipedia

Wow Amazing Making Brick - How To Make Brick? Brick Making Process By Machine And Hand

How the bricks are put together - and sometimes where they are - are clues to the use of buildings. Please be aware that the information provided on this page may be out of date, or otherwise inaccurate due to the passage of time. For more detail, see our Archive and Deletion Policy. Few of us spend much time thinking about the physical construction of buildings. But brickwork can convey much information about historical changes in building techniques and materials.

Knowing their periods of use can establish the era and evolution of a building. Interiors are sometimes refitted and finishes renewed, but the structure beneath them is only changed if it becomes damaged, or if it is redeveloped behind a retained facade. Rarely, lost structure is replaced by second- hand earlier structure.

Building books see below illustrate contemporary construction, though beware obsolete examples. These books, and others, can be found in the ice or IStructE libraries, and sometimes in antiquarian bookshops. The bar-charts on the opposite page summarise the periods of popular use solid lines and the tentative use broken lines of commonplace structural components and systems.

Be prepared for more extreme examples of a particular structural component or system coming to light from time to time. Dating buildings is not an exact science, as building gestation usually takes years, apart from notable exceptions, such as the 92,m2 Crystal Palace which was designed and constructed in nine months for the Great Exhibition of However, the era of a building can usually be established with confidence if several structural elements are compared.

There are many opportunities to see the structure of an occupied building without opening it up, particularly in areas that have no finishes, such as roof voids, undercrofts, cellars, pavement vaults, suspended ceilings, plant rooms, fitted cupboards, store-rooms, lift-shafts, and service holes. Empty or derelict buildings and buildings undergoing alterations can offer more structural disclosure.

The principal structural materials are masonry, timber, concrete, iron and steel. This article deals with masonry and timber, subsequent articles will focus on the other main materials. Of all the masonry materials, stone masonry tells us the least about its construction age. The bond of the stones can broadly distinguish between medieval rubble-coredpost medieval brick-backedand twentieth century steel-framedalthough any age of construction could be solidly bonded.

Unlike stone, brickwork gives many clues to its age. After use by the Romans, clay bricks were re-introduced into the uk in the s, initially in the south and east, near to locations where suitable clay could be dug out and burnt in wooden clamps. With the decline of medieval timber- framed buildings and the advent of canals, railways, and better roads, bricks were transported and used throughout the country.

By the eighteenth century, brick was the most common material for houses, and many old timber-framed houses were gentrified by re-facing with bricks or mathematical tiles, particularly the latter after the first brick tax of Since the s the width of a brick has always been about 4.

But the length and thickness of a brick has not always been as constant as today, being influenced by government legislation, regional variations in firing thicknesses of clay, bonding, joint thickness, and local practice.

Medieval bricks were longer and thinner than modern bricks - as at Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex. But beware modern imitations, particularly amongst Edwardian buildings. Parliament fixed brick sizes in at 8. Fighting wars is expensive. Inafter the American War of Independence, parliament taxed each brick used, so some bricks were made larger, up to 10 x 5 x 3ins x x 76mm 2. Inthese large bricks were further taxed, and this was avoided by reducing the size to 9 x 4.

In the brick taxes were repealed, and brick sizes gradually standardised, rising four courses per foot mmexcept in the north of England where they rose four courses per 13 inches mm for much of the nineteenth century. Inmachinery was designed for making pressed bricks in volume, eventually replacing handmade bricks, except for best quality work. Machine- made bricks, such as Flettons which were first made in the s, are generally smoother and more regular in appearance than handmade bricks.

At the end of the First World War the Local Government Board highlighted the need to supplement traditional construction with non-traditional types.

Also, although not an infallible indication, different types of brickwork can help us to date the construction of a building. For instance, English. Dating buildings is not an exact science, as building gestation usually takes years, To improve the strength of Georgian and Victorian lime-mortar brickwork . Very brief introduction to brickwork. Bricks and Brickwork in the Period Home House dating guide (on above site); Illustrated information on solid brick walls.

Amongst other materials and components,concrete bricks and sand-lime bricks were introduced, which like machine- made clay bricks, are smooth and regular, but with more uniform texture. Bricks were traditionally laid in lime mortar, until Portland cement became more popular in the late nineteenth century, thanks to its cheapness, faster set, and safer handling properties.

Clay from different sources is also often mixed together to create the desired mixture. Handmade bricks used to be very commonly used throughout the UK. The process involves putting the clay, water and additives into a large pit where it is all mixed together by a tempering wheel generally still powered by horse power. Once the mixture is of the correct consistency, the clay is removed and pressed into moulds by hand.

To prevent the brick from sticking to the mould, the brick is coated in either sand or water.

The bonding of brickwork is the arrangement of brickwork by the pattern of headers. (the shorter face of the brick) and stretchers (the longer face of the brick) . Bricks and concrete blocks are some of the oldest and most reliable of building products. Bricks were first used years ago and were made from dirt using. Deciding on the date of a brick is a far from simple process. The very first point to remember is that bricks are regularly re-cycled; consequently.

Coating the brick with sand however gives an overall better finish to the brick. Once shaped, the bricks are laid outside to dry by air and sun where they will be drying for three to four days. After this process the bricks are then transferred to the kiln for burning. If green bricks are left outside for the drying process and are left out during a shower; the water leaves an indentation of the brick is considered very undesirable.

However this does not affect the strength properties of the bricks. Bricks are now more generally made by large scale manufacturing processes using machinery. This is a large scale effort and produces bricks which have been burned in patent kilns. There are three different types of manufacturing process for machine made bricks - the soft mud process, the stiff mud process and the dry clay process for which machines are specifically designed. In the Soft Mud process that clay contains too much water to be extruded as the clay is left to soak in water for 24 hours.

For this process three pits are usually in operation at any one time to keep the production flowing. Occasionally the clay is worked in a pug mill before being thrown into the machine.

After being drawn from the machine the filled moulds are emptied by hand and the bricks taken to the dry shed. So the soft mud bricks can be dried properly, both handmade soft mud bricks and machine made more mass produced bricks will both be placed in a large dryer which is separate from the extrusion dryer.

The die sizes and cutter wire are calculated to compensate for the shrinkage of the brick during drying and firing. Attachments can also be added to the die which gives the brick its texture from brush, roll, and scratch to roughen. Green bricks are then dried out carefully to ensure a consistent colour and strength. Because Soft Mud bricks have been created under little or no pressure, their density is not as great as that of Stiff Mud bricks.

It has been argued that when Soft Mud bricks have been made and burned properly they are possibly the most durable brick. However Stiff mud bricks can have defects or planes of separation which can affect the bricks durability.

However as Stiff Mud bricks are becoming increasingly cheaper to produce these are becoming the more popular. Both types of soft mud and stiff mud bricks can be repressed when they are only partially dried.

This is done by placing the bricks in metal moulds and putting them under great pressure before burning.

Dating brickwork, this created...

Pressed bricks however are machine moulded bricks where the clay being used is already nearly dry. This process can make a significant difference on the appearance of the bricks.

3D Brick Wall Effect

Bricks made using this process generally are more difficult to compress. Dry pressed bricks however are now commonly used for face bricks.

Pressed bricks generally mean dry pressed bricks, but many face bricks are made by repressing soft mud bricks. These are extensively used in some regions. This type of product can made into practically and size or shape for any kind of use.

Blocks made of terra-cotta are light and durable. For use in partitions the terra-cotta is mixed with sawdust which burns off in the kiln, but creates a more porous brick. Terra-cotta can be glazed or unglazed. Facing bricks are uniform in colour and shape and can now be made to any almost any specification, texture, colour and size. Wirecut extruded bricks. For this type of brick the clay is extruded and cut by wore into individual bricks. This is a very cost effective way of producing bricks and is done by an automated production process.

These bricks are readily available in a variety of styles and colours. Stock bricks ; are usually slightly more expensive than wirecut Bricks.

These are a soft mud brick which are sometimes irregular in shape. Handmade bricks ; as previously discussed above, handmade bricks are very desirable and individual in shape and colour. This brick is one of the most expensive sorts of brick. Fletton or London Brick ; is a brick made from clay extracted from the south east of England which contains traces of oil which is burnt off during the burning process in the kiln. Arch and Clinker bricks This term is used for bricks which are burned immediately.

They are over burnt and sometimes distorted in shape. These bricks are of a higher quality and are generally the bricks that were in the centre of the pile of bricks which have been burned. These bricks are top bricks as they have a higher overall quality and finish. Cherry is used as a term when the clay which has been used burns red. Salmon, Pale or Soft bricks. These are the bricks which were nearer to the outside of the kiln during burning which means they are slightly under burnt.

These bricks are generally softer than the bricks taken from the centre of the kiln are therefore are of a lesser quality, although this does not affect the overall shape of the brick. These bricks are generally used for the interior of walls. Waterstruck Brick This type of brick is a soft mud moulded brick. It uses alluvial clay which deposited at the end of the last ice age. The clay is pressed into mould lined with silicate.

When the bricks are removed from their mould, they are left with a textured effect which can only be achieved using this method.

This type of brick looks old and handmade even when new. Engineering Bricks Engineering bricks are called so due to their overall strength and water absorption.

Man has used brick for building purpose for thousands of years. Bricks date back to BC, which makes them one of the oldest known building materia. BCD93 Article: Brickwork: The Historic Development - Gerard Lynch. House Dating Tool. Our house dating tool helps you work out the date your house was built. You will be asked a series of multiple choice questions. Links to the.

Traditionally used in civil engineering, these bricks are also useful for damp courses and structural design. Bullnose Bricks These special bricks are used when round edges are needed, for gate recesses, quadrants or arches. These are batches of bricks which are generally consistent in colour but do not match the product which is marketed.

Dependant on their final use, the bricks are named accordingly. Radial Bricks either have one edge shorter than the other or vary in thickness.

This type of brick is used for walls with curved edges. Arch bricks are used for arches as they have one end thicker than the other. Ordinary bricks or facebricks and have regular shape and colour used for the outside of building etc. Fire bricks are generally yellow in colour and used in places where they would be subject to high temperatures.

Paving bricks are of uniform size and colour and have been made by burning hard clay or shale. Good brick to be used where toughness and water tightness is essential. Brick Sizes Metric bricks are a little smaller than the old imperial one. New bricks can be bonded into old brickwork by slightly increasing the mortar bed joint.

Brick sizes have remained fairly constant over the years Brick cutting is the process of cutting bricks into the desired size or in most cases to cut and bond them together using an epoxy mortar to form angle bricks these are mainly used on bay windows and conservatories etc.

Kiln Brick Burning After all bricks have been allowed time to dry they are placed in a kiln for burning which finishes off the brick to achieve the optimum strength and colour. There a few different types of kilns which are currently used to burn bricks. The Scotch Kiln is the most commonly used in the UK. This is a rectangular building which is open at the top and has side doors with fireholes built from fire bricks.

The kilns will contain approximately 80, bricks at full capacity.

Raw bricks are arranged in the kiln leaving gaps in between each brick to ensure an even burn. It takes approximately three days to burn off the moisture from the bricks, at which point the firing is increased for the final burn. It takes between 48 and 60 hours to completely burn a brick to achieve its maximum strength. As mentioned before the bricks from the centre of kiln will be of the highest quality whilst the ones from the edges are sometimes clinkered and unsuitable for exterior work.

Up Draft Kiln. Used more frequently for handmade bricks and in small brick yards, this old fashioned kiln is only up to 15 feet high. Down Draft Kilns are generally of a beehive type shape with fire produced outside of the kiln and carried in through flues. It is believed that all types of clay whether it be pottery or brick work, burn more evenly in a down draft kiln. For Terra-cotta brickwork this type of kiln is usually used.

Continuous kilns are the most expensive type of kiln to construct. This type of kiln is a continuously fired tunnel in which the bricks pass through very slowly on a rail to achieve a consistently durable brick. This is continuous conveyor belt with bricks being dried and added at one end while at the other end they are being burnt. The first bricks, made in areas with warm climates, were mud bricks dried in the sun for hardening. Ancient Egyptian bricks were made of clay mixed with straw.

The evidence of this can be seen today at ruins of Harappa Buhen and Mohenjo-daro. Paintings on the tomb walls of Thebes portray Egyptian slaves mixing, tempering and carrying clay for the sun dried bricks. The greatest breakthrough came with the invention of fired brick in about 3, Bc.

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From this moment on, bricks could be made without the heat of sun and soon became popular in cooler climates. The Romans prefered to make their bricks in spring, then they stored them for two years before selling or using them. They only used white or red clay to manufacture bricks. The Romans succeeded in introducing fired bricks to the entire country thanks to mobile kilns.

These were bricks stamped with the mark of the legion who supervised the brick production. Roman bricks differed in size and shape from other ancient bricks as they were more commonly round, square, oblong, triangular and rectangular. The kiln fired bricks measured 1 or 2 Roman feet by 1 Roman foot, and sometimes up to 3 Roman feet with larger ones. The Romans used brick for public and private buildings over the entire Roman empire.

They built walls, forts, cultural centre, vaults, arches and faces of their aqueducts.

Dating brickwork

During the period of the Roman Empire, the Romans spread the art of brickmaking throughout Europe and it continued to dominate during the medieval and Renaissance period. When the Roman Empire fell, the art of brickmaking nearly vanished and it continued only in Italy and the Bizantine Empire. In the 11th century, brickmaking spread from these regions to France. During the 12th century bricks were reintroduced to northern Germany from northern Italy.

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