Types of Bricks in Masonry Construction – Properties & Uses

There are different types of bricks are used in masonry construction materials as clay, concrete, lime, fly ash etc. Brick is an important construction material which comes in rectangular shape made from clay. The brick is as popular in older days and as modern days as it has low cost and durability.

Types of Bricks used in Masonry Construction

(1) Sun-Dried or Unburnt bricks

(2) Burnt bricks

(1) Sun-Dried or Unburnt Clay Bricks


The Sun-dried or unburnt bricks are less durable and used for temporary structures. There are three mainly three steps for manufactures are clay, moulding and drying.

After moulding process the bricks are left for dried from direct sunlight. The sun-dried bricks are not much strong and also less water and fire resistance. These bricks are not suitable for permanent structures.

(2) Burnt Clay Bricks


Burnt bricks are widely used brick but during manufacturing some bricks are damaged. These bricks are divided into four types

  • First class brick
  • Second class brick
  • Third class brick
  • Fourth class brick

First Class Brick

Fist class bricks have good quality than other types of bricks. These bricks are moulded into table-moulding and burnt in large kilns. As the result these bricks have standard shapes, sharp edges and have smooth surface.

These bricks are more durable and have more strength. The first class bricks are used for permanent structures. These bricks are costlier than other classes due to good qualities.

Second Class Brick

As the name suggests these bricks are moderate quality bricks moulded with ground-moulding process. These bricks are burnt in kilns. As the ground moulding process is used they don’t have smooth surface and edges.

The shape of bricks is also uneven as it mould on ground. These bricks have strength and durability. For smooth finishing the plastering is required.

Third Class Brick

Third class bricks are used in temporary structures as they have poor quality. These bricks are not suitable for rainy areas. These bricks are ground-moulded and burnt in clamps. The bricks have rough surface and edges are not proper.

Fourth Class Bricks

Fourth class bricks have poor quality and not used for construction. These bricks are crushed and used as aggregates for making of concrete. The bricks which are over-burnt and due to this these bricks are brittle. These bricks are easily breakable and not suitable for construction.

(3) Fly Ash Bricks

fly ash bricks

REIT Q Green Machines is leading manufacturer of fly ash brick machine .

Fly ash bricks are made using fly ash and water. The fly ash bricks have better properties than clay bricks and resistant to freeze thaw cycles. These bricks have high concentration of calcium oxide which is used in cement production and due to this it is called self-cementing brick. The fly ash bricks are lightweight and it reduces the weight of structure.

Fly ash bricks are better than clay bricks as they have high fire insulation, high strength, uniform sizes for better joints and plaster, lower water penetration and does not require soaking in water before masonry construction.

(4) Concrete Bricks

Concrete bricks are manufacture using cement, sand, coarse aggregates and water. These bricks are manufactured in various required sizes.

Concrete bricks have advantages over clay bricks as they can be manufacture at construction site, required less mortar, can produce in different colours as adding pigments during production.

The concrete bricks are used in construction of masonry and framed buildings, facades, fences and also provide an excellent look of building.

(5) Engineering Bricks

Engineering bricks have high compressive strength and used for applications like strength, frost resistance, acid resistance, low porosity is required. Engineering bricks are commonly used for basements where chemical and water attacks are prevalent and for damp proof courses.

(6) Sand Lime or Calcium Silicate Bricks

A calcium silicate brick is made from sand and lime and it is known as sand lime bricks. Sand lime bricks are used for various purposes in construction industries like decoration works in building, masonry works etc.

Quality of Bricks at Construction Site

To build any structure, the material is quality should be good. Here is the list for how good bricks are identified at construction site.

– The colour of bricks should be bright and uniform.

– The bricks should be well burned and have smooth surface and sharp edges.

– Thermal conductivity should be less and also sound proof.

– Bricks should not absorb more than 20% of weight when soak in water.

– When two bricks impinge together, the ringing sound must be produce.

– The brick structure must be uniform.

– Bricks should not be break when dropped from 1m height.

– There should be not any scratch when scratch with finger nail.

– There should not be any white deposit on brick after soak in water for 24 hours.

Properties of Bricks

Below properties should be in brick for construction use.

– Hardness

– Compressive Strength

– Absorption

Hardness of Bricks

A brick have resistance against abrasion. This hardness of brick gives permanent nature of brick structure. Due to this property bricks are not damaged by scraping.

Compression  strength of Bricks

Compression strength or crushing strength is property of brick which means the load carried by brick per unit area. As per rule of BIS minimum compression strength of brick should be 3.5N/mm 2 . The crushing strength of bricks reduced when they are soaked in water.

Crushing strength of Bricks Grades
7 – 14 N/mm 2 Class A
>14N/mm 2 Class AA

Absorption of Bricks

Bricks generally absorbs water but in limit. The absorption limit percentage by weight for different types is in below table.

Class of Bricks Water Absorption % by weight
Heavy duty bricks (special made) Only 5%
First class 20%
Second class 22%
Third class 25%

Use of different types of Brick

– 1 st and 2 nd class bricks are used in construction of building, tunnels, pitching works etc.

– 3 rd class and unburnt bricks are used in temporary structures.

– 4 th class bricks are used as aggregate for making concrete.

– Bricks are also used to enhance the beauty of structures.

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