Brick is one of the oldest and basic construction materials and used in masonry construction. Bricks have standard sizes and different countries have different standard sizes of bricks. Some common standard sizes of bricks have been mentioned here.
India 190 x 90 x 90 cm3 , 200× 100 × 100 mm3
UK 8½ × 4 × 2½ inch 3
America 8 × 4 × 2¼ inch3
A brick has three terms for the six sides .Header is the ends of a brick; Stretcher is narrow sides of a brick and Face is the flat, broad surfaces. Any fragment of a brick is called Brick Bat. Closer is a cut or broken bricks, usually irregular shaped bricks found in the header row to break the brick bonding pattern , to form a stopped end for a wall corner etc.
Brick is one of the strongest and longest lasting building materials used throughout history. Bricks, used for building construction, may be made from clay, shale, soft slate, calcium silicate, concrete etc. A true brick, being a ceramic material, is created by the action of heat and cooling. A good first class brick should be hard and give a metallic ring when struck with small hammer or another brick. A good brick should not break when struck with another brick or when dropped flat from a height of about 1.2 to 1.5 m. on the ground.
Besides hardness, a good brick should have other properties. It should be sound, well burnt with uniform size, shape and homogeneous in texture and free from flaws and cracks. Color of a good brick is generally deep red or copper. Ore of iron is the reason for brick’s red color, while magnesia gives a yellow tint. A small amount of alkali is useful for formation of brick, but its high percentage cause efflorescence. Bricks should show no sign of efflorescence after soaking in water and drying in shade. Overburning the bricks reduce efflorescence.
The compressive strength of bricks produced in the United States ranges from about 7 to 105 MPa or N/mm², varying according to the use of bricks. In England clay bricks can have strengths of up to 100 MPa, although a common house brick is likely to show a range of 20–40 MPa.
Stretcher bond consists of all bricks laid as stretchers on every course with subsequent courses laid half bond to each other, except at return angles and stopped ends.
English Bond is alternating rows of stretchers and rows of headers. A course of headers is followed by a course of stretchers, and so on. Walls built in English bond are very strong because no straight joints occur in any part of the wall.
Flemish Bond - Each course of bricks consist of alternating headers and stretchers.