Apart from its natural thermal qualities, clay brick also has highly sought after acoustic properties, which resists the transmission of airborne sound and reduces the impact of external noise.
Dimensional Accuracy and Symmetry
Clay bricks have the highest dimensional stability and compressive strength. Deformations in buildings can lead to creep and shrinkage of mortar, which in turn can lead to surface cracking due to compressive strains and temperature fluctuations, thus jeopardising the safety of the entire building. These cracks can be avoided by adapting the structural design to the properties of the building material. Clay bricks, for example, have an extremely low deformation value.
Durability is as an important factor in sustainable building design – the longer the building lasts the fewer materials and less energy it will consume over the long term. Clay brick is a durable and timeless building material that complements the aesthetic and functional needs of any building. Structures that were built from clay brick still remain standing after centuries of exposure. Thus, with very little maintenance, buildings made from clay brick can outlast many generations.
Ease of Use
Seldom do clay bricks become too wet to work with, which means builders and developers benefit from significant savings in time and labour.
Clay bricks are renowned for their thermal attributes that provide warmth in winter and cooler conditions in summer, thus ensuring that energy is not squandered on artificial heating and cooling mechanisms.
Clay brick is a product of ‘mother earth’, and after use, can be crushed and returned to earth, or recycled. Not only do recycled clay bricks contribute towards embodied energy savings, they also extend the life cycle of this material.
Clay brick is incombustible and therefore will not contribute to the start or rapid spread of fires, nor can it add fuel to make a fire more intense. Tests have proven that clay brick walls obtain maximum fire ratings, which means that they can withstand fully developed fires longer than any other standard building material.
Clay bricks vary in compressive strength due to the differing qualities of raw materials and the method of firing. The compressive strengths of clay bricks can vary from 3.5MPa for NFP, to greater than 50MPa for face brick extra. Clay brick products for load-bearing designs can be provided according to tolerances and strength.
Clay bricks are rendered water resistant making them impervious to all forms of weather conditions. They comprise of a fine capillary pore system which has the ability to absorb moisture from rain or water vapour and then release it back into the atmosphere again as quickly.