Life Cycle Analysis for Brick

Topics: Brick, Construction, Life cycle assessment Pages: 5 (1651 words) Published: May 8, 2010
Life Cycle Analysis For Brick
1Materials are very important in construction industry because with the combination of different material, we can create a very strong and unique building form. There are many type of material that commonly used in the construction industry, for example the glass, woods, bricks, stones, marble, concretes and etc. Brick is one of the most commonly used materials in Malaysia, because almost every house in housing area was built by bricks. From this essay I want to give analysis about the brick life cycle included its origin and how the brick being used after the end of its life cycle.

2Brick was appeared since the beginning of the civilization, which is the ancient Mesopotamia around 8000 BC. (Think Brick Australia 2007) The thick clay and mud leave by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers was reinforced with straw and shaped into brick and then dried in the sun. Bricks were glazed in a variety of colours as the time progressed and used to decorate the facades of the ziggurat, or temple towers, built as stairways to and for the Gods. In the end, people started to realize that when the wooden houses burned and the brick on the remaining chimneys had been strengthened, so fire-hardened bricks began to replace adobe ones in India and the Middle East. And the Romans used kiln-burned brick in conjunction with an efficient mortar of lime and volcanic ash to construct buildings that were both beautiful and last longer. (Think Brick Australia 2007)

3Brick is a masonry unit of clay, formed into a rectangular prism while plastic and hardened by firing in a kiln. The manufacture of bricks is used easily workable and clayey materials and the materials are avoided to contain any large hard components or lumps of lime, this is to avoid crack and split of the brick. We can obtain clay on the surface of the ground. There are three principal form of clay used to manufactured clay brick which are surface clay, shales, and fire clays. The surface clays is sedimentary clays which found near the surface of the earth, shales is clay that have been subjected to high pressures until they have hardened almost to the form of slate, and the fire clays is clays which have found deeper in the ground than other types and to have refractory qualities. These three principal forms of clays have similar chemical compositions but appear in different physical. The clays can easily be found and to extract because usually we can find it in the ground surface. After the clay has been extract from the ground, it covered with water, usually used to be work by hand with special hoe. There are several processes to form a brick which are soft mud process, stiff mud process and dry-press process. (Ching and Adams 2001, 12.06) The soft mud process refers to forming brick by molding relatively wet clay having a moisture content of 20 percent to 30 percent. (Ching and Adams 2001, 12.06) The Stiff mud process refers to forming brick and structural tile by extruding stiff but plastic clay having moisture content of 12 percent to 15 percent and then the de-airing machine will removes air and eliminating holes and bubbles in the clay. (Ching and Adams 2001, 12.06) After that the clay is force through die and cutting the extrusion to length with wires before to heat the finish in the kiln. The dry-press process refers to forming brick by molding relatively dry or low plasticity clay which having moisture content of 5 percent to 7 percent under high pressure, the resulting of this process is sharp-edged, smooth-surfaced bricks. (Ching and Adams 2001, 12.06)

4The most important step to form a stronger brick is through the drying and firing process. There are three different kinds generally used the humidity system of drying can be applied to any type of dryer, as the term humidity drying represents a process rather than a form of structural design. Humidity drying may be divided into three stages: first is the heating stage, during which the...
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