Optimization of bricks production by earth hypercompaction prior to firing

Bruno, Agostino Walter, Gallipoli, Domenico, Perlot, Céline and Mendes, Joao (2019) Optimization of bricks production by earth hypercompaction prior to firing. Journal of Cleaner Production, 214. pp. 475-482. ISSN 0959-6526

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.12.302


This paper presents an innovative method for the production of masonry bricks, which combines earth compaction and quick firing at low temperatures. Earth bricks were manufactured according to three different methods, i.e. extrusion, standard Proctor compaction and hypercompaction to 100 MPa. All bricks were fired inside an electrical furnace by rising the temperature at a quick rate of about 9 °C per minute to 280, 455, 640, 825 and 1000 °C, after which the furnace was turned off and left to cool to the atmosphere with the brick inside it. These firing temperatures and times are significantly lower than those employed for the manufacture of commercial bricks, which are typically exposed to a maximum of 1100 °C for at least 10 hours (Brick Industry Association, 2006). A testing campaign was performed to investigate the effect of quick firing on the porosity, strength, water durability and moisture buffering capacity of the different bricks. Quick firing of hypercompacted bricks at moderate temperatures, between 455 and 640 °C, is enough to attain very high levels of compressive strength, between 29 and 34 MPa, with a good to excellent moisture buffering capacity. These properties are better than those of commercially available bricks. The strength of hypercompacted bricks further increases to 53 MPa, a value similar to that of high-strength concrete, after quick firing at 825 °C. Earth densification prior to thermal treatment therefore improves material performance while enabling a significant reduction of firing temperatures and times compared to current bricks production methods.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bricks production; Firing treatment; Pore size distribution; Compressive strength; Water durability; Moisture buffering capacity
Subjects: H200 Civil Engineering
K200 Building
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mechanical and Construction Engineering
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 13:13
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 20:17
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37522

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