EPiC database - Clay brick

This material is part of the free Environmental Performance in Construction (EPiC) Database. The EPiC Database contains embodied environmental flow coefficients for 250+ construction materials using a comprehensive hybrid life cycle inventory approach.

Clay bricks are widely used in the construction industry for their strength, affordability and ease of construction. They have high durability, weather and fire resistance, compressive strength, and good thermal/sound insulative properties. The strength of a brick wall is also largely dependent on the quality of the mortar and workmanship.

Bricks are made from clay, which is an abundant resource across most of the world. Clay is prepared and mixed to ensure consistent particle size and mineral content. The clay is then extruded, soft moulded or dry pressed into brick shaped forms. The bricks are dried in a temperature and humidity controlled environment, and fired in a high temperature oven/kiln. Coatings, glazing or textures are applied to give the brick its final appearance. The colour of a brick largely depends on the mineral content of the clay and final firing temperature.

Bricks are commonly used for external cladding, loadbearing walls, flooring, and other construction elements. Face bricks usually have a decorative or smooth finish, while building/common bricks are used for internal structure. Bricks can also be hollowed, to reduce the volume of the brick and materials needed per unit.


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