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A weathered brick wall.

A brick is a block made of kiln-fired material, usually clay or ground shale. Clay bricks are formed in a mould (the soft mud method), or in commercial manufacture more frequently by extruding clay through a die and then wire-cutting them to the proper size (the stiff mud process). Brick made from clay that is hardly more than dampened must be formed in molds with a great deal of pressure, usually applied by a hydraulic press. These bricks are known as hydraulic-pressed bricks, and have a dense surface which makes them suitable for facing work. The shaped clay is then dried and fired to achieve the final, desired strength. In modern brickworks, this is usually done in a continuously fired kiln, in which the bricks move slowly through the kiln on conveyors, to achieve consistent physical characteristics for all bricks.


Construction and types

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Brick making at the beginning of the 20th century.

Hard-burned brick should be used for face work exposed to the weather, and soft brick for filling, foundations, and the like. The standard US brick measures approximately 8 x 4 x 2.25 inches (203 x 102 x 57 millimeters), and has a crushing strength of between 1000 and 3000 lbf/in² (7 to 21 megapascals) depending on quality. The standard UK brick size is 215 x 102.5 x 65 millimetres.

A highly impervious and ornamental surface may be laid on brick either by salt glazing, in which salt is added during the burning process, or by the use of a "slip," which is a glaze material into which the bricks are dipped. Subsequent reheating in the kiln fuses the slip into a glazed surface integral with the brick base.


Regardless of size, bricks are usually manufactured with the depth equal to half the length (assuming that the brick is laid horizontally). This allows for several convenient layouts which must necessarily interweave the bricks in any structure, often both at the corners and within the wall depth in order to ensure the greatest possible durability of the structure.


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A brick section of the old Dixie Highway East Florida Connector (SR 3) on the west side of Lake Lily in Maitland, Florida. It was built in 1915 or 1916, paved over at some point, and restored in 1999.

Bricks are typically used to build structures. At one time, it was popular to pave roads with bricks; but was found incapable of withstanding heavy traffic, brick paving is again coming back into use as a method of traffic calming.

Bricks are also used in metalurgy and glass industry, at melting furnaces. Have various usages, specially refractory bricks such as silica, magnezia and neutral (cromomagnezite) refractory bricks. This type of bricks must have a series of properties like good thermal shock resistance, refractorines under load, high melting point, satisfactory porosity (can influence several other properties), essentially high temperature properties. There is a large industry for refractory bricks, especially in the United Kindom, Japan and the U.S.A.

See also


In role-playing games, a brick is a character whose main useful skill is being able to take a great deal of damage (usually physical damage) and act as a shield for weaker allies. These characters are also usually quite strong, but slow. These are also called "tanks" or Meat shields.

A brick can also be a quantity of drugs, usuallyЦэгла da:Mursten de:Backstein es:Ladrillo eo:Briko fr:Brique (matriau) nl:Baksteen ja:煉瓦 pl:Cegła


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