Brick, Stone, Block

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Click on picture to enlarge

Brick ceramic structural material that, in modern times, is made by pressing clay into blocks and firing them to the requisite hardness in a kiln. Bricks in their most primitive form were not fired but were hardened by being dried in the sun. Sun-dried bricks were utilized for many centuries and are used even today in regions with the proper climate. Examples from approximately 5,000 years ago have been discovered in the Tigris-Euphrates basin, and the ancient races occupying this region may have been the first users of brick.

Contemporary American building bricks are rectangular blocks with the standard dimensions of about 2 1/4 by 3 3/4 by 8 in. (5.7 by 9.5 by 20.3 cm). Good bricks are resistant to atmospheric action and high temperatures and are more durable than stone. Where heat resistance is especially important, fire bricks are used; these are made of special refractory clays called fire clays and are fired at very high temperatures.

Masonry is classified according to finish, rubble being of rough-quarried or field stone and ashlar of dressed stone. It may be laid without mortar (and is then called dry, or Cyclopean) or with mortar to bind the stones closely together, the outside finish of such joints being called pointing. Stonem as onry may be of hard materials, such as granite, bluestone, or marble, requiring full finish before laying, or of softer varieties, such as brownstone, laid with rough exterior, the decoration being carved afterward. The pyramids and the sphinxEgypt are among the world’s greatest masterpieces of stonework.

Now a days Master Stone bricklayers are a rare commodity, considering the stone is not generally cut that precise for fit anymore, the “now” generation of Stone Masons must have a general understanding of old world construction & new world techniques. He not only has to be a stone cutter, he has to have an innate ability to create the aesthetic appeal that is desired by the customer creating stone fireplaces, chimneys and facades on houses / buildings / structures. He has to be able to take a raw pile of rocks, cut & shape them and set them in a “customer – determined” pattern in a disciplined manner that is indistinguishable from the other stone masons installing adjacent to them.

Blocks Systems

Rusticated concrete block, also called rockfaced concrete block, was made in a mold to create a surface texture that resembles stone. Its popularity as a building material peaked between 1905 and 1930. Concrete and concrete block were popular building materials well before then, but it took two technological advances to make mass production of rusticated concrete block possible.

The concrete block market in Chicago has changed and is continuing to change for the better. After several years of concerted effort, quality lightweight concrete block is becoming the norm in the marketplace.  Your local concrete block manufacturers are converting the market and their inventories from “Medium Weight Block” to ”Lightweight Block”.  Why? Very simply, lightweight block is a very economical product that will make the masonry industry more competitive as we expand into the future.  Lightweight Block offers the same reliable performance and benefits as medium weight block while enhancing several key properties.

Is a regular lightweight block as strong as a regular medium weight block? YES! They both have to meet the same ASTM C-90 minimum compressive strength requirements.  If you need higher strength units all you have to do is specify a higher strength and the mix design will be adjusted to meet the stated structural requirements.

Not only does Lightweight Block resist chipping and cracking, it’s more uniform texture produces sharp corners and surfaces that provide structure and finish.  If desired, Lightweight Block is readily paintable and is available in the same wide range of sizes, colors and textures as other concrete masonry units.