What is a masonry wall?
Masonry walls of various sorts are utilized in building construction. Masonry walls are the most enduring feature of any structure or building. It separates a structure from the outside world. In masonry construction, the common masonry materials used are building stone, brick, cast stone, glass block, and concrete block. Masonry construction is a type of construction that has the highest durability.
Masonry is a term used to describe a structure that employs mortar as a binding material among specific stones, marbles, bricks, concrete blocks, granites, tiles, and so on. Mortar is the sand and binding substance combination. Cement, lime, dirt, or any other substance can be used as a binding medium. As used between mud bricks, the mortar contains soft mud, pitch, clay, and asphalt. A water absorption test is done to test the durability of the bricks used for weathering purposes.
All masonry walls are either load-bearing walls or non-load-bearing walls; the load-bearing walls are a part of the structure put above the building; the non-load-bearing wall is simply a wall that splits different rooms of a building. Type N masonry mortar is used for non-load-bearing walls as well as on those walls that do not require much strength.
A standard size rectangular block, which is used in building construction, is known as concrete masonry. Because of the wide variety of appearance, concrete masonry is the most versatile building material available. Concrete blocks used in masonry are made in the required size and shape. Concrete blocks may be solid or hollow blocks.
Walls are the structures that surround an area, support floors and roofs, or divide a building's floor space into the required number of rooms. Any suitable material, such as brick, stones, wood, concrete, aluminum, steel, can be used to create the walls. They are necessary to offer convicts seclusion and to shield them from the environment.
Functions of the walls
- To enclose a section of a structure.
- To support a building's floors and roof.
- To split a building's floor space into as many rooms as needed.
- To keep the inmates safe from strong winds.
- To give the inmates privacy.
Types of masonry wall
The varieties of masonry wall systems are classified based on the constituent members used for masonry wall systems and their purposes.
- Load-bearing masonry wall system
- Reinforced masonry wall system
- Hollow masonry walls
- Composite masonry walls
- Post-tensioned masonry walls
- Solid block masonry
- Lightweight aerated concrete block masonry walls
- Cellular lightweight concrete block masonry walls
- Fly ash brick masonry wall
- Burnt clay brick masonry wall
Technical terms used in a masonry wall
- Header- A header is a whole brick or stone set perpendicular to the face of a wall. In the case of modular bricks, a header brick will have a face of 10 cm × 10 cm on the face of the wall. A header is referred to as a “through stone” in stone masonry.
- Stretcher- A stretcher is a whole brick or stone, set parallel to the face of the wall. In the case of modular bricks, a brick laid as a stretcher will show its face measuring 10 cm x 20 cm on the face of the wall.
- Header course- A header course refers to a course of brick construction that shows only headers on the face of the wall.
- Stretcher course- Stretcher course refers to a course of brick masonry that only has stretchers on the face of the wall.
- Course- A course is a series of horizontal layers of bricks or stones. In the case of modular brick masonry, the thickness of a course is equal to 10 cm plus the thickness of the mortar junction.
- Bond- Bond refers to the overlaying of bricks or stones in alternating courses of a wall to eliminate continuous vertical seams and tie the individual units together.
- Bed- It is the lower or bottom surface of bricks or stones in each course.
- Face- It refers to the exposed surface of a wall.
- Facing - The material used in the face of the wall is known as facing.
- Back- It refers to the inside of a wall that is not exposed to the environment.
- Backing- The backing is the material that is used to build the back of the wall.
- Hearting- Hearting is the interior section of a wall between the face and the backing.
- Joint- A joint is a point where two bricks or stones meet. Cement mortar or lime mortar can be used for the joints. Bed joints are the joints that run parallel to the brick or stone bed. As a result, bed joints are horizontal mortar joints, on which masonry units are built. Masonry units are made from very lightweight concretes, natural stone, calcium silicate, and fired clay.
- Quoin- The quoin is the outside angle or corner of a wall. The quoin header is a brick or stone set on the corner of a wall as a header.
- Racking back- The procedure of putting a stepped halt to the unfinished end of a wall.
- Bat- It is the length of a brick that has been cut across the breadth. As a result, the bat is shorter than a whole brick. The half-bat is when the length of the bat is equal to half the length of the brick. A three-quarter bat refers to a bat with a length equal to three-quarters the length of the brick. A beveled bat is one with the width of the bat beveled.
- Closer– It is the part of a brick that has been cut such that one long face remains uncut.
- Frog- It is the dip formed on the top face of the brick to produce a key for the mortar, which prevents the brick above from being displaced.
- Plinth- The stone or brick horizontal projecting course is given at the top of the wall above the ground level. It protects the structure from rainfall and other weather impacts by raising the ground floor level above the natural ground level.
- Sill- The bottom surface of a door or window aperture is known as the sill.
- Jambs- Jambs are the vertical sides of a door, window, or fireplace.
- Lintel- It is a horizontal stone, brick, wood, steel, or reinforced concrete element, used to support masonry or loads above a door or window opening.
- Arch- The masonry or load above an aperture is supported by a mechanical arrangement of wedge-shaped stone or brick blocks organized in the form of a curve.
- Parapet- It is a low-height wall, built around the outside border of a flat roof to protect the users of the terrace. In the case of pitched roofs, a parapet is built to hide the gutter at the eaves.
Types of bonds
- English bond
- Flemish bond
- Heading bond
- Stretching bond
- Facing bond
- Garden wall bond
- Raking bond
- Dutch bond
- English cross bond
- Zig-zag bond
Defects in Brick Masonry
- Sulfate attack
- Crystallization of salts from bricks
- Corrosion of embedded iron or steel fixtures
- Shrinkage on drying
Solid masonry vs Brick veneer
The two ways to build a brick building are solid masonry and brick veneer. Solid masonry was quite common until the mid-1900s and is considered a good old-fashioned construction of brick. This type of construction uses various layers of bricks with header bricks to hold them together. In the case of brick veneer, the structural support comes from the steel, concrete, or wood that forms the backup wall and for the aesthetic purpose, the brick is on the exterior.
Context and Applications
This topic is significant in the professional exam for undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
- Bachelors of Technology in Civil Engineering
- Masters of Technology in Civil Engineering
Q1) Which of the following statements regarding brick masonry is correct?
- Brick masonry is a very long-lasting type of building.
- It is constructed by putting bricks in mortar in a methodical manner to create a solid mass that can sustain applied loads.
- Both a and b are correct.
- None of the above
Explanation: Brick masonry is a very long-lasting type of building. It is constructed by putting bricks in mortar in a systematic manner to create a solid mass that can sustain applied loads.
Q2) What is the termination of a wall in such a way that each alternate course at the end project is known as?
- Racking back
Explanation: Tooting is used to ensure appropriate connection when the walls are later extended horizontally. A Racking back is the ending of a wall in a stepwise form.
Q3) What is the horizontal layer of bricks known as?
- Movement joints
Explanation: Horizontal layer of bricks is known as the course.
Q4) What is the portion of the wall between facing and backing known as?
Explanation: The portion of the wall between facing and backing is known as hearting.
Q5) How many types of brick masonry are present?
Explanation: There are four types of brick masonry in general that are brickwork in mud, brickwork in cement or lime mortar - I class, II class and III class.
- Building construction
- Reinforced concrete wall
- Stonewall construction
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