A variety of materials combined with mortars of varying strength can be used for the manufacture of masonry while common materials used are brick, stone, concrete, veneer, gabion, etc, masonry construction can provide beautiful walls and floors at affordable prices.
Typically masonry units are laid with cement mortar that binds them together to form a structure.
The building units may be stones, bricks, or precast concrete blocks depending upon the kinds of buildings models used.
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Important Terms used in Masonry Construction:
A brick laid alongside its length horizontally and parallel to the face of a wall or other masonry member known as a stretcher and a course through which all bricks are placed as a stretcher known as a stretching course
Brick is laid in such a way it exhibits on the face of the wall known as a header and a course through which all bricks are placed as headers is called a heading course or header course.
The bond is an arrangement of bricks or stones in each course to ensure the best attainable interlocking and to keep away from the continuity of vertical joints in two successive courses, both on the face within the body of the wall.
Each horizontal layer of bricks laid in mortar in masonry construction is called a course.
Bricks cut into their lengths, and bricks with width equal to whole or half brick are called brickbats.
The queen is almost a brick, which is wide as the full brick made by cutting the entire brick in two portions.
It is commonly used next to a quoin header to form bonds in brickwork.
A brick whose one diagonal piece is reduced off one corner by a vertical plane passing through the middle of one end to the centre of another side.
A brick reduces alongside a vertical plane, ranging from the centre of one end of the far corner.
One-quarter of the brick is reduced on this method.
A brick with rounded corners is called a bull nose brick.
Forged bricks shall have depressions in one or more bed faces but their total volume shall not exceed 20% of the gross volume of a brick.
Types of Masonry Construction:
The rock which is removed from its natural site, which is normally reduced or dressed after which finished for building purposes known as a stone, and the artwork of building a structure with stones known as stone masonry.
Main types of stone masonry:
Stone masonry in which either unpainted or coarsely prepared stones are placed is called rubber masonry.
Stone masonry in which finely dressed stones are laid in cement or lime mortar is known as ashlar masonry.
The art of laying bricks in mortar in a correct systematic manner provides homogeneous mass that may withstand forces without disintegration, known as brick masonry.
The bond is an arrangement of bricks in each course, in order to make sure the largest possible interlocking to avoid the continuity of vertical joints in two successive courses, both on the face.
Most of concrete masonry construction consists of mortar construction, i.e., units bonded with mortar.
The bonding of a concrete masonry wall or the separation of a composite pattern can look interesting and attractive in a variety of ways.
In addition, the strength of masonry can be influenced by the bond pattern.
A veneer masonry is constructed by a non-structural outer layer, supported by an air cavity, the innermost element is structural, which may include wood.
A brick veneer masonry wall is lightweight, thermally efficient and can help reduce costs.
When walls are constructed with two or more types of building materials, it is called composite masonry.
Advantages of Masonry Construction:
- Masonry is non-combustible, so improves fire protection for the building and its occupants, hence fireplaces are usually made of masonry for the same reason.
- Masonry gives high resistance against rotting, pests, climate, and natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes.
- Masonry structures provide an attractive rustic or elegant look to a house or building depending on the material used and the expertise of the worker.
- Being durable and resistant, masonry can withstand large amounts of compressive load.
- Masonry units increase the thermal mass of a building.
- Masonry buildings have a longer lifespan than other types of buildings.
Disadvantages of Masonry Construction:
- Masonry construction involves heavy materials such as brick, stone, and concrete blocks.
- These cannot be carried in traditional vehicles, and in some cases, they must be ordered from special catalogs, especially stones.
- The stability of masonry structures depends entirely on their foundation.
- If any disposal of the foundation occurs, cracks are likely to occur and they must be repaired to prevent moisture infiltration and damage.
- Masonry activities cannot be carried out during heavy rain or cold conditions, as the mortar will be severely affected.
- Masonry construction requires an excellent amount of time and ample project planning relying on the type of masonry, particular manpower could also be essential.
Also read: Masonry Wall, Dressing of Stones & Brick bonds