Masonry Wall

All masonry wall are either load bearing wall or non-load bearing wall, the load-bearing wall is a part of the structure, placed above the building whereas the non-load-bearing wall is just a wall that divides the various rooms of a building.

We can demolish and rearrange the non-load-bearing wall, whereas we cannot move or demolish a load-bearing wall.

The term masonry is used as a coupling material for development with mortar consisting of singular units of blocks, stones, marbles, rocks, concrete squares, tiles, and more; mortar is a mixture of limiting materials with sand.

Types of Masonry Wall:

Walls Based on Load Bearing:

Load Bearing Masonry Wall:

Load-bearing masonry construction was extensively used within the building since the 1700s to the mid-1900s.

Nowadays, it is used in small residential scale structures, with the key of consideration is that each wall serves as a load-carrying element.

It basically consists of thick, heavy masonry walls of brick/block or stone that help all the structure together with horizontal floor slabs which may be made from reinforced concrete, wooden or metal members.

The heavyweight of the walls actually helps the building collectively to stabilize against external forces such as wind and earthquakes.

In a load-bearing structure, we cannot punch holes in a wall to attach two rooms, it will damage the construction.

If you have done this, major changes and renovations are not strictly done after the walls are built.

Load bearing masonry construction is rarely used because it does not perform very well in earthquakes, it is also extremely labor and material intensive.

Non-Load Bearing Masonry Wall:

At present most building is non-load-bearing masonry, frame structures are light-weight however sturdy materials that assist floor slabs and have very skinny, light-weight inside and exterior non-load bearing walls.

Most modern multi-storied buildings are constructed with structural frames and non-load bearing walls.

In a non-load bearing structure, customization, major alteration and renovations can be made without affecting the original structure.

Non-load bearing masonry is the trend in construction because it performs very effectively in earthquakes as a result of structural frames maintain the same.

 It is less labor and material intensive, very flexible in terms of internal floor layout.

Non-load-bearing brick work in a frame load structure.

Walls Based on Construction:

Solid Block Masonry:

Pros:

  1. These blocks have a compressive strength of 5- 8 MPa which is the highest among its alternatives.
  2. These blocks can be constructed at site for economical production (no transport, tax for on-site production).
  3. Their class has the lowest water absorption.

Cons: 

  1. Solid concrete blocks have a much higher density (2100 to 2200 kg / cu.m), due to which the dead load on the structure is higher and the reinforcement consumption is increased.
  2. These blocks are heavy to handle.
  3. Dimensional variations are often seen in these blocks.
  4. Chisel installation of services (electrical and plumbing) is labor intensive and time consuming.

Specific size available: 390 X 190 X 190 mm, 390 X 190 X 140 mm, 390 X 190 X 90 mm

Best Used For: Low Rise Construction.

Hollow Concrete Block Masonry:

Pros:

  1. Hollow blocks have very good compressive strength of 5 – 8 MPa.
  2. They are light weight (i.e. density = 1250 to 1400 kg / cu.m).
  3. The dead load on the structure reduces reinforcement-optimized due to the light weight nature of these blocks.
  4. These blocks can be constructed on site for economical production (hence no transportation charges, not tax).

Cons:

  1. Installation requires concrete filling post chiseling.
  2. High dissipation in these blocks.

Specific size available: 390 X 190 X 190 mm, 390 X 190 X 140 mm, 390 X 190 X 90 mm.

Best Used For: Low Rise Construction

Lightweight Aerated Concrete (AAC) Block Masonry walls:

Pros: 

  1. AAC blocks are light in weight with a density of 600 – 700 kg / cu.m.
  2. Due to lightweight, they are easier to handle and reduce dead load on structures thereby optimizing reinforcement consumption.
  3. Chisel is also easy to set up services (electrical and plumbing).
  4. These blocks have very high amplitude accuracy.
  5. These blocks also have superior thermal and acoustic properties.
  6. The amount of plaster they consume per square foot is also less compared to other blocks / brick masonry.

Cons:

  1. Compression strength is 3 – 4 MPa, which is lower than other options.
  2. Improved quality control is required during production and it is required to handle it properly for less wear and tear.
  3. These blocks cannot be manufactured on site.
  4. The unit cost of these blocks is high.

Specific size available: 600 X 200 X 200mm, 600 X 200 X 150mm, 600 X 200 X 100mm

Best Used For: High Rise Construction.

Cellular Lightweight Concrete (CLC) Block Masonry Walls:

Pros:

  1. Their weight is light (density = 550 to 750 kg / cu.m, dead load reinforcement on the structure reduces consumption-optimized).
  2. Their amplitude accuracy is high.
  3. The ease of installation of services (electrical and plumbing) is less labor intensive and consumes better thermal and acoustic properties in less time.
  4. It can be manufactured on site to reduce economical production (transportation, tax), plaster consumption.

Cons:

  1. CLC block technology is at early stage.
  2. The compressive strength of these blocks is 3 – 4 MPa, which is lower than other masonry.
  3. Better quality management is required throughout the manufacturing of these blocks and handling of those blocks must be finished on site properly for much less breakdown/wastage.

Specific size available: 600 X 200 X 200mm, 600 X 200 X 150mm, 600 X 200 X 100mm.

Best used for: high-rise construction.

Fly Ash Brick Masonry Wall:

Pros:

  1. Compressive strength 3.5 – 5MPa which is less with your option.
  2. These bricks can be manufactured for economical production (transport and not tax).
  3. These bricks are easy to install for services (electrical and plumbing).

Cons:

  1. Fly ash bricks have very high densities (i.e., 2100 to 2200 kg / co) which increase the dead load of the structure.
  2. These bricks have higher amplitude variability and their plaster consumption.

Specific size available: 230 X 150 X 80mm, 230 X 150 X 100mm, 230 X 100 X 100mm.

Best used: Low and Mid-Rise Construction.

Burnt Clay Brick Masonry Wall:

Pros:

  1. Medium unit weight.
  2. Density (1700 to 1800 kg / cu.m) Compression strength 3.5 – 5MPa for economic production (transport, tax).
  3. Better thermal properties, ease of chisel installation of services (electrical and plumbing) is less labor intensive and less time consuming.

Cons:

  1. They are high amplitude variations.
  2. It can’t be manufactured on a site, the highest water absorption amongst its substitutes, vulnerable to efflorescence.
  3. Under-burnt and over-burnt clay bricks are seen (availability of good quality bricks is a significant concern).

Specific size available: 230 X 190 X 100mm, 230 X 100 X 75mm.

Best Used: Low and mid-rise building.

RELATED ARTICLES:

MASONRY CONSTRUCTION | COMPOSITE MASONRY | STONE MASONRY | BRICK MASONRY

Conclusion:

Masonry wall is the most durable part of any building or structure.

Now I’d like to hear from you, which section was new to you or maybe I missed something. Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below.

Hello, I'm Rahul Patil founder of Constructionor.com, I had studied B.E. Civil. This blog provides authentic information regarding civil structures, equipment, materials, tests & much more.

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