What Are Hollow Brick - Its Size, Cost & Uses In Construction

What Are Hollow Brick | Uses of Hollow Bricks | Hollow Brick Price | Sizes of Hollow Bricks | Advantage of Hollow Bricks | Disadvantage of Hollow Bricks14 min read

Hollow Bricks

Hollow Bricks is a widely used material in the construction of multi-stored buildings, factories, and residential buildings. It is made of a mixture consisting of cement, sand, and a minor amount of stone chips.

Due to its cheapness, it is commonly used in compound walls. Being light in weight Hollow bricks are popular in the construction of a various load-bearing structures as well as non-load-bearing structures.


What Are Hollow Brick?

What Are Hollow Brick?
Hollow Brick

Hollow Bricks can be defined as the block with one or more than one hole of cavities passing through the block having 50 to 75 percent of solid material of its total volume calculated from the overall dimension of the block.

In Simple Words, it can be explained as the brick with holes purposefully made to make the brick light in weight subsequently adding characteristics like strength, durability, fire resistance, etc.

Hollow Clay Bricks reduces the use of cement in masonry work in turn reducing the cost of construction. Hence it can be called an innovative building material or building unit.

One of the properties making hollow blocks popular in construction is eco-friendly, made by recycled materials, and remains of the construction materials.

Read More: What Are Refractory Bricks – Its 3 Types, Properties, Advantages & Disadvantages


Hollow Brick Price

The price of hollow brick varies from place to place and also depending on the quality of brick i.e. the strength of brick. Overall, the price could also change depending on the purpose of use.

Bricks used for partition purposes cost less as compared to brick used for the loadbearing cause. Hence the price of brick varies due to its quality, strength, purpose, and area.

Hollow brick price varies from Rs. 25 to Rs. 50  or 0.3$ to 0.8$ depending on the brick property. But in general, the average cost of a hollow brick is between Rs.30 to Rs.40 or 0.4 to 0.7$ when it comes to cities.

Cost of Hollow Brick per unit: Rs. 30 to RS. 40 or 0.4$ to 0.7$.


Advantages of Hollow Bricks

Advantages of Hollow Bricks
Easy to Handle (Hollow Bricks)

Hollow bricks advantages as follows,

  1. Use off Hollow Brick reduces the mortar consumption in subsequent amount hence reducing the use of cement which in turn affect the cost of the project.
  2. Hollow bricks are superior thermal insulation material, which reduces the heat transfer through the wall of the structure.
  3. Hollow blocks are economical as compared to solid blocks.
  4. Hollow blocks have a cavity inside which reduces the weight of bricks hence when placed, transfer a small dead load.
  5. It has a good sound insulation property.
  6. The material used in the construction of hollow brick is totally environment friendly which makes hollow brick an ecofriendly material considering its construction does not cause pollution.
  7. Hollow bricks have adequate strength which makes them usable for load-bearing structures.
  8. Hollow Bricks are highly durable and require less maintenance around the time period of their design life.

Other advantages of hollow bricks,

  • Bricks are good fire-resistant
  • Easy as well as fast construction system
  • Have better Architectural features
  • Good Compressive strength
  • Cavity of bricks provides passage for electrical wires
  • Passage for plumbing fixtures through wall

Disadvantages of Hollow Bricks

Hollow bricks Disadvantages as follows,

  1. Even though they are environment-friendly, hollow bricks have disadvantages in themselves. They have a low bearing capacity compared to other bricks.
  2. Considering its load-bearing capacity hollow bricks cannot be used in very heavy load-bearing structures.
  3. Once the wall is constructed of hollow bricks it should not be used to hang heavy objects with the perspective of safety.
  4. Hollow bricks are not suitable for foundation purposes or any base construction in the point of view of their density.
  5. In research, it was found out that hollow bricks are prone to salt attack and may lose their strength once exposed to salt.
  6. Hollow bricks are avoided in earthquake zones.

Sizes of Hollow Bricks

Sizes of Hollow Bricks
Hollow Brick Sizes

Hollow bricks are used at various stages during construction serving different purposes such as partition walls, compound walls, etc. For such purposes, different sizes of hollow bricks could be used depending on the requirement.

Even for the partition wall itself the different sizes of Hollow Bricks could be used as the thickness of the partition wall may differ for every component of the structure.

Hollow bricks are available with different no. of cavities in the market with different sizes. Their standard sizes are mentioned below for Hollow Brick with two cavities and Half Blocks:

  • 400 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm
  • 400 mm x 200 mm x 150 mm
  • 400 mm x 200 mm x 100 mm

Manufacturing Process of Hollow Clay Bricks

  • Hollow bricks are made of different sizes and designs. The blocks are made in different sizes with hollow spaces may be cores, cells, deep frogs or combinations of these.
  •  In the manufacturing process firstly cement, stone chips, sand, etc. are mixed in the ratio of 1:6 or 1:12 and this mixture is poured into a vibrator machine. Molds are kept ready of specific sizes and designs for the mix frequently to be poured in it.
  • After completing 24 hours of drying, the blocks are put in a water tank for curing.
  • The process of curing lasts for two to three weeks to give the blocks acceptable compression strength as per the requirement of structures.
  • After carrying out specific tests on bricks and eliminating the damaged ones, bricks are made ready for sale.
  • Even though it is easy to make a concrete block, the successful brickyard must however make blocks of uniform quality and sell them at a price high enough to cover costs and earn a reasonable profit.

Read More: Fly Ash Bricks – Its Properties, Uses, Size, & Comparison With Red Clay Bricks


Properties of Hollow Bricks

Hollow Bricks Properties are as follows,

1. Compressive Strength

The tested Compressive Strength of hollow brick can be dependent on one of a gross cross-sectional area or net cross-sectional area basis, depending on how the value is used. The net area compressive strength is required for structural computations in structural applications using rational design of Hollow Brick used masonry.

Properties of Hollow Brick
Hollow Brick Compressive Strength Test

An internal survey conducted by BIA in 1994 stated that the range of compressive strength of 152 to 203 mm thick hollow brick based on gross cross-sectional area is between 15.1 MPa and 88.2 MPa with an average compressive strength equal to 46.5 MPa. Recent test results proved that the hollow brick of 75 to 100 mm nominal thickness has a value similar to the compressive strength of solid units of the same size.

Brick is known for having higher compressive strengths than other loadbearing masonry materials. This makes hollow brick particularly well-suited for reinforced masonry applications where the increased strength it can allow thinner wall sections to handle the same loading.


2. Flexural Strength

The flexural strength of hollow brick is impacted by mortar and its unit arrangements when placed in masonry. The flexural strength of hollow brick is also well impacted by the reinforcement steel used in construction. Past research has indicated that faceshell bedded hollow brick masonry exhibits a lower flexural tensile strength than solid brick masonry laid with the same mortar, fully bedded.

This is likely because of the overall thickness of the face-shell bedding, it has more surface region presented to air compared with its volume than does a full mortar bed. Later examination has shown that the level of voids, going from roughly 22 to 35 percent, in the 102-mm brick has no critical impact on the flexural strength of the subsequent resulting fully bedded masonry prism.


3. Fire Resistance

The excellent quality of brick as a fire-resistant material is well known. However, very few tests have been carried on the hollow bricks because of the acceptance that bricks are inherently a good fire-resistant material. Bricks that are made of fired clays are excellent fire-resistant materials. Apart hollow bricks are less fire-resistant when compared to fired clay bricks.

Fire Resistance Rating Calculation of Hollow Bricks

  1. Industrial standards or actual testing can be used for calculating the fire resistance ratings for hollow bricks.
  2. However, an alternative way of determining the fire resistance of a hollow brick with respect to wall assembly is by calculating the equivalent thickness of the brick.
  3. This approach has been approved by the model building codes to determine fire resistance ratings of walls that could not be tested physically.
  4. The imperviousness to fire rating of hollow brick masonry work is controlled by its identical strong thickness.
  5. The same thickness is determined by taking away the volume of center or cell spaces from the complete gross volume of brick and partitioning by the uncovered face space of the unit.
  6. The subsequent thicknesses can measure up to the prerequisites given inside the construction standards of structures.

4. Water Penetration Resistance

The factors responsible for Water Penetration Resistance for Hollow Bricks are the materials, wall construction, and the workmanship used. Drainage wall systems prove to be the best water penetration resistance to hollow brick walls. By proper detailing, including clean air spaces, through-wall flashing, and weeps proper water penetration resistance is likely to be excellent.

Hollow Brick delays and reduce dampness in masonry wall proving a good Water Penetration Resistance material providing low water leakage. Cavity cells in hollow brick delay the appearance of dampness and also reduce the percentage area of dampness as compared to the solid bricks of the same size and property.

Same cavity cells are responsible for the less contact area with the mortar, resulting in the well water-resistant scenario

Hollow bricks are used as singleWythe walls and designed to act as a variation of a barrier wall, depending on the thickness and mass of the materials acting as an obstacle to water penetration.

The single-Wythe wall design is not much good resistant to water penetration as that of drainage wall systems or multiWythe barrier wall systems and is not appropriate for some of the exposures.


5. Sound Resistance

The sound insulation property of hollow bricks is quite complex. Because of the cavity provided and brick design structure hollow brick exhibit strong anisotropy.

Hollow brick walls are often provided with Plasterrender layers to seal the face of the brick. This will increase the total mass of the wall and increase the airflow resistance which in turn improves sound insulation property.

It has been tested that the design dimension and layout of webs and holes within hollow bricks can influence the overall sound insulation property. Cross webs within the hollow bricks are average better for sound insulation than staggered webs but poorer than straight webs.

Some hollow brick designs also have the possibility to insert insulation material within the block’s larger holes, such as jacket blocks for increasing sound resistance.


Design And Detailing of Hollow Bricks

1. Mortar Bedding

Hollow Bricks larger in size used in structural walls requires mortar to be applied to its full thickness of the face shell (face-shell bedding). Whereas for smaller hollow brick units that are used in veneer applications, mortar should be applied to the full width of the brick veneer (full bedding) to maintain proper anchor embedment and cover.


2. Reinforcement

What Are Hollow Brick | Uses of Hollow Bricks | Properties of Hollow Clay Brick | Hollow Brick Price | Sizes of Hollow Bricks | Advantage of Hollow Bricks | Disadvantage of Hollow Bricks
Reinforcement in Hollow Brick

Reinforcement in hollow bricks masonry is not always used. Although if used the large cells of hollow bricks allow the units to be easily reinforced and grouted. One of the precautions to be taken is that the reinforcing must be embedded in grout, not mortar.

Read More: 7 Brick Test to Decide Quality of Bricks


3. Corbelling and Other Design Details

Certain construction of structures requires the use of solidly filled hollow units. The use of hollow brick is restricted by the model building codes as follows;

Corbelling: For corbelling, solidly filled hollow bricks are used with the approval of the building official.
Masonry Piers: The height of masonry piers constructed of unfilled hollow bricks is limited to four times their least dimension.
Parapet Walls: An unreinforced hollow unit masonry parapet must be no less than 8 in. (203 mm) thick, and its height must not exceed three times its thickness.
Fireboxes and Chimneys: Fireboxes and chimneys constructed of hollow units are required to be grouted solid.


Uses of Hollow Bricks

What Are Hollow Brick | Uses of Hollow Bricks | Properties of Hollow Clay Brick | Hollow Brick Price | Sizes of Hollow Bricks | Advantage of Hollow Bricks | Disadvantage of Hollow Bricks
Use of Hollow Bricks

Following are some of the uses of hollow bricks;

  1. Hollow Bricks are used in constructions where the dead load imposed on the foundation is to be reduced.
  2. The use of hollow brick in boundary fences is cost-efficient.
  3. Huge structures demand the building materials having less weight so as to reduce the superimposed load of the structure on soil, hollow brick is a common engineer’s choice in such circumstances.
  4. Hollow bricks are used to reduce the cost of construction by reducing the amount of mortar used.
  5. The manufacturing process of hollow brick is environment friendly, hence used in areas prone to pollution.
  6. Used when steel is to be reinforced within the masonry wall or similarly when electrical wires and plumbing fittings are to be passed through constructed walls.

FAQs:

Hollow Bricks

Brick with holes of the cavity made for making brick light in weight and add properties to it can be termed as Hollow Bricks. Hollow bricks has 50 to 75 percent of solid material of its total volume while the rest is a cavity within.

Uses of Hollow Bricks

Hollow Bricks are used in partition walls, boundary fences, huge structures, etc. It is also likely to be used in areas prone to pollution for construction, in the masonry walls to be reinforced, and to reduce the use of mortar.

Advantages of Hollow Bricks

They keep the in-house temperature cool in summer and warm in winter especially the ‘clay hollow bricks. They also offer more sound insulation as compared to solid bricks. Better strength & Resistance – Hollow bricks possessed good compressive strength making them suitable to install heavy wall compartments, cabinets, geysers, etc.

Disadvantages of Hollow Bricks

They have a low bearing capacity compared to other bricks.
Considering its load-bearing capacity hollow bricks cannot be used in very heavy load-bearing structures.
Once the wall is constructed of hollow bricks it should not be used to hang heavy objects with the perspective of safety.

Hollow Bricks Wall

Hollow Bricks can be defined as the block with one or more than one hole of cavities passing through the block having 50 to 75 percent of solid material of its total volume calculated from the overall dimension of the block.

Hollow Bricks Construction

Hollow bricks are used at various stages during construction serving different purposes such as partition walls, compound walls, etc. For such purposes, different sizes of hollow bricks could be used depending on the requirement.
400 mm x 200 mm x 200 mm
400 mm x 200 mm x 150 mm
400 mm x 200 mm x 100 mm

Size of Bricks Blocks

Hollow bricks are available with different no. of cavities in themarket with different sizes. Their standard sizes are mentioned below for Hollow Brick with two cavities and Half Blocks


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