Optimization of bricks production by earth hypercompaction prior to firing

Agostino Walter Bruno, Domenico Gallipoli, Céline Perlot, Joao Mendes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents an innovative method for the production of masonry bricks, which combines earth compaction and quick firing at low temperatures. Earth bricks were manufactured according to three different methods, i.e. extrusion, standard Proctor compaction and hypercompaction to 100 MPa. All bricks were fired inside an electrical furnace by rising the temperature at a quick rate of about 9 °C per minute to 280, 455, 640, 825 and 1000 °C, after which the furnace was turned off and left to cool to the atmosphere with the brick inside it. These firing temperatures and times are significantly lower than those employed for the manufacture of commercial bricks, which are typically exposed to a maximum of 1100 °C for at least 10 hours (Brick Industry Association, 2006). A testing campaign was performed to investigate the effect of quick firing on the porosity, strength, water durability and moisture buffering capacity of the different bricks. Quick firing of hypercompacted bricks at moderate temperatures, between 455 and 640 °C, is enough to attain very high levels of compressive strength, between 29 and 34 MPa, with a good to excellent moisture buffering capacity. These properties are better than those of commercially available bricks. The strength of hypercompacted bricks further increases to 53 MPa, a value similar to that of high-strength concrete, after quick firing at 825 °C. Earth densification prior to thermal treatment therefore improves material performance while enabling a significant reduction of firing temperatures and times compared to current bricks production methods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-482
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date2 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2019


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