A Glimpse Into The Future Of Brick Construction
For a long time, red clay has been the primary material that bricks are made of. However, times have changed. Bricks used in the modern construction industry can be made of various other materials (e.g. plastic).
As it is, there are numerous innovative ideas that have the potential to shape the future of brick manufacturing and by extension, the future of the construction industry. Below is a detailed discussion on three among the various innovative ideas.
Brick Dust In Concrete
Red brick dust has been used in voodoo and black magic for decades now. Ancient spiritualists used a solution of the dust and water to clean entrances/exits around their homes. It was believed that the dust was ‘powerful’ enough to repel evil spirits trying to force entry in one’s house through the entrances/exits.
There’s little evidence to support this belief. However, there is sufficient evidence that brick dust can be used as a beneficial additive in the manufacture of concrete. Addition of brick dust has been found to improve the chemical resistance of concrete blocks. By extension, this should improve the durability of concrete structures by a significant margin.
The Cigarette-Butt Brick
In the near future, new and recycled bricks used in the construction industry might have a cigarette butt or two infused into their structure. Cigarette butts are introduced into the clay mixture before the bricks are kiln-dried.
Addition of cigarette butts into the structure of clay bricks could bring down the future cost of this construction material significantly. This is because the production of ‘cigarette-butt’ bricks has been found to use nearly half the amount of energy used for the production of traditional bricks . The lower cost of production easily translates to a lower market price for the finished product.
In future, smokers might find themselves collecting cigarette butts for recycling alongside recyclable plastic bottles.
The Plastic-Concrete Brick
Concrete building blocks might also have a plastic component in the near future. Rather than recycling waste plastics conventionally, the plastics are reduced to a fine powder and incorporated into the cement that’s used to make concrete building blocks.
A significant advantage of this is that it brings down the cost of plastic recycling. It eliminates the need for conventional recycling processes (e.g. melting and injection moulding) that are relatively expensive.
The 21st century is indeed the age of environmental awareness and the construction industry is not lagging behind.