Plain brick masonry can not take any tensile stress. Reinforced brickwork can withstand tensile and shear stresses quite effectively. First-class bricks are used in this type of work. For embedding the reinforcement, dense cement mortar is used.
Reinforcement to be used in brick walls may consist of Simple iron bars or expanded metal mesh or in the form of hoop iron. The reinforcement may be placed either horizontally or vertically. Reinforced brickwork is adopted under the following circumstances:
1. When the brickwork has to resist tensile and shear stresses.
2. When a structure is to be constructed on soils of unequal bearing capacity.
3. For constructing brick beam over an opening.
4. For constructing retaining walls, floor slabs, etc.
5. When the longitudinal bond is to be increased.
6. When the brick wall is likely to be subjected to heavy Compressive loads.
7. When a brick wall is to be constructed in seismic areas.
Advantages of Reinforced Brick Work
The advantages of reinforced brickworks are manifolds. They are as follows:
- It is cheap, durable, fireproof, easy to construct.
- It results in the increase of floor space due to adoption of brickwork of less thickness.
- It can resist tensile, shear and heavy compressive stresses effectively.
- It makes the structure safe on soil of unequal bearing capacity.
- In seismic areas, it is the only choice if a structure is made with brick masonry.