|PUDDLED v's PRESSED MUD BRICKS
There are two types of mud bricks produced in Australia - puddled or adobe bricks and pressed bricks. So what is the difference and how does it effect you, the home builder?
What are Puddled Mud Bricks?
Puddled mud bricks are made by mixing clay/soil with water (generally 18%) to make a workable mix. This mix is then poured into a mould and left to sun dry. During the mixing process the clay particles realign and the evaporation of the water creates surface tension on the clay particles which actually binds the brick together. This produces a strong, dense brick once dried. You know how if you drive or walk over mud when it is wet, once it dries it is like concrete? This is the same principle at work. If the right clay is used, puddled bricks should not need stabilising agents to give them strength.
What are Pressed Mud Bricks?
Pressed mud bricks are made by mixing soil with only a small amount of water (generally 10%). The moist soil is then placed in a press and a mechanical force is applied to push the particles together. Not enough water is used in the manufacture to allow the clay to bind the brick, so their strength depends on the mechanical force used to make the bricks. They are often stabilised with cement to give extra durability.
What do the professionals think?
Peter Hickson, mud brick builder with 25 years experience in earth building prefers puddled mud bricks. "It is my experience that a puddled mud bricks are strong, accurate and consistent, as well as look and feel great. Bitumen emulsion used as a stabiliser does not change the character or strength of the mud brick but improves its performance."
So which is the best mud brick? That is for you to decide, but for strength, durability and a great look, puddled mud bricks stand up well.
To find our how our mud bricks are made click here.
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Copyright: Jirgens Civil Pty Ltd T/as 'Make It Mudbricks' 2013