Reinforced Brick Masonry is also essentially a wall material. Of course, beams and slabs have been built in reinforced brick masonry, but with the exception of deep wall beams, it is hard to justify them in comparison with reinforced concrete ones. Reinforced brick masonry does not require shuttering and concrete. The real advantage of reinforced masonry lies in walls subject to bending perpendicular to the wall plane. It combines flexibility of form with good finish and usually a large cost saving compared with that of reinforced concrete. Reinforced brick masonry is thus a cheap, durable, fire-proof, easy to construct and in most cases it results in the increase of floor space due to adoption of brick-work of lesser thickness. The reinforced masonry has been used with advantage under the following circumstances.
1. Retaining walls up to 6 m height can be constructed using various types of brick walls and filled hollow blocks, with a drained granular fill. It has been found that above 4 m height the economy of reinforced brickwork relative to reinforced concrete tends to be lost. However, brickwork or blocks may be used as permanent shuttering to a wall designed in reinforced concrete.
2. Reinforced masonry can be used for cantilevering vertically in boundary walls or tall sheds where the walls cannot be restrained at the top.
3. It can also be used in horizontally spanning cladding where it is not possible to prove stability in wind due to arching. With normal wind pressures a 10 m single skin wall with mesh in horizontal joints can be made to span 4 m or more.
Reinforced masonry can be used are described below:
Reinforced Masonry Walls: Iron bars or expanded metal mesh is generally provided at every third or fourth course. Before starting the next course the steel fabric is spread flat on the cement mortar and pressed evenly.
Flat bars of section about 25 mm x 2 mm may be used as hoop iron reinforcement for walls. They are hooked at corners and junctions, and usually dipped in tar and sanded immediately so as to increase their resistance against rusting. Generally, one strip is provided for every thickness of half brick. Reinforcement in vertical direction may be provided by using special bricks or blocks. Mild steel bars (6 mm diameter) can also be used as longitudinal reinforcement in walls.