# Weight and volume of masonry

The weight of the brickwork is an important indicator and is calculated at the design stage. The strength and appearance of the future foundation, as well as design decisions and the architecture of the building, entirely depend on how heavy the load-bearing walls of the structure will be.

## The need to determine the mass

Knowing exactly the weight of one cubic meter of brickwork is necessary for many reasons. First of all, this, of course, is the calculation of the maximum permissible load on the foundation and floors. Brick is considered a rather heavy building material, therefore, in order to use it for the construction of capital walls, it is necessary to clearly correlate the permitted load and the specific gravity of the brick. Often the limitation for the use of bricks, especially silicate and hyper-pressed full-body models, is the type of soil. So, on loose and moving soils, brickwork is not recommended. In such cases, alternative materials should be used: expanded clay concrete blocks, foam concrete, gas silicate material or cinder blocks.

**Knowing the exact weight of one cube.** **m of masonry, it is possible to calculate not only the strength of the foundation** , but also to determine the margin of safety of each section of the bearing wall. This is especially important for calculating the load on the lower and basement floors, as well as for choosing the brand of cement mortar and reinforcing structural elements. In addition, accurate knowledge of the weight of the brickwork allows you to calculate the required carrying capacity of the car, which will be taken out by the construction waste during the dismantling of structures and dismantling the walls.

## What affects weight?

The masonry mass is primarily affected by the material of the brick. The lightest are ceramic products, for the manufacture of which clay and plasticizers are used. Products are molded using a special press, and then sent to the kiln for firing. Silicate and hyper-pressed products are slightly heavier. For the manufacture of the former, lime and quartz sand are used, while the latter is based on cement. Clinker models also have a rather large weight, are made from varieties of refractory clay, followed by firing at very high temperatures.

**In addition to the material of manufacture, the type of brick performance has a huge impact on the weight of a square meter of masonry.** On this basis, two large groups of products are distinguished: solid and hollow models. The first are monolithic products of regular shapes that do not contain curly holes and internal cavities. Solid stones weigh on average 30% heavier than their hollow counterpart. However, such a material is characterized by high thermal conductivity and is rarely used for the construction of load-bearing walls. This is due to the absence of an air gap in the brick body and its inability to prevent heat loss in the premises during the cold period.

Hollow models are characterized by higher operational characteristics and lower weight, which allows them to be most actively used in the construction of external walls. Another factor affecting the mass of masonry is the porosity of the brick. The more internal cavities a product has, the higher its heat-insulating qualities and lower weight. To increase the porosity of ceramic models, sawdust or straw is added to the raw materials at the production stage, which burn out during the firing process and leave a large number of small air voids in their place. This allows for the same volume of material to significantly reduce its mass.

In addition, the weight of the cement slurry and metal reinforcement has a huge effect on the mass of masonry. The first factor largely depends on the professionalism of the mason, as well as on how thick the mortar is. The weight of the reinforcing elements depends on the number and type of metal structures needed to give the walls of the building increased strength and earthquake resistance. It often happens that the total mass of cement mortar and reinforcing mesh is almost equal to the net weight of the brick.

## Calculation Rules

Before proceeding with the calculation of the mass of masonry made of bricks, you should familiarize yourself with some terms. There is a specific and volumetric weight of bricks. The specific gravity is determined by the ratio of the weight to the occupied volume and is calculated according to the following formula: Y = P * G, where P is the density of the brick, and G denotes a constant value of 9.81. The specific gravity of a brick is measured in newtons per cubic meter and is designated as N / m3. To transfer the resulting numbers to the SI system, they need to be multiplied by a factor of 0.102. Thus, with an average mass of full-bodied models of 4 kg, the specific weight of the masonry will vary from 1400 to 1990 kg / m3.

**Another important parameter is volumetric weight, which, in contrast to specific gravity, takes into account the presence of cavities and voids.** This value is used to determine the mass of not every brick individually, but immediately of a whole cubic meter of products. It is the volumetric weight of the products that serves as an indicative value and is taken into account when calculating the mass of masonry directly during construction.

Knowing the weight of one brick and the number of copies in one cubic meter of masonry, you can easily calculate how much the entire masonry weighs. To do this, it is enough to multiply both numbers and add the mass of cement mortar to the obtained value. So, in one cubic meter fits 513 solid single silicate products of standard size 250x120x65 mm, and the weight of one brick is 3.7 kg. Consequently, one cube of masonry will weigh 1898 kg without taking into account the weight of the solution. One and a half silicates already weigh about 4.8 kg per piece, and their number in a cubic meter of masonry reaches 379 pieces. Accordingly, the masonry of such a volume will weigh 1819 kg also without taking into account the mass of cement.

The calculation of the mass of red brick masonry is carried out according to the same scheme, but with the difference that single solid models weigh 3.5 kg, while the weight of hollow models reaches 2.3-2.5 kg. So, one cube of ceramic masonry will weigh from 1690 to 1847 kg excluding cement mortar. However, it should be noted that these calculations are only suitable for products with a standard size of 250x120x65 mm. So, narrow hollow models with a width of not 120 but 85 mm will weigh only 1.7 kg, while the weight of the overall specimens of 250x120x88 mm will reach 3.1 kg.

As for cement consumption, on average 0.3 m3 of solution is spent per cubic meter of masonry, the mass of which reaches 500 kg. Thus, 0.5 tons should be added to the obtained value of the net weight of a cubic meter of brick. As a result, it turns out that the brickwork has an average weight of 2-2.5 tons.

**However, these calculations are only approximate.** To determine the weight of the structure to the nearest kilogram, a number of factors that are strictly individual for each case should be taken into account. These include the storage conditions of the brick and its coefficient of water absorption, cement grade, mortar consistency and the total weight of the reinforcing elements.

See how to calculate brickwork in the next video.