The wide range of clays suitable for brick making in theUK gives a diversity to the products available. The effects of blending clays, the various forming processes,the application of surface finishes, and the adjustment of firing conditions further increase this variety.
Earlierthis century most areas had their own brickworks with characteristic products; however, ease of road transportation and continuing amalgamations within the industry have left a reduced number of major producers and only a few small independent works. Most UK bricks are defined as high density (HD) fired-clay masonry units with a gross dry density greater than 1000 kg/m3.The main constituents of brick-making clays are silica (sand) and alumina, but with varying quantities of chalk, lime, iron oxide and other minor constituents,e.g. fireclay, according to their source.
The largest UK manufacturer uses the Lower Oxford clays of Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire to produce the Fletton brick.
This clay contains some carbonaceous content that reduces the amount of fuel required to burn the bricks, lowering cost and producing a rather porous structure.
Other particularly characteristic bricks are the strongly coloured StaffordshireBlues and Accrington Reds from clays containing high iron content and the yellow London Stocks from the Essex and Kent chalky clays with lower iron content.
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