Firebricks are blocks of refractory ceramic materials used to line fireplaces, fire boxes and furnaces. They are different from regular masonry bricks because of their ability to withstand temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The chemical composition of dense firebricks is different from that of regular bricks. The color, shape and thermal conductivity of firebricks and regular bricks are also different.
Firebricks contain refractory properties. They are also known as fireplace bricks. They are used in building cooking chambers in wood-fired ovens, fire boxes and for creating fireplaces. They are also used to line small or large industrial furnaces. They are heavy and have low porosity. Regular, or masonry, bricks, on the other hand, are more porous. Ordinary bricks begin to decompose at 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The chemical composition of a firebrick includes 23 percent alumina and 73 percent silica. Ferric oxide, titanium and other metallic oxides form the remaining portion. The major chemical composition of regular brick is silica, alumina, magnesia, lime, iron oxide and alkalies. If more or less than the required amount of any of these constituents exist, it may cause serious damage to the brick. The composition is lightly bonded in the case of regular bricks, whereas firebricks are much more dense.
Color and Shape
The firebrick is naturally white. Stains are mixed into the slurry to tint the brick during the manufacturing process. Some of the more popular colors include espresso, mossy green, red and jet black. The color allows the bricks to match the surrounding applications in the same way regular bricks are manufactured in different colors. The color of regular bricks varies according to the type of soil used. Firebricks are uniformly rectangular, while regular bricks may be unevenly shaped.
Thermal conductivity of regular bricks is much higher than with fire bricks. Firebricks can withstand high temperature because the ceramic, ferric oxide and other chemical additives absorb, and do not transfer, high temperatures. The low thermal conductivity offers greater energy efficiency and insulating value. Dense firebricks are therefore used in environments with extreme mechanical or thermal stress. A wood-fired kiln or a furnace are some of the applications that require firebricks. The denser properties also give the brick greater resistance to damage from abrasion. Regular bricks are not suited for these applications.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images
What Is the Difference Between a Brick & a Paver?
Difference Between Fire Brick & Regular Brick. Firebricks are blocks of refractory ceramic materials used to line fireplaces, fire boxes and furnaces.
Concrete Block Vs. Brick
Bricks are fire-resistant and have good thermal mass, ... learning the differences between brick and concrete block can help you make an...
How to Fire Brick
Bricks are some of the strongest building materials man has ever used to build shelters. A mixture of natural materials such as...
Common Brick Vs. Face Brick
Common Brick Vs. Face Brick. Bricks are an ancient and traditional building material, ... Difference Between Fire Brick & Regular Brick; How...
Brick Veneer Vs. Solid Brick
Many homeowners have a hard time understanding the difference between brick veneer and solid brick. Some believe that brick veneer is made...
Red Brick vs. Fire Brick Bread Ovens
Brick ovens are the pinnacle of outdoor cooking and imbue foods with a smokey, old-world flavor. Chefs of all skill levels can...
What Kind of Bricks Are Used in a Fireplace?
You should only use a special type of brick, called firebrick, fire brick or a refractory brick, to make a fireplace. Normal...
Brick Vs. Siding Cost
... an all-brick home appreciates at an average rate of 6 percent immediately after it is built. ... It is a slow...
What Type of Bricks Do I Make a Fire Pit With?
Regular bricks or stone blocks are also typically more attractive and pleasing to the eye than firebrick. Brick Shape. Regarding the shape...
Types of Fire Brick
Firebrick lines the interiors of fireplaces, fire pits and brick ovens. It is made from specific materials made to keep heat inside...
How to Repair Fire Bricks
Repairing broken fire bricks improves performance and prevents heat damage.
How to Build a Stone Veneer Wood Stove Backing
Attach one-inch non-conductive ceramic spacers 6 inches apart along the vertical length of each side of the area ... How to Make...