Brick Glossary

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Term Definition

The weight of water a brick unit absorbs, when immersed in either cold or boiling water for a stated length of time. Expressed as a percentage of the weight of the dry unit. See ASTM Specification C 67.


Materials added to mortar to impart special properties to the mortar.


A piece or assemblage, usually metal, used to attach building parts (e.g., plates, joists, trusses, etc.) to masonry or masonry materials.


American National Standards Institute.


A curved compressive structural member, spanning openings or recesses; also built flat.

Back Arch: A concealed arch carrying the backing of a wall where the exterior facing is carried by a lintel. Jack Arch: One having horizontal or nearly horizontal upper and lower surfaces. Also called flat or straight arch. Major Arch: Arch with spans greater than 6 ft and equivalent to uniform loads greater than 1000 lb. per ft. Typically known as Tudor arch, semicircular arch, Gothic arch or parabolic arch. Has rise to span ratio greater than 0.15. Minor Arch: Arch with maximum span of 6 ft and loads not exceeding 1000 lb. per ft. Typically known as jack arch, segmental arch or multicentered arch. Has rise to span ratio less than or equal to 0.15. Relieving Arch: One built over a lintel, flat arch, or smaller arch to divert loads, thus relieving the lower member from excessive loading. Also known as discharging or safety arch. Trimmer Arch: An arch, usually a low rise arch of brick, used for supporting a fireplace hearth.

Ashlar Masonry

Masonry composed of rectangular units of burned clay or shale, or stone, generally larger in size than brick and properly bonded, having sawed, dressed or squared beds, and joints laid in mortar. Often the unit size varies to provide a random pattern, random ashlar.


American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc.

ASTM: American Society for Testing and Materials.