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Old 11-25-2009, 08:08 PM   #1
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Need brick info


So we're sitting around a nice home-made brick fire pit the other night and I asked the homeowner if the brick were "fire bricks". "They must be fire bricks, there's a fire in them" was the answer. NO, are the bricks "fire bricks" as in will they withstand the heat and not crack or bust from the heat? That's what I wanted to know. No one sitting around there had ever heard of fire brick. The homeowner has a large fireplace, so I asked him about the brick in his fireplace, "They're white" was the answer. Go have another drink. Now, the question: Aren't there bricks made which handle the heat of a fire better than the ordinary brick used on the side of a house? I would also like one of these fire pits in my back yard but don't feel comfortable using just ordinary brick. Advice anyone? Thanks, David

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Old 11-25-2009, 08:34 PM   #2
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From: Wikipedia

A fire brick, firebrick, or refractory brick is a block of refractory ceramic material used in lining furnaces, kilns, fireboxes, and fireplaces.
A refractory brick is built primarily to withstand high heat, but should also usually have a low thermal conductivity to save energy. Usually dense firebricks are used in applications with extreme mechanical, chemical, or thermal stresses, such as the inside of a wood-fired kiln or a furnace, which is subject to abrasion from wood, fluxing from ash or slag, and high temperatures. In other, less harsh situations, such as a natural gas fired kiln, more porous bricks are a better choice. They are weaker, but they are much lighter, easier to form, and insulate far better than dense bricks. In any case, firebricks should not spall under rapid temperature change, and their strength should hold up well during rapid temperature changes.
To make firebrick, fireclay is baked in the kiln until it is partly vitrified, and for special purposes may also be glazed. Fire bricks usually contain 30-40% aluminium oxide or alumina and 50% silicon dioxide or silica. They can also be made of chamotte and other materials. For bricks of extreme refractory character, the aluminum oxide content can be as high as 50-80% (with correspondingly less silica), and silicon carbide may also be present. The standard size of fire-brick is 9 x 4.5 x 3 in. (230 mm x 115 mm x 75 mm)
The silica firebricks that line steel-making furnaces are used at temperatures up to 1650°C (3000°F), which would melt many other types of ceramic, and in fact part of the silica firebrick liquefies. HRSI, a material with the same composition, is used to make the insulating tiles of the space shuttle.
A range of other materials find use as firebricks for lower temperature applications. Magnesium oxide is often used as a lining for furnaces. Common red clay brick are used for chimneys and wood-fired ovens.

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Old 11-26-2009, 06:16 AM   #3
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Ayuh,... Firebrick is used Inside a firebox...( the White 1s inside your Bud's fireplace)
Firebricks will Not tolerate getting Wet...
Most all outdoor fireplaces are made with plain ole Bricks, Clay bricks, which can handle some pretty intense Heat by themselves...
In my experince, Unless a clay brick is soaked in water Forever, it'll take heat, without splitting or cracking quite nicely...
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:16 AM   #4
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Thanks Willie, that was interesting reading. But-why didn't I think of just Wikipedia or Google to get an answer? Long day I guess. Bondo, If I'm reading you correctly, fire bricks probably would not be a good choice for an outdoor fire pit, O.K., understood. One thing I was looking at is my choices for purchasing brick at all. Apron stores here or brick yards which sell by the bundles, which I don't need a bundle. Hmmm, maybe for just an outdoor fire pit to burn leaves, small limbs, and entertain the g'kids I should just go with the apron store bricks. Thanks for the info, David
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
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most brickyards have over runs and will sell brick cheap to get off yard
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Old 11-26-2009, 09:32 AM   #6
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I recently picked up about 700 bricks for free off Craigslist
They were neatly stacked by the driveway, backed my truck right up
Last year I picked up another couple hundred from someone
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Old 11-26-2009, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
One thing I was looking at is my choices for purchasing brick at all.
Ayuh,... I wouldn't Buy 'em, at All...
Just find an old Brick building being torn down, or an old Chimney, or....
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Old 11-30-2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Just get as hard a brick as you can find and they will do OK for normal firepit use. That said, firebrick are best, but they are expensive.
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Old 11-30-2009, 03:08 PM   #9
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O.K., so I've had my "Brick 101 class online now". Now that I know that most any old brick will do for my use, I'm sure I can find some old brick around here to make a fire pit out of. If my next door neighbor writes in about some "mysteriously missing brick", think nothing about it. Thanks, David
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Old 12-04-2009, 02:56 PM   #10
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What about good old rocks? Just a thought, dorf dude

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