How are Bricks and Pavers really made?
Join us to take a look at some behind the scenes photos taken during our manufacturing process!
While the process varies between manufacturers and brick types, this is our process for producing the high-quality natural clay bricks Littlehampton Bricks and Pavers is so well known for.
The clay and materials for the brick or paver which is being made during that batch are mixed together with our loader.
The exact mixture is dependant on what the final product will be, each brick is our own ‘Secret Recipe’!
Once the mixing is complete, the raw materials are loaded into the main hopper which transports the ingredients to a series of hammer mills
Once leaving the hammer mills, the clay and other ingredients is now a more uniform consistency with no large chunks of clay etc.
This process ensure better mixing of ingredients and is key for the next steps.
The materials are then combined with water and sent through our extruding machine
The large columns are pushed out (extruded) from our extruding machine and precisely shaved to exact size by our custom made instruments.
The off-cuts you can see in the picture fall onto a conveyor-belt which sends them back to the top of the extruding machine to be recycled.
This ensures nothing is wasted.
This picture shows the off-cuts being sent back to be recycled immediately.
The long brick columns are then sent through a precision wire-cutting machine (which almost has the appearance of a giant egg slicer!) before moving on to be stacked.
Every step of the process is overseen by our experienced team who are always checking for quality and any issues.
The bricks are picked up by the machine and stacked in very specific patterns.
The reason for this is because of our small batch-firing process, so the bricks must be stacked perfectly in specific patterns to ensure the best possible firing conditions.
The bricks are then moved by forklift to dry.
The bricks and pavers are ready to go into the drying chamber where they will have hot air blown on them to help dry faster and more evenly.
This is done by extracting the heat out of previous kiln firings with and industrial fan and sending the air underground and then up through the stacks of product waiting to be fired in the drying area.
Yes, that’s right, we even recycle the air!
Firing time! These photos was taken during an actual firing in our kiln through a tiny observation point.
As you can imagine, it’s pretty tough to get a camera in there since it’s over 1100 degrees Celsius!
5 Days after the firing is complete, the kilns are opened and packs can be removed.
This is done at dawn when the air is cooler as there is still a lot of residual heat in the air
Steel plates are laid down for the forklifts to drive on in the film. Sometimes the plates need to be knocked into position or if they bend as seen in the image above
The packs of freshly fired bricks are stacked for sorting
Every single brick is stacked by hand onto the final pallets.
This process ensures only the absolute highest quality products ever make it to our customers.
Some things which are checked for include: colour, size, and cracks or chips, consistency or any abnormalities.
This is just one extra step we do which is why Littlehampton has such a great name. It greatly reduces wastage for the end user.
The final product is something we are very proud of.
A high quality clay brick or paver, made right here in South Australia from locally sourced natural materials.
Quality is always number 1!
PHOTOS BY DARREN CLEMENTS PHOTOGRAPHY
If you would like to know more about our process check out this video we produced a couple of years ago: