Have you ever been curious about how bricks are created? Well, you’re in for a treat! In this blog post, we will present a bit of our manufacturing process and give you a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes of how we run our local factory. If this post sparks your interest, our onsite tours are perfect for architects, landscape architects and councils who want to see our products and manufacturing process up close. So, what are you waiting for? Read on for a taste of traditional and authentic brick making.
Bricks: A Long History.
At Littlehampton Bricks and Pavers, we respect the long history of brick-making techniques. While we make use of modern technology and machinery, the heart of our manufacturing process remains truly authentic. Bricks have been used to build houses and structures for thousands of years, and the essence of the manufacturing process has barely changed throughout that time.
A Circular Process Means Zero Waste.
At Littlehampton Bricks and Pavers, we preserve the spirit of time-tested traditions. All our bricks are made from the highest quality natural and local materials. We don’t rely on the use of additives to create the various colours of our bricks. Only dedicated craftsmanship, natural clay, shale, sand, water and fire. We are also ecologically conscious, and that means that we don’t let anything go to waste. Our process was designed to be cyclical from the ground up, and we reuse everything from cut-offs, to pellets and broken bricks and pavers.
It All Starts with Clay.
No matter what brick we are making, the process always starts with selecting a precise combination of ingredients. All our products have their own ‘secret recipe’, that gives them their characteristic appearance and longevity. First, clay is delivered to the feeder, before travelling to the hammer mill, where it is ground up into a fine powder. Any metallic particles that may occur naturally in the clay are removed with a powerful magnet, ensuring that the final result isn’t tarnished with unwanted imperfections.
The Mixing Process.
Mixing is a vital stage of the manufacturing process. The two most important components of this stage are water and clay, which are added to the mixer in precise measurements. Water is fed into a separate hopper above the mixing chamber before being slowly released onto the dry material below. Over time, the mixture starts to bind together, resulting in a thick, dough-like material.
Extrusion and trimming.
Once the material has been blended, it is ready to be shaped. The mixture passes through a rectangular extruder that produces long, characteristic logs, which are then cut into bricks or pavers. Any cut-offs are recycled back into the process as part of our zero-waste ethos. At this stage, textures and finishes are added to the bricks using sand, trace minerals, or small fragments of stone.
The wet bricks are then transported to the drying area, which receives residual hot air from the kiln. This stage of the process is crucial, as insufficiently dried bricks will explode when inserted into the kiln prematurely. Once dried over the course of three days, the bricks are loaded into the batch kiln.
Firing is a precise process, which uses recycled waste oil to heat the chamber to up to 1200 degrees Celsius. The kiln cools over three days before the bricks can be safely removed.
Because we produce in small batches, we can be flexible and innovative, making products to-order and fulfilling smaller requests.
Sorting and Grading.
Once cooled, the bricks are then graded and stacked by hand, before being wrapped and loaded for delivery. This ensures that only the best bricks make it to our valued customers.
Our tours provide an in-depth brick-making experience for industry professionals.
So there you have it. A quick look into how bricks are made. There’s nothing quite like seeing it in person, though. If you’d like to find out more about our process, then we highly recommend you join us on a guided tour of the factory. This experience is particularly valuable for architects and councils who wish to take a closer look at new product ranges (like our GLAZED BRICKS) and what a local business can offer their future projects.
We pride ourselves on cultivating close partnerships with designers, landscape architects and Councils. Together, we have produced beautiful and unique pavers that can be applied to a broad variety of projects. To see how our products perform, just take a look at Taronga Park Zoo, Tonseley Technology Club, and Victor Harbour Main Street. If you’re interested in a particular range of bricks or pavers, Why not grab some samples while you visit? Just let us know which product you are interested in, and we’ll take care of the rest!