What is Terracotta?
Terracotta has been around us for over 3000 years. It is known for as durability, beauty, and Earthy tones and textures. The term terracotta means fired earth.
Some examples of terracotta are the great china wall, The Hagia Sophia, and The dome of the cathedral in Florence, Italy.
Terracotta is a type of earthenware, a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic, where the fired body is porous. Its uses include vessels ( notably flower pots ), water and waste water pipes, bricks, and surface embellishment in building construction, along with sculptures such as the Terracotta Army and Greek terracotta figurines.
The term is also used to refer to items made out of this material and to its natural, brownish orange color, which varies considerably. In archaeology and art history, ” terracotta ” is often used to describe objects such as figurines, not made on a potter’s wheel.
Objects made on a wheel from the same material, are called pottery; the choice of the term depends on the type of object rather than the material. The product is burnt in a special kiln ( Muffle furnace ). Salient points Internal size of the mold is slightly ( about 1 / 10th ) greater than the burnt brick for shrinkage during drying and burning.
Advantages of Terracotta
- Terracotta is environment friendly
- Bricks made up of terracotta can be repurposed or reduced as rubble for road construction.
- Its breaks can store heat energy during the daytime and release it slowly at night.
- They are resistant to acid rain.
- They are fire resistance that can resist fire for a long period of time.
- It minimizes eco and sound waves.
Characteristics of Terracotta
- The standard brick size of 230 x 115 x 57 mm with 10 mm thick horizontal and vertical mortar joints is preferable.
- Tolerances of -10 mm on length, -5 mm on width, and +3 mm on thickness shall be acceptable. ( NBC 205: 2012 )
- The standard size of brick as per IS code is 19cmX9cm × 9cm and 19cmX9cm X 4cm.
- Number of bricks as per NS required per cubic meter ( machine-made ) – 530.
- Number of bricks as per NS required per cubic meter ( hand made ) – 560.
- The strength of machine-made brick is more than hand-made brick.
- The metal plate used to close or open the flue of the kiln is known as a damper.
- Bricks of low porosity have greater strength.
- The frog is the depression on the top surface of bricks. It works as a key at the time of laying of brick.
Application of terracotta
- It is used to produce pottery products.
- It is used for roofing to cover houses.
- It is used to construct Fireproof walls.
- It is used to construct footpaths for decorative purposes.
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