Research Associate, Clemson University
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Presented: March 11 and 12, 2021
“Impact of microstructure and physical properties on the thermal properties of fired clay brick”
Commercially produced fired clay brick are made from a wide range of raw materials as well as processing and firing conditions. Most of the existing literature on the thermal properties of fired clay brick were primarily focused on brick of European origin. These materials typically have a significantly finer particle size and are fired to a lesser degree than commercially produced brick in the United States. Consequently, this results in microstructural differences which will cause the thermal properties of such materials to differ. Utilizing both commercially and lab fired brick from several manufacturers in the United States, these materials were characterized and the underlying characteristics impacting the thermal conductivity were identified. It was found that commercially produced fired clay brick have thermal properties that can vary significantly from those published in the literature. Depending on the manufacturer, the thermal conductivity was found to be significantly above and blow that of reported literature values for brick with a similar density. The thermal conductivity was found to depend upon not only the porosity, but also on the phase composition and the grain size of the fired material. The combined effect of the mineralogy and grain size on the thermal conductivity of the fired clay brick was of similar importance to the impact of the porosity which has not been quantitatively addressed by other authors. In addition to thermal conductivity, both bulk density and heat capacity results were also analyzed since these properties can impact the response of the material under a dynamic temperature cycle. These results are important because they can be used to optimize both the minerology and grain size to produce fired clay brick with improved thermal performance.
Nathaniel Huygen, Research Associate, National Brick Research Center, Clemson University
Nathaniel Huygen works as a research associate for the National Brick Research Center at Clemson University. He received his B.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Clemson in 2016, and his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Clemson in 2020. His research focuses on the thermal performance benefit of thermal mass in wall systems.