Bonding of Brickwork and Blockwork
‘Bonding’ is the arrangement of bricks in a definite pattern in order to provide a pleasing appearance but still maintain adequate strength for the job being constructed. The dimensions of bricks have been carefully designed to facilitate the bonding process.
Bricks must be lapped over each other in successive courses, both along the wall and across its thickness, to allow loads, including the wall’s own weight, to be evenly distributed throughout the thickness and height of the wall, down to the foundations below. If bricks are not lapped over, straight vertical joints will occur. These will weaken the wall and prevent the even distribution of loads.
The most common bonding arrangement for brickwork is half-bond or ‘stretcher bond’. The face bond consists of all stretchers except at return angles and stopped-ends, where a half-brick or ‘bat’ is introduced on alternate courses in order to maintain the half-brick overlap.
Wall thicknesses are usually stated in brick sizes – half-brick thick, one-brick thick, and so on. Stretcher bond is most commonly used for half-brick walls such as the external leaf of cavity walls.
Fig. 83 Bonding terms and terminology relating to a stretcher bond wall.