LOAD DISTRIBUTION

One of the main functions of a brick wall is to carry loads down to the foundations. This may be the load of the wall itself, which is known as ‘dead load’, or it may be loads that are carried by the wall, which are called ‘superimposed loads’.

LOAD DISTRIBUTION

Fig. 84 Point load distribution on unbonded brickwork.

If the bricks were bedded one on top of the other the load would pass down a single stack of bricks, resulting in settlement and cracking of the wall (see Fig 84). Any lateral (sideways) pressure on the wall would simply push over a single stack of bricks. If the wall is properly bonded – each course

bedded with a half – or quarter-brick lapped over the course below – any lateral forces are distributed through adjacent bricks and the load is spread over a large face area of wall. The principle is the same in relation to a downward superimposed load (see Fig 86), where the bonding of the bricks is fundamental to the load distribution down the height of the wall.

LOAD DISTRIBUTION

Fig. 85 Lateral load distribution on unbonded brickwork.

LOAD DISTRIBUTION

Fig. 86 Point load distribution on bonded brickwork.