From time immemorial, country-burned bricks were in use for the construction of civil structures. Eventually, production of such bricks almost stopped due to many reasons. The mining of clay, the raw material of these bricks, is restricted by the government on environmental concerns and this was one of such major reasons. High production cost, high labour charge on construction using such small bricks, leads to the introduction of cement building blocks, etc. This contributed to the extinction of the clay bricks industry.
Naturally, a cheap alternative, known as hollow bricks has been evolved which is made out of a mixture of granite chips (baby metal) of 6MM size, a limited quantity of cement, granite fines, and sand/granite powder. The cement to be used is also very limited since the hydraulic pressing is enforced on the concrete mixture, which enables a compact setting of the product. The hollow bricks have holes in them, which retain air cavities inside the walls when constructed with them. With the presence of air cavities, the temperature inside the room is maintained when constructed with hollow bricks. This advantage of the product is another attractive feature of the hollow bricks.
It is cheap, easy to transport and construct, consumes less cement mortar for construction. It maintains an even room temperature, which all have enabled hollow bricks to be preferred for the construction of civil structures replacing the conventional country-burned bricks. The unit satisfies the criteria of the Pollution Control Board and hence it can function well without much pollution and disturbance to the neighbours. Therefore the scope of this project is very high.
The products proposed to be manufactured are hollow bricks and solid blocks of various dimensions from cement, baby metal chips, and granite powder. the hollow blocks are made with holes in the blocks for making it lightweight and cheaper. Moreover, the hollow blocks have thermal as well as sound proof properties to a certain extent due to the air column within it. Normal size of the blocks are (8" x 4" x 12") and (8" x 6" x 12"). The products have a very good demand in the construction market.
Cement concrete is a mixture of Portland cement, aggregates (sand and stone chips) and water. Aggregates passing through 4.7 mm IS sieve are known as fine aggregates and the aggregates retained on this sieve are coarse aggregates.
The process of manufacture of cement concrete paving blocks involves the following steps:
The raw materials such as cement, baby metal, and rock powder are mixed in a concrete mixer in due proportion. The ratio of cement, sand and stone chips (metal) in the raw material mix determines the properties of hollow concrete blocks. A ratio of 1:3:6 (cement: sand: metal) confers higher strength, while a ratio of 1:5:6 can be employed for normal load-bearing construction. The water to cement ratio is usually 0:4:1.
The mixture is then collected in tipping barrows and fed into the molds of hydraulic block making machine. This is vibrated for a few minutes at intervals to ensure complete compactness. Now these are pressed in the hydraulic machine and the blocks thus formed are left on the cemented floor and the machine moves forward and the above operations are repeated. Thus rows of concrete bricks are made and arranged in rows on the floor. These blocks are left for 24 hours for initial setting. Then the blocks are collected, stacked in layers of 6 to 8 in numbers and water is sprinkled for 14-20 days for curing. After proper curing, the blocks are ready for marketing.
The raw materials required for manufacture of hollow and solid blocks are:
Baby metal and
Rock powder/granite dust/sand.
Water for mixing
All the raw materials required by the unit are available throughout the year. The raw material can also be procured from the nearby districts and from other states. Sufficient stock of raw materials will be ensured for an uninterrupted production. The raw material required by the unit is proposed to be arranged through local distributors.
The details of plant and machinery are enlisted in the fixed capital part of the project. They include:
Concrete mixer with/without hooper
Hydraulically operated blocks making machine
Electric pump etc.
The proposed machines and tools are procured from reputed machinery suppliers with the utmost care.
India is the second-largest brick manufacturer in the world after China. Indian brick industry is almost entirely unorganized and characterized by the presence of a large number of small-scale manufacturers which compete with one another at the regional level. The bricks industry in India has recorded considerable growth over the past few years, driven by the growth in infrastructure and construction activities. Moreover, India's rising population, increase in per capita income, improved economic growth, industrialization, and rapid urbanization has augmented the growth prospects of the blocks and bricks industry.
Solid blocks are commonly used to build load-bearing walls due to their density and compressive strength of 5 Newton/meter square which is much higher than other types of concrete blocks. Whereas, hollow blocks were the second most preferred concrete blocks in India with a market share of 35%. They have better-insulating properties, more durable, easier to install electrical and plumbing fixtures. Hollows blocks are used as outer or inner walls in high-rise buildings to reduce the overall dead load of the building.
A market study in this regard reveals the high potential of a hollow bricks unit due to the flourishing construction activities in the area. Marketing is the decision-making factor of any enterprise and by knowing this, the promoter has taken all possible ways to market his products and services by canvassing works from builders, contractors, and house owners. He can use his wide personal contacts also for grabbing orders. The promoter can easily understand the taste and needs of the customer due to his several years of experience, which will help him in marketing his products and maintain customer satisfaction.
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