The Making of Red Bricks

Khanh Hoa, December 31st 2010

Same thing as rubber and coffee, red brick is something super common in my home country. However, I never really learned about the process of the making. Here I am now in a red brick factory.

Using a special tool, a brick worker cuts out rough blocks of terracotta.

From upper left to right clockwise:
He puts the blocks of terracotta into a mortar, stir it, and turns on the mortar.

A certain amount of water is added.

The finely blended terracotta is run into a mold and comes out as seen in this picture. It's just like in a biscuit factory. At the end of the line, a knife hangs above and slices down automatically in a certain interval of time. Then the worker will pick up the wet bricks.

The wet bricks are piled up before inserted into a giant fire furnace.

These wet bricks have to be handled with care. Otherwise, the form can be easily damaged. Once damaged, it has to be thrown out of the line. The damaged wet bricks can be returned back into the mortar.

Next step: the wet bricks are inserted for 7 hours under a giant fire furnace which temperature is 3000 Celcius degree.

From upper left to right clockwise:
Rice skin and mud is mixed together and formed into tiles like this.

These mud tiles are needed to keep the heat inside the fire furnace keep on circulating smoothly.

During heating, air must not enter the bricks. If that happens, the bricks will become frail, and hence unusable.

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