The English name for a Lego brick sounds like interlocking brick, that is, a blockable brick, a product with a lock. The most noticeable feature of this material is, indeed, the presence of two protrusions (spikes) on one side, and grooves on the other. Spikes and grooves are put on each other as in the Lego constructor, so the Russian name for the brick is quite logical and understandable.
In fact, Lego brick was invented in Denmark at the beginning of the last century, but the technology developed for a long time, this building material gained popularity slowly. And in our country lego-bricks and did come to all recently, but now their production is actively developing. Moreover, for the production of such material on a relatively small, artisanal scale, only a special machine with a mechanical or hydraulic press is needed, which costs about 150 thousand rubles, and raw materials.
A Lego brick can contain a variety of materials: cement (required), sand, clay, limestone, dolomite, marble, shell rock, various screenings. And water, of course. The cement in a Lego brick is usually at least 10%, the rest of the components may vary. This affects the characteristics of the building material. For example, the most durable Lego bricks are obtained by using dropout. Moreover, it is easier to achieve the required strength if you use small fractions. But the presence of sand will reduce the strength of the product.
The use of shallow screening of rocks allows you to get Lego bricks of an ideal shape, with smooth edges. Dyes are added if products of a certain color are needed, just for beauty. Plasticizers, additives that increase frost and moisture resistance of bricks may also be present in the composition..
Standard dimensions of Lego bricks: 250x125x90 mm for one-and-a-half brick and 250x125x65 mm for single brick. One brick can weigh about three kilograms, but this indicator will change, depending on the raw materials used.
As for the technical parameters, the Lego brick is quite comparable to the ordinary ceramic one. In particular, the strength grade in both cases is M150, frost resistance reaches 40 cycles, density – 1550 kg / m3. Only the water absorption of the Lego brick is less – 5.5%, and not 14%, as in ceramic. The weight will also be less due to the presence of voids.
The advantages of Lego bricks include:
- the presence of grooves simplifies the masonry process. Bricks are formed in dies, under a press, therefore they have an ideal geometry. Even a layman can fold the walls;
- the principle of laying the spike in the groove allows you not to use mortar, but to lay the masonry with glue, which is often applied with a construction gun in a thin layer;
- voids in bricks can be used not only for reinforcement, but also for laying communications. If you need to give the structure additional rigidity, all voids can be filled with concrete;
- durability, reliability of masonry;
- the seismic resistance index is higher than that of conventional bricks;
- resistance to atmospheric precipitation.
Lego bricks can be called an affordable material; no firing is needed during the production process. To make 500 of these bricks, it will take about 220 kg of cement and 1.6 tons of dropout.
The scope of Lego bricks is large: load-bearing walls, facade cladding, construction of fences and MAFs, support pillars and columns. We admit that there is no evidence yet of how durable a house built with Lego bricks is. Recall that the material is new, so there is no need to talk about a long service life now.
So far, in most cases, Lego bricks in our country are used for the construction of small buildings, for example, garages, as well as wall cladding. Such walls do not need additional finishing, they are beautiful and even. You just have to deal with the design of the seams, for this, ordinary grout is suitable.
During the laying of Lego bricks, the most difficult will be the formation of the first layer on the waterproofed surface of the foundation. It will have to be carefully leveled, each brick adjusted. Then everything will be much easier – the groove system itself will not allow you to lay the bricks unevenly. For reliability and to provide heat in the house, the load-bearing wall is built in two rows, the gap between which is filled with insulation, for example, expanded clay or stone wool.
Experts attribute the disadvantages of Lego bricks to the fact that there are no such large industries in our country yet. Handicraft manufacturers who have bought special machines for the production of this building material may not adhere to strict technology and choose cheaper raw materials. This can negatively affect the quality of the bricks. Therefore, the choice of a manufacturer becomes one of the most important criteria, there is a risk of getting products with low strength characteristics.