How Do You Define Wall In Construction Concept


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  • 1 Historical evolution
  • 2 Classification of the walls
    • 1 According to its mechanical function
    • 2 According to the material of which they are constituted
      • 2.1 Brick walls
      • 2.2 Tiling or tambourine walls
      • 2.3 Appointment walls
      • 2.4 Walls of citarón or antler
      • 2.5 Pole and half walls
      • 2.6 Two- mast walls
      • 2.7 Dosage for brick walls
      • 2.8 Mortar block walls
        • 2.8.1 Dosing for block walls
      • 2.9 Natural stone walls
      • 2.10 Masonry walls
      • 2.11 Concrete walls
      • 2.12 Wooden walls
    • 3 Walls of other miscellaneous materials
      • 1 According to its insulating function
        • 1.1 Exterior walls
        • 1.2 Interior walls
      • 2 According to its form
    • 4 Parts of a wall
    • 5 refractory walls
    • 6 Nomenclature used in the construction of walls
    • 7 Rules governing the rigging or mooring of the walls
    • 8 Wall construction technique
    • 9 Order of operations to build walls
    • 10 Sources

Historical evolution

In past times it was generally considered as an element destined to withstand loads, due to the reduced variety of materials used and the constructive limitations of those times.

In more recent times and at present, the function of the wall must be conceived in broader terms, since apart from being a supporting and insulating element, it is used as a dividing element of space, both interior and exterior. When considering the wall as a divider between the interior and exterior space, we refer to the wall acting as a closing element in structural systems of the type of frame or skeleton.

Another situation is presented with the outer glass walls, where the wall performs, apart from the limit and isolation function, to produce an effect of absolute contact between the inner and outer space, due to its transparency. Prior to the appearance of skeletal structural systems, almost all walls could be classified as load bearing or supporting walls; they were of great thickness, because apart from receiving loads, they had great height, which required an increase in thickness.

The materials used to build walls were generally the stones , the clay bricks and the concrete in its primitive form. Subsequently, as the properties of the materials became better known and the height of the walls was reduced, their thickness was reduced, according to the load they received. The interior walls, whose function was solely and exclusively to divide or separate spaces, and had no participation in the structural system, were used as a simple dividing element called partition walls or partitions.

The same happened in the evolution of the outer walls. When they stopped performing a structural function as load-bearing walls and assumed the role of closure or insulation elements, they were reduced in thickness, they began to use different materials, in other forms and the permanence character was more rigid. The use of dividing walls in structural framework or skeleton systems has increased the possibilities of limiting, connecting and separating space, using a variety of shapes, until reaching the free and flexible floor of contemporary buildings.

Classification of the walls

Classification of the most common walls.jpg

The walls can be classified in different ways, but preferably they are classified as follows:

  • According to its mechanical function
  • According to the material of which they are constituted
  • According to its insulating function
  • According to its shape

According to its mechanical function

  • Load bearing walls
  • Partition walls

Load walls , have the primary function of supporting loads; they are an element subjected to compression, so that their resistance will depend on the thickness of the material that constitutes it and its height. In this type of wall, the loads can be gravitational or lateral.

When they are gravitational, they form the load wall itself, that is, the element we study in the structural system of load-bearing walls and are walls that receive loads from the elements they support, such as roofs, floors (in works of more than one plant), etc.

When the wall is subjected to lateral loads that tend to move it horizontally, or to overturn them, we are in the presence of retaining walls . These retaining walls have the function of containing or confining different materials such as earth, water, etc. There may also be the case of gravitational load walls, also working as retaining walls, as in some basements, where the wall has to withstand the weight of upper elements of the superstructure and also contain the exterior terrain. The effect of the wind is also considered as lateral loads.

Load walls can be made of various materials and thicknesses, which we will see below.

Partition walls , its main function is to separate or insulate, and not receive more load than that produced by its own weight. When they perform an insulating function of separation or division of interior spaces, they are called a partition. When they perform an insulating or external closing function, they function as a filling wall for the structure.

When dividing walls, when they are interior, certain requirements of shape, texture, transparency, etc. may be required, but when they are exterior and perform an insulating function, impermeability, thermal, acoustic, etc. factors will be taken into account.

The dividing walls can be constructed of various materials, which we will discuss later.

According to the material of which they are constituted

  • Mortar block walls
  • Natural stone walls
  • Concrete walls
  • Wooden walls
  • Mixed walls
  • Other material walls

Brick walls

They can be made of clay bricks (solid and hollow) and sand and cement mortar bricks . In the construction of brick walls, these are intended to be as intertwined as possible; therefore, the so-called wall-mounting procedure is used, that is, preventing the vertical joints from coinciding. It may be the case that the vertical joints coincide, as it happens in some ornamental walls, and they are then called run joints. The brick walls are named according to the way of laying the bricks.

Tiled walls or tambourine

They are dividing walls that are the thickness of the thickness of a brick placed with a ridge, with a nominal size of 0.07 m. They are widely used in interior partitions, although it is necessary to use a mortar richer in cement for placement, due to its slenderness and reduced brick seating area, approximately 30 bricks per m2 and 0.025 m3 of mortars are used.

Quote Walls

Other times (when the load wall receives smaller loads or by economy), the walls of quoted and stacked quarries are used, that is, walls that are the thickness of the width of the brick, with a nominal measure of 0.12 m They are reinforced section by section with brick pillars that are an integral part of the wall, approximately 50 bricks per m2 and 0.050 m3 of mortars are used.

Walls of citarón or antler

When the brick walls are used for the structural system of load-bearing walls, it is intended that they have the necessary thickness to be able to resist the compression stresses to which they will be subjected. Generally, citarones are used, that is, walls of a thickness of the length of the bricks, with a nominal measurement of 0.25 m, approximately 100 bricks per m2 and 0.100 m3 of mortars are used.

Pole and half walls

When resistant walls are needed, they are thicker; for example, brick and a half, with a nominal measurement of 0.38 m (0.01 m joint), approximately 150 bricks per m2 and 0.155 m3 of mortars are used.

Double-walled walls

When greater stability and resistance is required, the thickness walls of the length of two bricks are constructed, with a nominal measurement of 0.15 m (0.01 m joint), approximately 200 bricks per m2 and 0.200 m3 of mortars At present these walls are not used, as they are expensive.

Dosage for brick walls

The proportions of the mortar dosages will be given by the quality of the binder and inert materials (cement, lime, sand, etc.) involved in said mortar.

Mortars that are used for the settlement of bricks, blocks or other materials that are going to be subjected to loads must have the same resistance as these.

Usual dosages in the construction of brick walls, using cement and lime as agglomerating material, and as sand inert. In these dosages the sand and lime are mixed first or a proportion of a part of lime and two of sand, which is called a third.

  • For load bearing walls, 1 part cement and 7 parts third (1: 7).
  • For citrus walls, 1 part cement and 5 parts third (1: 5).

In tiled or tambourine walls, due to their low stability and due to their thickness, it is always recommended to use hydraulic mortar in a proportion of 1 part of cement and 3 of sand (1: 3).

These dosages can also be made by substituting lime for recebo in a proportion of 1.5 parts of recebo for each part of sand.

The mortar, for the last rows of the plow, must be the same with which the walls are erected, reinforcing the mortar with 15% cement.

Mortar block walls

They can have several thicknesses depending on the function to which the wall is to be used. The blocks come in various sizes.

  • Blocks of 0.20 m – 0.20 mx 0.40 mx 0.20 m
  • Blocks of 0.15 m – 0.15 mx 0.40 mx 0.20 m
  • 10 m blocks – 0.10 mx 0.40 mx 0.20 m

There are also corner blocks so that they are smooth and simplify the operation of the repello, which is mandatory if the walls are to remain unpelled.

In a square meter of wall 12.5 blocks fit, although in the calculation 13 are ordered for the waste when cut, in addition to those that break in the hauling. The amount of settlement mortar varies with the thickness of the block, in the following proportion:

  • 20 m block ……… 0.025 m3
  • 15 m block ……… 0.018 m3
  • 10 m block ……… 0.012 m3

There are U-shaped blocks for architraves, which, placed one after the other, constitute the architrave’s chest.

Likewise, blocks of type C are manufactured for columns, with the advantage that, in addition to being coated, once the concrete is melted they do not need a chest.

Dosing for block walls

In the construction of block walls, the usual dosages are:

  • A proportion of 1 part of cement, 3 parts of cement is used in block loading walls of 0.20 m X 0.40 m X 0.20 m and in those of 0.15 m x 0.20 m X 0.40 m sand and 2 recebo.
  • In block walls of 0.10 mx 0.40 mx 0.20 m, hydraulic mortar is used at a proportion of 1 part of cement and 3 parts of sand.

In the staking courses of any type of wall, hydraulic mortar must be used at a proportion of 1 part of cement and 3 of sand. In the last rows of the plow, although they are made with the same mortar as the rest of the wall, 15% cement must be added.

Natural stone walls

In the construction of natural stone walls there are mainly two systems: one when the stone is used as it comes from the quarry, that is, irregularly (it is known as mampuesto, where the wall receives the name of masonry); the other, when the stone is carved, that is, they are produced in the form of a rectangular parallelepiped and their exteriors form flat planes or with regularized reliefs that are called masonry walls.

Masonry walls can be of three types: ordinary, expensive and concerted.

  1. Ordinary masonry: It is composed by using mampuestos or cracks of different sizes, and it is impossible for the wall to have a flat exterior facing, since the stones or mampuestos are arranged in the construction, as they come from the quarry, they settle with mortar and it is about coordinating with each other to achieve their mooring.
  2. Stone masonry: The material and construction is the same as in the ordinary one, but after the wall was built and through the use of stone axes, chisels, etc., the projections are lowered to achieve a flat surface.
  3. Concerted masonry: It differs from the previous ones by using stones that have regular shapes, but of different sizes and, therefore, their joints are arranged uniformly.

Masonry walls

In Cuba, soft limestones such as Jaimanitas are generally used, or very hard limestones such as Chaplains, although any other type of stone that has sufficient strength and has low water absorption can be used.

These stones are worked by tools such as special axes, chisels, different types of metal brushes, rasps, etc., and are cut with special sawdust in some cases, or with electric saws (also special) in other cases, depending on their hardness. The personnel employed is a specialized staff, since the stonework is a true handicraft, where skill, precision and care are required, to produce the best finished work possible.

The placement of the ashlars is carried out as follows: the ashlars are aligned, leveled and properly leveled through the provisional use of wooden wedges; After being placed in position, the mortar is introduced through the entire edge or outer joints (this operation is called caulking the joints). When the mortar has acquired a certain consistency, the wedges are removed, the mortars filled with mortar are filled with mortar and poured with a cement melt (fluid cement paste and water) so that it descends through the vertical joints, completely fill the horizontal ones and ensure proper grip and seating between the ashlars.

The wooden wedges must be well wet so that they swell, since drying will make it easier to remove them later.

The masonry walls can have different finishes, depending on the relief we want to use. Sometimes completely smooth finishes or finishes are used, other times thicker textures are used based on working the stone with different types of chisels. Other times the joints are left flat, flush with the ashlars, and can also be recessed. We can see these works of ashlars, also called stone of stonework, in colonial buildings or in numerous works of pantheons that exist in the cemeteries.

Concrete walls

These can be constructed of simple concrete, reinforced concrete or cyclopean concrete, depending on the case.

When used as load-bearing walls, they are usually reinforced with steel (it depends on their slenderness and the loads they resist). Due to their speed of execution and high resistance, they are widely used as retaining walls for solids and liquids. As with concrete structures, its construction requires the use of formwork, reinforced enough to prevent them from opening during the casting of the wall.

In simple concrete walls, which are those that do not have reinforcements, it is recommended to melt them from section to section to avoid temperature cracking.

In cyclopean concrete walls, a technique similar to that of simple concrete walls is followed, but the heads (raft stone) must be free of dust, moistened before being introduced into the mass of the concrete (during the process of casting or emptying) to facilitate adhesion.

In reinforced or reinforced concrete walls, apart from following the techniques corresponding to this type of construction, we must be careful to leave any type of installation placed before casting, and, in addition, make sure to leave the specified coating, to avoid the oxidation of steel.

Wooden walls

His employment is reduced today in Cuba to economic constructions. They are usually composed of a series of vertical elements (columns, struts, parales) and lined with tables, either on one side or two sides.

Wooden joints or joints are sometimes solved with the help of through bolts and nuts, or simply by nailing them with sprigs or screwing them.

Wooden walls must be preserved from moisture and the living organisms that attack them. They have a large use in interior partition walls, varnished or painted with oil, combined with glass, plastic, etc. are used. They have the advantage of being constructed of a material that at any time, can be moved or eliminated without major complications. They can also be used as lattices.

Walls of other miscellaneous materials

The walls can also be made of other materials such as latticework of pieces of clay or mortar, of glass or combined blocks.

  • Lattices made of clay pieces. They are used as dividing elements. They can be of different types: hexagonal, circular, etc. and numerous pleasant and aesthetic combinations can be formed.
  • Lattices of cast mortar pieces. They have a similar use to the previous material, but are thicker and heavier. There are countless models.
  • Glass block walls. They are used in dividing walls, both internally and externally. They are resistant and allow the passage of light. There are glass blocks of different sizes. They are generally hollow inside.
  • Metal walls combined with plastic or glass. Sometimes, when circumstances require it, walls of metallic materials (iron, aluminum or bronze) are combined with glass cloths 3 plastic materials (smooth, grooved, etc.). Arito can be used indoors as well as outdoors, although those combined with plastics are generally used internally because they are less resistant than those combined with glass. These types of walls are used as dividing walls.

According to its insulating function

  • Outdoor
  • Interiors

Exterior walls

The following conditions are required of exterior walls: wind resistance, resistance to external gravitational forces (cases of external load walls), impermeability, thermal insulation, external and internal appearance, etc. That is why we must take special care when selecting materials that meet these qualities.

Interior walls

When they are indoors, we can do without waterproofing and wind resistance and even resistance to gravitational forces (if they are not load-bearing walls), but sometimes the function of sound insulation or visual isolation is essential. The study of the walls allows to solve widely the problems that arise, the function entrusted to them, etc., and that is why it is essential to know the properties of their component materials, as well as their weight and economic value.

According to its shape

  • Straight
  • Curved

Parts of a wall

In every wall we can appreciate the foot or base, the wall itself and the harness or crowning. When the walls have one of their ends, or both, free, and when there are openings of doors or windows, spills and partial enclosures can be seen.

Refractory walls

refractory bricks.jpg

Refractory walls are those that are constructed with special materials capable of withstanding large temperature changes.

Every refractory wall must have the following properties:

  • Refractoriness: It is the property that has a material capable of withstanding temperatures without suffering any deformation.
  • Refractoriness under load: This property, also called compressive strength at elevated temperatures, is of great importance for the furnace builder, since it indicates the maximum temperature at which a refractory brick can be subjected under the action of a given load.
  • Resistance to temperature changes: It is the property that refractory products have to withstand sudden changes in temperature without receiving cracks or any transformation.
  • Porosity: There are two methods to find the porosity of a refractory product: that of water absorption capacity or apparent porosity and that of real porosity.

Apparent porosity is the relationship between the volume occupied by the pores and the total volume of the sample taken.

  • Actual porosity represents the total volume of air enclosed at the poles, expressing as a percentage the volume of the brick or sample.

Uses: Refractory walls are used in the construction of steam boilers, industrial furnaces, stoves, etc., that is, they are used in all places that suffer sudden temperature changes

These walls are built with refractory bricks used in their construction forms similar to the construction of ordinary brick walls.

Nomenclature used in the construction of walls

Spin: Horizontal row of multiple elements placed in the same plane.

Rope brick: Brick placed with its greatest length parallel to the rope in the same plane.

Brick to blight: Bricks placed with their greatest length perpendicular to the string.

Chain mooring: It is used in the construction of citarón brick walls and consists of placing a brick to blight and two to rope in the same plane.

Bonding mortar: Mixture or mortar used to join natural and artificial stones together or to bind them to other bodies.

Pillar: Column of natural or artificial stone of little slenderness (also known as pilaster when it is attached to the walls).

Rules governing the rigging or mooring of the walls

To make a good mooring of the pieces that make up the wall, it is necessary to take into account the following rules:

All joints must be uniform, the horizontal ones must be parallel and continuous, that is, killing together; each piece must kill the center together, that is, the vertical joint must always coincide with the center of the face of the piece of the next course.

In all mooring, waste should be avoided. If a three-quarter piece is used, the mooring itself must demand the use of the remaining quarter of the piece. In figures 4.16, 4.17, 4.18, 4.19, 4.20, 4.21, 4.22 and 4.23, some moorings used in brick walls and blocks can be observed.

Technique for the construction of walls

Three basic operations are required to lift walls or walls:

  • Check levels
  • Stake out
  • Lift up

To rethink and lift three elementary operations are performed:

  • To tend
  • Settle
  • To line up

Generally, one or two operators (or more, depending on the size of the work) are used for the staking and alignment of the first courses, in order to hold a small group responsible for this delicate operation.

When there are structures, this operation is easier for bricklayers, as the same structure is used to check alignment and leads.

In structure it is advisable to use perpendicles.

Placed the first rows of the staking, the lead is transferred to the plate or architrave, a pointer or lace is nailed, two strings are placed from the bottom to the top or inverse; one serves for alignment and the other to maintain verticality next to the column or wall. When they are load-bearing walls, then the precautions must be redoubled, because it is not only necessary to set out, but also to align, plump and level the courses.

It is also necessary to take the precaution of using a mortar of greater resistance in the staking courses and in the last three or four rows of the plow

The tendering or spreading operation is carried out whenever we place a mortar layer between a series of pieces (bricks, blocks, hydraulic slabs, prefabricated pieces, etc.) or vertical surfaces (repello, putty, etc.)

This operation is achieved, in the first case, the construction of elements such as walls and, in the second case, covering all kinds of surfaces in order to avoid deterioration and for aesthetic reasons. The purpose of tendering is always one of these two operations, but the way of doing it varies according to the case.

The seating operation occurs when placing pieces (blocks, bricks, hydraulic slabs, tiles, tiles, etc.), on a layer of mortar with a thickness of 1 cm to 2 cm. When this mortar is hardened by the chemical action of water on the cement or by the evaporation of water, its setting occurs. When the mortar contains lime and no cement, the pieces are joined together through the hardened mortar, which although it never constitutes a single body, the adhesion of the mortar joins them more or less rigidly.

When it does not get wet properly, both the settlement surface and the material to be seated, their avidity for water makes them quickly absorb the one that contains the mortar, avoiding its setting, whereby the pieces are loose. Cement has the chemical peculiarity of hardening when in contact with water, so it is said that the mortars that contain it are hydraulic due to their need for water.

To align is to put a certain object in a position of stability and rest within the indicated limits. These principles are essential in construction, so that a building retains its vertical position and stability.

To build it is necessary to provide the building with horizontality and verticality. The first of these requirements is achieved with the help of the level. The second of the stated requirements, that is, verticality, is achieved with the plumb line.

Order of operations to build walls

Once the shoe levels have been checked:

  1. Select tools and tools.
  2. Select materials and dispose of them ready to use.
  3. Using the plane or sketches and by using the square, the meter or the tape measure or canvas, check the alignment points of the walls and mark the axes of the walls and their thicknesses at the ends and crossing points, the same in the shoe on the ground floor, which on the plate on the top floor.
  4. Bárrase and wet the shoe, or the plate if we are on the top floor, where the pieces are going to be placed (bricks, blocks, etc.) and wet them too, but without excess then they loosen the mortarseat and will be almost without mortar.
  5. Aided by a mortar bucket and spoon, seat a piece (brick, block, etc.) at each angle or corner, according to the thickness of the wall. These pieces must be level and aligned perfectly. They must coincide with the axis of the wall, so that it is half towards each side previously drawn. When they are seated, they are moved to their correct position with a movement along them, pressing with their hands if they are brick; if it is a block, it will be hit with a pot for its total settlement.
  6. Place ropes, from one piece to another of the ends, tightly stretched and on the sides to be worked. The strings are tied from one point to another taking care that they go along the edges of the pieces, separated approximately by the thickness of a penny. This clearance must be maintained during the placement of all other parts involved in the layout course.
  7. At the crossings, the angles must be checked with the square.
  8. The first course must be perfectly level, thereby correcting any imperfection discovered in the shoe, in order to facilitate the subsequent work of the successive courses, the level of which can be checked by taking measurements from this first course.
  9. After the staking course has been constructed, place points at both ends of the wall, which should be lead in relation to the first course.

Place the knitting string and seat the other pieces. This operation will be repeated until the wall is completely filled. When you have some skill, you can build walls in a staggered, multi-course way. When working on concrete structures, the use of perpendicles is recommended, since it avoids having to poise at the ends of the wall; this operation will only have to be performed in the openings of doors or windows, if they exist


by Abdullah Sam
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