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Wrenches

The purpose of these elements is to bond or link the two sides or different parameters of brickwork. By using them wall stability is improved.

Typology
A wide variety is available bearing in mind both the shape and material (metal with galvanic treatment, plastic coating, etc).

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Llaves para juntas de movimientoThose used in movement joints will have one end coated with a plastic sleeve to avoid adherence with the mortar and to enable horizontal movement in the plane of the wall.

If you wish to connect the two sections of the outer side to the inner side, T-shaped wrenches will be used, with both ends covered.

The type of wrench to be used should be specified in the project, and the instructions given in the section of laying on-site should be followed.

Download "Conditions to be met by material - wrenches" in Word format

Position
The position of the wrenches and the quantity will depend directly on their function. This is correctly specified in the project.

Waterproof sheets

Láminas impermeablesWaterproof sheets are used in points of the brickwork where water may pass through, which may cause serious defects in the performance of the wall.

Function
To stop both rainwater and land water from filtering through inside the building.

Position
In the lower part of the wall, in the abutments of the brickwork with the slab, in lintels, in jambs, in parapets and in other susceptible points of the facade, as well as in window boxes and retaining walls. The project will define the suitable building solutions to stop rainwater from leaking through inside the building.

Thermal insulation

Function
Thermal insulation material has the property of reducing heat flow through itself.

Thermal insulation in buildings is controlled by the Basic Building Standard NBE-CT-79. The materials or products to be used as thermal insulation should be selected depending on the characteristics determined in the project. It is also advisable to bear in mind the phases of installation and actions to which the works will be subject.

Typology
Materials usually used as thermal insulation are fibre glass, rock wool, extruded polystyrene, etc. It can be considered that an air chamber is thermal insulation if its thickness is between 3 and 7 cm.

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It is recommended not to use polyurethane foam projected in the intrados of an outside wall sheet, because it stops transpiration of the wall to the air chamber, causing the following problems:

  • Drying is much slower as it only occurs on the outside face, producing stains on the facade.
  • If, owing to watertightness defects, rainwater passes through the wall and passes off through the wall-foam interphase, it could reach the slab directly causing the appearance of damp on both the inside wall and the outside of the façade.

Position
Thermal insulation can be placed in different positions inside the air chamber. Its performance is improved when it is placed next to the inside sheet. Remember that damp modifies its performance losing a large part of its thermal resistivity.

Movement joints

The design of facing brickwork should consider the presence of movement joints, as the materials used contract and dilate due to hygrothermal changes.

Apart from the joints themselves of the wall, the joints existing in the structure of the building should always be respected.

Stress caused by moisture expansion

This stress is caused by an increase in the volume of bricks over time. Moisture expansion is a characteristic of ceramic materials, which causes a quick increase in the first few days after manufacture and which stabilizes progressively over the first two or three years.

Cracks caused by this can be avoided by movement joints at suitable distances depending on the expansion value of each type of brick.

Function
To absorb deformations and avoid cracks from being produced in the brickwork owing to the aforementioned movements.

Typology
Materials used to make the joint should be able to maintain the sealing of the wall, in spite of the elongation and shortening movements, completely filling the joint. Normally polystyrene is used to fill the joint and silicone to seal it. The joint should measure between 10 and 20 mm. in width.

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In order to make the two parts of the wall rigid in the plane adjoining the movement joint, special wrenches will be used as described in the section on Wrenches.

Position
The separation between joints established in NBE-FL 90 Resistant brickwork walls, is excessive and it is therefore recommended to place them at distances of not more than 25 m. in maritime climates and 15 m. in continental climates.

These distances should be determined in each specific case and will depend on the design of the building, the elasticity modules of materials used, and the specific moisture expansion value of the brick to be used.

If it is a curved directriz wall, the distances to place the movement joints will be reduced, depending on the curve of the wall.

Apart from the aforementioned criteria, joints will be place in other parts of the building. (see image)

  • In abutments of the more rigid parts of the building with pavilions, wings or other linear lay-out elements, these should correspond to structural joints.
  • In lengths of wall longer than 6 m with changes in the façade plane of less than 70 cm.
  • Along thickness change lines.
  • In load-bearing walls on each side of the large openings.
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