Masonry is considered a durable construction method, and brick is one of the most common types of masonry used in industrialized nations. The strength of a structure created with this method depends on the type and uniformity of the individual bricks selected, as well as the style of masonry used.
A concrete masonry unit (CMU) is a standard size rectangular block used in building construction. Those that use cinders (fly ash or bottom ash) are called cinder blocks in the United States, breeze blocks (breeze is a synonym of ash) in the United Kingdom, and hollow blocks in the Philippines.
Engineering bricks were traditionally used in civil engineering; the bricks were useful for damp courses and structural design. A common type of engineering brick is the Accrington brick; it is an iron hard engineering brick that was famously used for the foundations of the Empire State Building.
Fly ash brick (FAB) is a building material, specifically masonry units, containing class C or class F fly ash and water. Compressed at 28 MPa (272 atm) and cured for 24 hours in a 66 °C steam bath, then toughened with an air entrainment agent, the bricks last for more than 100 freeze-thaw cycles.
Masonry units are available in multiple colors, shapes, and sizes. The materials require little maintenance because of their durability (even in extreme climates). Masonry absorbs and then releases heat, which helps regulate a building's interior temperature all year long. Unlike wood and other construction materials, masonry isn't vulnerable to fire.
It is known that the mechanical behavior of masonry material depends on many factors, such as compressive or shear strength of components (mortar and blocks), blocks shape, volumetric ratio between components and wall texture, that is the result of applying a series of construction devices which form the ‘‘rule of art’’.