W. G. CURTIN and G. SHAW Curtins, Consulting Engineers

Brickwork and blockwork are strong in compression but weak in tension. They can be reinforced to carry the tensile stresses or prestressed to eliminate them. The problems which still come to light with reinforced concrete after many years experience are a warning against reinforcing brickwork. The voids recommended for the reinforcement are generally too small and may be obstructed with mortar droppings and projections. The reinforced cavity brick wall is a typical example of the problem. Good workmanship is more easily achieved in prestressed masonry which has proved to be a most effective, very buiidabte and highly durable technique.