The National Brick Research Center

The National Brick Research Center was begun as an organization of the College of Engineering and Science at Clemson University, but continues to expand and explore new directions. Ninety percent of the brick makers in North America are members of the Center. The national headquarters of the Tile Center of America also has offices on the Brick Center's site at the Clemson Research Park. Denis Brosnan, director of the Center, oversees the on-site 17,000 square foot Bishop Ceramic Laboratory.
The purpose of the National Brick Research Center is to provide research, teaching, and services to companies that supply structural clay products such as brick, tile, whiteware ceramics (toilets), mineral processors, refractory ceramics, and technical ceramics (spark plugs, etc.) in North America while providing work experiences for Clemson University students and assistance to the University in meeting its public service mission. "While the production of modern bricks has been our focus, we have been active in assisting building owners in meeting the requirements as may be specified for historic buildings," remarks Brosnan.
Research areas of the National Brick Research Center include:
  • Minimization of air emissions in manufacturing
  • Analysis of incineration processes
  • Adaptation of ceramic technology in waste recycling

The Center educates its members through short courses, quarterly magazines and electronic publications. Through research, the Center is playing an increasing role in masonry research and matters relating to the application of masonry products. Inexpensive and durable, masonry can continue to fill an important building materials niche, while new manufacturing processes and components are placing brick and ceramics within the advanced building materials spectrum. Looking toward the future Brosnan sees "the Center becoming more active in restoration assisting from a materials science perspective. This includes verifying authenticity of repair materials, tracing materials to their source, and assisting in problems with historic masonry buildings."

For more information, contact Denis Brosnan.