Brick News

New PCI Thin Brick Specification Provides Minimum Properties and Testing Recommendations

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has announced that they are revising their PCI Thin Brick Standard and renaming it the PCI Specification for Embedded Clay Thin Brick (PCI Specification). The PCI Specification provides the minimum properties and testing recommended for clay thin brick used in precast concrete as recommended by PCI.  PCI recommends that concrete precasters and suppliers of clay thin brick that will be used in precast concrete follow these recommendations.

It should be noted that, to best knowledge of BIA staff, no representatives of clay brick manufacturers or distributors were consulted regarding the new PCI recommendations or their previous recommendations for clay thin brick. In addition, note that BIA is providing this information for information only and does not necessarily endorse or recommend that they be followed. 

The overall changes to the new PCI Specification involve a reformatting, more detail on frequency of testing, and more specifics on how a clay thin brick supplier (manufacturer) provides quality assurance.  The following specific changes are noted:

  1. Dimensional tolerances – Warpage cannot exceed 1/16 in. either concave or convex from a consistent plane. The previous standard did not permit convex warpage.
  2. Testing Frequency
    1. Dimensional tolerances check – Check tolerances on each run of brick supplied to project prior to shipment.
    2. Cold water 24 hour absorption test – Conduct test on every clay body/color provided to a project prior to each shipment. Submit written documentation of test. Buyer reserves the right to conduct same test prior to first shipment.
    3. All other tests (breaking strength, efflorescence, freeze-thaw resistance, pull-out strength and chemical resistance) – Conduct each test for each clay body/color at an accredited laboratory at least every two years.
  3. Chemical resistance – A 10% hydrochloric acid is specifically identified as the testing solution.
  4. Supplier letter – A letter from the supplier of the thin brick (brick manufacturer according to the PCI Memo linked below) certifying compliance with the PCI Specification.

Links to three PCI documents are provided below. PCI has advised BIA that these documents were sent via standard mail to all PCI producer members on Monday, February 15.  BIA has not received information on when these documents will be provided on the PCI website.

PCI Specification for Embedded Clay Thin Brick
PCI Memo to Clay Thin Brick Suppliers
PCI Letter to Producer Members

If you have any questions about the new PCI Specification for Embedded Clay Thin Brick, contact Chip Clark at

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