Occasionally it is necessary to shorten brick in order to fit properly into the liner. The VersaLiner does accommodate oversize and irregular shaped brick to a degree. When brick must be trimmed it is often less than 1/8”. In these cases the saw blade swill tend to slip off to one side during the cut. One solution to this is to cut multiple brick at once, positioning them alternately on both sides of the blade. This puts pressure on the blade from both sides and reduces the deflection. Six or eight brick can be cut at once in this manner. It may also be helpful to double-up or triple the blades, side by side on the arbor. This widens the cut and helps resist deflection. Check to be sure this is not a safety concern on your particular saw. C. Brick protective coatings Applying a concrete bond-breaker or retardant to the thin brick’s face prior to installation is an important step in creating a successful brick panel job. The retardant will act as a bond-breaker against concrete residue that leaks around the joints of the liner and settles underneath the face of the thin bricks. Without this coating cleaning the brick panel of the concrete residue may be difficult if not impossible. The following are the most common bond-breaker applications. 1. Wax A thin layer of wax can be factory applied to the face of the brick to act as a bond breaker for concrete residue and leakage. This wax can be removed with hot water. Typically about 1/3 of the face of the brick will be covered with concrete leakage once the VersaLiner is removed. This concrete varies in thickness from 1/8” to a thin cloudy stain. The wax in conjunction with high pressure hot water will in almost all cases remove the latent concrete. Wax that has melted prior to concrete placement usually wicks into the brick. This reduces its effectiveness but will still aid greatly in the cleaning. As with any protective coating, the brick should be cleaned as soon as possible. 2. Brick Release Brick Release is manufactured by a number of reputable companies. It is an economical method of reducing cleaning time. Although not generally as effective as wax its advantages are the ease of application low cost. In some cases when cleaning, a mild concrete remover solution may be necessary to completely eliminate all cloudiness from the face of the brick Brick release can be applied with sprayer, brush or roller. It is a thin liquid that dries rapidly. Adequate ventilation is necessary. The brick are generally laid out near the installers and coated, then placed directly into the VersaLiner. 3. Retarders Concrete retarders work well in many situations. They can be applied as liquids or as thin pieces of impregnated paper. While they do a superb job of aiding in concrete removal there are some conditions to be wary of. If the reterder gets wet prior to concrete placement it may give unexpected results. It is also a time sensitive procedure. The concrete should be cleaned within a few days of casting. The effected areas of the concrete will continue to cure and will eventually attain full strength. Certain additives may effect the action of the retarder as well. It is absolutely imperative with this method that a test pour be done with similar conditions as will be used in production. Care should also be taken when cleaning the concrete residue that the joints are not eroded where they may have been affected by retarder seepage. This can be done by reducing the water pressure and using a brush to break down the concrete on the face of the brick without disrupting the joints. Retarders ,when appropriate, can be the most cost effective method of protecting the brick but, they must be used in a highly controlled environment.
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