No, brick is not a pure substance, because it is made up of more than one element or compound.
In the article that follows, we’ll explain what a pure substance is, and why it is that a brick does not qualify.
Why Is Brick A Pure Substance? (Or Not?)
What Is A Pure Substance?
First, let’s talk about what a pure substance is.
This will help you understand as you scroll down why it is that brick is not one.
A pure substance scientifically is made up of just one element or one compound.
Not more than one element, not more than one compound, and definitely not an element and compound together (but not bonded).
A good example of a pure substance made up of an element is pure silver.
A good example of a pure substance made up of a compound is salt (sodium bonded to chlorine).
If you add anything to these substances (without them forming a new compound), they can no longer be considered a pure substance.
What Is Brick?
Brick is a general name that can mean manufacturer materials that are generally used in construction.
It is shaped like a rectangular prism (or long block).
It may have holes in it.
They are often laid end to end, and some sort of adhesive keeps them from falling or shifting.
While bricks are used in similar ways around the world, the way that they are formed (and what is used to form them differs depending on who is making them.
You can find bricks that are shaped and air dried in the sun (like mud bricks), while others are shaped and then put into a kiln to harden them (fired bricks).
Mud bricks are made with raw clay, dug from the ground near to where they are to be used. Often these bricks contain soil, straw or other binders.
Fired bricks contain clay, but then may also contain any number of other substances, such as silica (sand), lime, iron oxide, magnesia, and maybe other ingredients to influence the shape, appearance, strength, and durability.
Is Brick A Pure Substance?
No, brick is not a pure substance.
As you can see from the section above where we discuss the components of brick, the substances just has too many elements or compounds in it to be considered a pure substance.
Is Brick A Rock?
No, brick is not considered a rock.
A rock is an aggregate of materials stuck together in solid shape.
There might be only kind of material forming up the rock (like a mineral), or there could be many.
This sounds a lot like a brick, as a brick is also an aggregate of materials stuck together in a solid shape.
The key difference between the two is that one exists naturally, while the other is made by humans.
And apparently, for science’s sake, the fact that bricks aren’t made naturally is the reason they cannot be called rocks.
Is Brick A Mineral?
No, brick is not considered a mineral.
To be considered a mineral (geologically), a material must meet five qualifications.
The material must be a solid at normal Earth temperatures, it must be inorganic, it’s internal structure must be orderly, the chemical composition must be consistent, and above all, the material must exist in nature without the assistance of man.
Bricks fail this test in a few ways.
First, bricks are made by humans, and they do not exist in nature.
Second, bricks are not always chemically consistent.
Bricks are made by mixing up various ingredients, and the spread of the ingredients throughout the substance has everything to do with who is doing the mixing and little to do with the substance.
Finally, bricks often contain organic substances. Clay often contains soil and other organic impurities simply because it comes out of the ground.
For these reasons, brick is not considered a mineral.
Is Brick An Igneous Rock?
No, brick is not an igneous rock.
An igneous rock forms when molten rock crystallizes, either deep inside the Earth of when a volcano erupts.
Brick are often made using high heat (to make them sturdy and solid).
But aside from the heat, there is very little resemblance between the cooling of a melted rock expelled from a volcano and a brick cooling after firing.
As it is man-made, brick is not a rock. Further, it does not form beneath the surface of the Earth, or as the result of volcanic activity, so we can’t call it “igneous” anything.