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BRICK-MAKING PROCESS ENTERS COMPUTER AGE

 BRICK-MAKING PROCESS ENTERS COMPUTER AGE
 HOUSTON, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- An innovative, high-speed,


computer-controlled method of manufacturing brick that uses no fuel or energy in the curing process is now available for worldwide marketing, according to Lockridge and Associates Inc., a Memphis, Tenn.-based construction- and engineering-consulting firm.
 Through a new international partnership the Series IV Castone brick machine, a prototype of the Series III machine successfully tested over the past 10 years, is now available for export. According to Robert Lockridge, director of operations of Castone International Ltd., the process has been granted a number of U.S. patents in brick manufacturing that have far-reaching implications for the entire building industry.
 Over 220 million bricks have been produced and used in the Houston area, where the Castone manufacturing facility is located.
 "In essence," said Lockridge, "we have developed a low-cost method of producing a centuries-old building material at a vastly increased production rate, using ingredients from a variety of raw materials found worldwide, with absolutely no air, water or noise pollution. The Castone machines are a major breakthrough in building and environmental technology."
 Historically, brick production and delivery take weeks to months. With the new machine, it is possible for an order to be processed, manufactured, packaged and delivered to a job site in 24 hours, according to the company. The partnership's intention is to manufacture machines for sale in foreign countries where the need for low-cost building materials is critical.
 Because the machines can make bricks from a variety of raw materials, they can be used virtually anywhere in the world. A high production rate (180,000 bricks per day), coupled with the equipment's computer-controlled advantages requiring minimum labor, offers unique benefits to both emerging and developed nations.
 "We feel the sales potential of the international market is almost unlimited," added Lockridge. "The sale price of the Series IV, at less than US$3 million, compared to the multimillion-dollar cost of a clay- brick manufacturing plant, makes the Castone machine even more competitive in the marketplace."
 When working to full capacity, the Series IV allows approximately 35,000 pounds of materials to flow on the belt each hour. A patented continuous-mix process pre-cures the brick prior to its departure from the production line. Since packaging is part of the manufacturing process, breakage and handling are both reduced.
 Each brick produced by Castone's advanced, automated process is slightly different from the other, giving the product a handmade look. In fact, a multitude of different colors and textures are available as part of the machine's software program, and as many as six different color combinations can be produced and packaged in a single package or cube.
 A low-moisture absorption rate and textured tops enable the high- density brick to bond better to mortar and to resist stains. Tests show strength averages in excess of 4,000 psi, or 280 kg per square centimeter, significantly higher than clay brick.
 Lockridge and Associates Inc., with offices in Memphis, Orlando, Fla., and Houston, was formed in 1979 and has provided its professional services in 16 states on more than 300 commercial, industrial, and multifamily projects, having a total value of over $1 billion.
 -0- 6/22/92
 /CONTACT: Paul Hamm of Lockridge and Associates, 901-755-1223, or Helen Vollmer or Allen Caudle of Vollmer Public Relations, 713-546-2230, for Lockridge and Associates/ CO: Lockridge and Associates Inc. ST: Tennessee IN: CST SU:


CK -- NY030 -- 2321 06/22/92 11:00 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 22, 1992
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