AbstractClay bricks are a popular building material, especially in historical structures. Understanding the chemical and mechanical properties of bricks is vital in historical structure rehabilitation attempts, because discrepancies in the material could lead to accelerated degradation and structural failure. This research focuses on understanding the mechanical and chemical properties of clay bricks used in the world heritage city of Kandy, Sri Lanka, over the chronological period of the 18th to the 21st centuries. Chronological analysis of brick properties reveals that optimal mechanical properties in bricks are closely related to the water absorption rate and are found to be between 10% and 18% in the analyzed specimens. Further, regional mineralogical properties, such as high concentration of calcium and inclusion of barium (Ba), potassium (K), strontium (Sr), and titanium (Ti) as trace elements, were visible in most samples regardless of the year the brick was produced. The analysis also identified revealed that the inclusion of ferrous (Fe) increases performance. Assuring similar chemical characteristics in restoration material is important to avoid chemical imbalances leading to accelerated deterioration due to the presence of reactive metals in the brick composition.

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