Seven laterite samples derived from Akure, Ondo, Owo, Oshogbo, Ilesha, Ado-Ekiti and Ijan Ekiti in South-west Nigeria were study for bricks production. Grain size analysis was conducted in accordance with ASTM (2007a) D 422-63 and the plot of the soils particle size on the ideal particle size chart adapted from McNally (1998) revealed that Loc.1, Loc.2, and Loc.3 soils can be used for making solid bricks while Loc.6 and Loc.7 soils can be used for none. Unconfined compressive strength and water absorption properties of the laterites were study at 600oC, 700oC, 800 oC, 900 oC and 1000 oC respectively while linear shrinkage was study at 1000 oC. The unconfined strength of the soils is very high even at 600oC and increased continuously with firing temperature. The linear shrinkage of the soils varies from 1.4 to 13.6 when oven dried but when the soils were fired to 1000oC, the linear shrinkage fall between 0.7 and 4.1. The water absorption capacity of the soils decreased with increased fired temperature. Loc.1, Loc.2, and Loc.3 soils can be used for making solid bricks while Loc.6 and Loc.7 soils can be used for making perforated bricks while others (Loc.4 and Loc.5) can be used for either of the two if properly stabilized (fired above 1000oC) and base on the results of the unconfined compressive strength and water absorption capacity; Loc.2 and Loc.7 soils can be used for making bricks if fired at 600oC while Loc.1 soil will be useful for bricks if fired at 900oC while the rest of the laterites will be suitable for bricks if fired at temperature higher than 1000oC.
Keywords: Laterite, bricks, particle size analysis, ideal particle size chart, firing temperature, unconfined compressive strength, water absorption capacity, linear shrinkage.