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The Hidden Costs of Hackline Drying

Please view the Technical Team’s  latest YouTube video on the hidden costs of Hackline Drying in clay brick manufacture.

Freshly extruded clay bricks are dried in the sun in hacklines before being fired.  Drying green bricks this way uses heat from the sun, and therefore it does not need an investment in heavy equipment or additional fuel costs. This video sheds light on the hidden costs of hackline drying including inefficient land use, breakages, increases in dust and particulate matter and slow production throughput.

What are Hacklines

The majority of South African Clay Brick Makers (approximately 68%) make use of hackline drying for drying freshly extruded wet green bricks. This method involves drying by natural means and is preferred mainly due to favourable weather conditions in South Africa. Since this method of drying utilizes the heat from the sun and the air-flow from the wind to perform the drying action, it is free from any fuel costs but involves large expenses in other areas. Although individual factories are aware of these costs, it is not normally summarized to demonstrate the costs incurred in specific parts of the operation.

Such information is required to support future development of programs required to overcome hurdles and to improve the clay brick makers’ operational, technical and quality performance.The survey identifies typical costs related to the hackline drying process.


Cermalab was commissioned by Swisscontact as part of the Energy Efficient Clay Brick Project to conduct a field research and toproduce an overview of the costs involved when utilizing hackline drying. This involved interviewing factory personnel and obtaining specific cost items from four different factories in the Gauteng and Limpopo areas.


Economical & Practical

energy savings

Energy Efficient & Sustainable


Desirable & Stylish