S is for S-Iron #AtoZChallenge

Wall anchors, S-Iron, pattress plates, brickAnchor plates, also called wall washers, tie plates, and pattress plates, help reinforce masonry walls and prevent them from bulging. These s-iron examples are one of many different styles such as stars, diamonds, circles, crosses, and ovals.

5 thoughts on “S is for S-Iron #AtoZChallenge”

  1. As a retired mason I am quite familiar with those, however they were in use even before my time. Other methods serving the same purpose have long ago taken their place. Unfortunately those methods are hidden within the masonry work and not at all decorative. One would think they would be used occasionally for adornment even though they are no longer structurally necessary.

    1. Wow that’s cool that you are a retired mason and know about these. I was interested to learn that anchor plates serve an important function and are not simply decoration. You can still see them on older brick buildings. I wonder if they are still doing the support work, or were the buildings reinforced in a more modern way (and they are simply decoration at this point). I did see them for sale on a few sites, both new and “vintage” versions of various wall washers. Anyway, it was a fun subject for me to research and learn about.

      1. The coolest part of me being a mason is the word retired!

        The anchor plate’s reinforcement function probably came mostly into play during the construction process. You may notice that the anchor plates are at floor level between stories where the cavity in the double wythe brick wall was likely filled with concrete to provide solid support for the floors. The anchor plates helped prevent the double walls from “blowing out” while the cavity was being filled with concrete.

        Nowadays the entire wall would be filled solid with concrete but back then they were mostly left hollow except where needed for reinforcement. I suppose the plates continue to serve some reinforcement function, such as in the event of an earthquake. In saying all this I am doing a bit of logical surmising since they were no longer in use during my years as a mason and I never had occasion to install them myself.

        You may also notice that every eighth course of brick is a header course, where the bricks are laid across the two wythes to tie them together.

        1. Thank you for that explanation! I love all this additional info. Yes, I do see the header course now that you point it out. Well, here’s to your continued enjoyment of your retirement, and thanks again for your comments 🙂

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