In historical or modern buildings, flat ceilings are typically made of concrete, wood, metal, solid bedrock (for carved tunnels), or generally a material that can withstand pushing forces (pressure) and pulling forces (tension).
A ceiling made from bricks / masonry would typically be vault-shaped, because otherwise it would crash. This is what we find in a lot of historic buildings.
I can so far only remember flat brick ceilings from imaginary buildings e.g. in a roleplaying context or in video games. But I wonder if there are cases where such a thing can be realistic.
In theory, I can imagine two ways to achieve a flat ceiling with masonry:
- By using very good cement, so the entire thing would behave like one solid piece of rock or concrete.
- By imitating a vault, in a way similar to how a Fresnel lens imitates a regular concave lens:
Use slightly V-shaped bricks, and stack them like this, more or less: `\\\|||///``.
My question is:
- Can this ever work?
- Does this technique have a name?
- How far can you go with this, what are the limitations?
- Are there historical examples?