Testing Of Bricks:
Water Absorption Test (IS: 3495 (Part II)):
The existence of minute pores confers marked capillary properties on brick ceramics. In particular all bricks absorb water by capillary action. The percentage of water absorption is a very valuable indication of the degree of burning. Vitrification, in the true sense, corresponds to such a dgree of compactness that the absorption of the brick is not over 3 per cent after 48 hours of immersion. It has been reported that for absorption less than 5 per cent danger from frost is negligible.
Water absorption does not necessarily indicate the behavior of a brick in weathering. Low absorption (< 7 %) usually indicates a high resistance to damage by freezing, although some type of bricks of much higher absorption may also be frost resistance. Since expansive force of water freezing in the pores of a clay product depends upon the proportion of pore space occupied, the ratio of the absorption after 24 hours submersion to the absorption after boiling for 5 hours (C24/B5) appears to be a better criterion of resistance to freezing than the percentage of absorption.
The durability of a brick may be tested by frost action, i.e., by alternate wetting and drying. The absorption test has long been considered a measure of durability, although the basis for this assumption is questionable. The suction rate of the brick at the time it is laid exercises a mark influence on the mortar bond. Too rapid withdrawal of water from the mortar by the brick produces a weak bond. The rate at which a brick absorbs water, frequently called its suction rate, maybe measured by immersing one face of the brick in water. The one minute water uptake (initial rate of absorprion) is taken as the suction rate. For long periods of immersion in theis test, the total wieght of water absorbed per unit area,
w = AÖt
where, A is the water absorption coefficient
and t is the time elapsed in the test.
The standard methods of finding the absorption value of the bricks are discussed below. If absorption by volume is desired it can be obtained by multiplying the weight percentage by the apparent specific gravity.24 Hours Immersion Cold Water Test: Dry bricks are put in an oven at a temperature of 105 o to 115 o C till these attain constant mass. The weight (W1) of the bricks is recorded after cooling them to room temperature. The bricks are then immersed in water at a temperature of 27 o
± 2 o C for 24 hours. The specimens are then taken out of water and wiped with a damp cloth. Three minutes, thereafter it is weighed again and recorded as W2.
The water absorption in % = w2-w1/ w1 x 100
The average water absorption shall not be more than 20 per cent by weight upto class 12.5 and 15 per cent by weight for higher classes.
Five Hours Boiling Water Test: The weight of the oven dried bricks (W1) is recorded as above. Then the specimen is immersed in the water and boiled for five hours, followed by cooling down to 27 o ± 2 o C by natural loss of heat within 16-19 hours. The specimen is taken out of water and wiped with a damp cloth and the weight is recorded as W3.
The water absorption in % = W3W1 / W1 - 100
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