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BRITISH STANDARD

Natural stone test


methods
Determination of real
density and apparent
density, and of total and
open porosity

The European Standard EN 1936:1999 has the status of a


British Standard

ICS 91.100.15

NO COPYING WITHOUT BSI PERMISSION EXCEPT AS PERMITTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW

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BS EN
1936:1999

BS EN 1936:1999

National foreword
This British Standard is the English language version of EN 1936:1999.
The UK participation in its preparation was entrusted to Technical Committee
B/545, Natural stone, which has the responsibility to:
aid enquirers to understand the text;
present to the responsible international/European committee any enquiries
on the interpretation, or proposals for change, and keep the UK interests
informed;
monitor related international and European developments and promulgate
them in the UK.
A list of organizations represented on this committee can be obtained on request to
its secretary.
Cross-references
The British Standards which implement international or European publications
referred to in this document may be found in the BSI Standards Catalogue under the
section entitled International Standards Correspondence Index, or by using the
Find facility of the BSI Standards Electronic Catalogue.
A British Standard does not purport to include all the necessary provisions of a
contract. Users of British Standards are responsible for their correct application.
Compliance with a British Standard does not of itself confer immunity
from legal obligations.

Summary of pages
This document comprises a front cover, an inside front cover, the EN title page,
pages 2 to 5 and a back cover.
The BSI copyright notice displayed throughout this document indicates when the
document was last issued.
This British Standard, having
been prepared under the
direction of the Sector
Committee for Building and Civil
Engineering, was published under
the authority of the Standards
Committee and comes into effect
on 15 September 1999
BSI 09-1999

ISBN 0 580 32293 9

Amendments issued since publication


Amd. No.

Date

Comments

EN 1936

EUROPEAN STANDARD
NORME EUROPEENNE
EUROPAISCHE NORM

March 1999

ICS 73.020; 91.100.15

English version

Natural stone test methods Determination of real density and


apparent density, and of total and open porosity

Methodes d'essai pour pierres naturelles


Determination des masses volumiques reelle et
apparente et des porosites ouverte et totale

Prufverfahren fur Naturstein Bestimmung der


Reindichte, der Rohdichte, der offenen Porositat
und der Gesamtporositat

This European Standard was approved by CEN on 13 February 1999.


CEN members are bound to comply with the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations
which stipulate the conditions for giving this European Standard the status of a
national standard without any alteration. Up-to-date lists and bibliographical
references concerning such national standards may be obtained on application to
the Central Secretariat or to any CEN member.
This European Standard exists in three official versions (English, French, German).
A version in any other language made by translation under the responsibility of a
CEN member into its own language and notified to the Central Secretariat has the
same status as the official versions.
CEN members are the national standards bodies of Austria, Belgium, Czech
Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy,
Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and
United Kingdom.

CEN
European Committee for Standardization
Comite Europeen de Normalisation
Europaisches Komitee fur Normung
Central Secretariat: rue de Stassart 36, B-1050 Brussels
1999 CEN All rights of exploitation in any form and by any means reserved worldwide for CEN national
Members.
Ref. No. EN 1936:1999 E

Page 2
EN 1936:1999

Foreword
This European Standard has been prepared by
Technical Committee CEN/TC 246, Natural stones, the
Secretariat of which is held by UNI.
This European Standard shall be given the status of a
national standard, either by publication of an identical
text or by endorsement, at the latest by
September 1999, and conflicting national standards
shall be withdrawn at the latest by September 1999.
This European Standard is one of the series of draft
standards for tests on natural stone. Test methods for
natural stone consist of the following parts:
EN 1925, Natural stone test methods Determination
of water absorption coefficient by capillarity.
EN 1926, Natural stone test methods Determination
of compressive strength.
EN 12370, Natural stone test methods
Determination of resistance to salt crystallization.
prEN 12371, Natural stone test methods
Determination of frost resistance.
EN 12372, Natural stone test methods
Determination of flexural strength under concentrated
load.
prEN 12407, Natural stone test methods
Petrographic description.
prEN 13161, Natural stone test methods
Determination of flexural strength under constant
moment.
prEN 13364, Natural stone test methods
Determination of the breaking load at a dowel hole.
prEN ... (WI 00246011), Natural stone test methods
Determination of thermal dilatation coefficient.
prEN ... (WI 00246012), Natural stone test methods
Determination of soundspeed propagation.
prEN ... (WI 00246014), Natural stone test methods
Determination of abrasion resistance.
prEN ... (WI 00246015), Natural stone test methods
Determination of Knoop hardness.
prEN ... (WI 00246016), Natural stone test methods
Determination of thermal shock resistance.
prEN ... (WI 00246017), Natural stone test methods
Determination of slip coefficient.
prEN ... (WI 00246018), Natural stone test methods
Determination of static elastic modulus.
prEN ... (WI 00246019), Natural stone test methods
Determination of rupture energy.
prEN ... (WI 00246030), Natural stone test methods
Determination of surface finishes (rugosity).

prEN 13373, Natural stone test methods


Determination of geometric characteristics on units.
prEN ... (WI 00246032), Natural stone test methods
Determination of resistance to ageing by salt mist.
prEN ... (WI 00246033), Natural stone test methods
Determination of resistance to ageing by humidity,
temperature, SO2 action.
prEN ... (WI 00246035) Natural stone test methods
Determination of dynamic elastic modulus (by
fundamental resonance frequency).
prEN ... (WI 00246036) Natural stone test methods
Determination of water absorption at atmospheric
pressure.
It is intended that other ENs should call up this
EN 1936 as the basis of evaluation of conformity.
(Nevertheless it is not intended that all natural stones
products should be subjected regularly to all the listed
tests. Specifications in other standards should call up
only relevant test methods).
According to the CEN/CENELEC Internal Regulations,
the national standards organizations of the following
countries are bound to implement this European
Standard: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland,
Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Contents
Foreword
1 Scope
2 Normative references
3 Principle
4 Definitions
5 Symbols
6 Apparatus
7 Preparation of the specimens
8 Test procedure
9 Expression of results
10 Test report

Page
2
3
3
3
3
3
3
4
4
5
5

BSI 09-1999

Page 3
EN 1936:1999

1 Scope
This European Standard specifies methods of
determining the real density, the apparent density, and
the open and total porosity of natural stone.

2 Normative references
This European Standard incorporates by dated or
undated reference, provisions from other publications.
These normative references are cited at the
appropriate places in the text and the publications are
listed hereafter. For dated references, subsequent
amendments to or revisions of any of these
publications apply to this European Standard only
when incorporated in it by amendment or revision. For
undated references, the latest edition of the publication
referred to applies.
prEN 12670, Natural stones Terminology.
ISO/DIS 3507, Laboratory glassware Pyknometers.
prEN 12440, Denomination of natural stone.

3 Principle
After drying to constant mass, the apparent density
and the open porosity are determined by vacuum
assisted water absorption and submerged weighing of
specimens. The real density and the total porosity
require the specimen to be pulverized.

4.6
total porosity
the ratio (as a percentage) between the volume of
pores (open and closed) and the apparent volume of
the specimen

5 Symbols
md
me

mh
ms
m1
m2
Vb
Vo
Vs
rb

4 Definitions

rr

For the purposes of this standard the following


definitions and the definitions in accordance with
prEN 12670 apply.

rrh
p

4.1
apparent density (rb)
the ratio between the mass of the dry specimen and its
apparent volume
4.2
apparent volume
the volume limited by the external surface of the
specimen, including any voids
4.3
volume of the solid part
the difference between the apparent volume of the
specimen and the volume of the voids (open and
closed pores)
4.4
real density (rr)
the ratio between the mass of the dry specimen and
the volume of its solid part
4.5
open porosity
the ratio (as a percentage) between the volume of the
open pores and the apparent volume of the specimen
BSI 09-1999

po

mass of the dry specimen, in grams;


mass of the specimen ground and dried
(for the tests using the pycnometer or the
volumenometer), in grams;
mass of the specimen immersed in water, in
grams;
mass of the saturated specimen, in grams;
mass of the pycnometer filled with water and
the ground specimen, in grams;
mass of the pycnometer filled with water, in
grams;
apparent volume of the specimen, in millilitres;
volume of open pores of the specimen, in
millilitres;
volume of liquid displaced by the mass me
(volumenometer test);
apparent density of the specimen, in kilograms
per cubic metre;
real density of the specimen, in kilograms per
cubic metre;
density of water, in kilograms per cubic metre;
total porosity of the specimen, as a
percentage;
open porosity of the specimen, as a
percentage.

6 Apparatus
6.1 A ventilated oven, which can maintain a
temperature of (70 5) 8C.
6.2 An evacuation vessel, which can maintain a
pressure of (2,0 0,7) kPa = (15 5) mm Hg and allow
gradual immersion of the contained specimens.
6.3 A weighing instrument, which has an accuracy of
at least 0,01 % of the mass to be weighed, also capable
to weigh the specimen in water.
6.4 A linear measuring device, with an accuracy
of 0,1 mm.
6.5 An ISO/DIS 3507 type 3 pycnometer, having a
nominal capacity of 50 ml.
6.6 A Le Chatelier type volumenometer, consisting of
a flat-bottomed flask with a tube graduated from 0 ml
to 24 ml in 0,1 ml graduations.
6.7 A sieve, with a 0,063 mm mesh.
6.8 A desiccator, with desiccant.

Page 4
EN 1936:1999

7 Preparation of the specimens

8.2 Real density

7.1 Sampling
The sampling is not the responsibility of the test
laboratory except where specially requested. At least
six test specimens, which are considered
representative of the body of stone being tested, shall
be selected.

8.2.1 General
For dense, low porosity stones the differences between
real and apparent density, as well as between open
porosity and total porosity, are very small. For these
stones it is sufficient to determine the apparent density
and the open porosity. In the case of control of
supplies the decision of omitting the determination of
the real density shall be agreed upon between the
parties.
In this standard two methods for the determination of
real density are described: the pycnometer (Method A)
and Le Chatelier volumenometer (Method B).
The first method is more accurate but requires a very
long time. It is suggested to use it as a reference
method in the case of controversy. Le Chatelier
volumenometer method is less accurate but easy and
rapid to perform and can be used for production
control.

7.2 Test specimens


The test specimens have the form of a cylinder, cube
or prism and shall be obtained by diamond sawing or
coring. Their apparent volume calculated by
geometrical measurements shall be at least 25 ml.
In addition, the surface area to volume ratio shall be
between 0,1 mm21 and 0,2 mm21.
NOTE The specimens prepared for the determination of
compressive or flexural strength can be used if they satisfy the
surface/volume ratio.

7.3 Drying the specimens


The specimens are to be dried at a temperature of
(70 5) 8C until a constant mass is reached. This is
assumed to have been attained when the difference
between two weighings at an interval of (24 2) h is
not greater than 0,1 % of the mass of the specimen.
The specimens shall be kept in a desiccator until room
temperature is attained.

8 Test procedure
8.1 Open porosity and apparent density
Weigh each specimen (md), then put the specimens
into an evacuation vessel and lower the pressure
gradually to (2,0 0,7) kPa = (15 5) mm Hg.
Maintain this pressure for (24 2) h in order to
eliminate the air contained in the open pores of the
specimens.
Introduce demineralized water at (20 5) 8C slowly
into the vessel (the rate at which the water rises shall
be such that the specimens are completely immersed
in not less than 15 min).
Maintain the pressure of (2,0 0,7) kPa during
introduction of water and for (24 2) h afterwards.
After this time return the vessel to atmospheric
pressure and leave the specimens under water for
another (24 2) h at atmospheric pressure.
Then, for each specimen:
weigh the specimen under water and record the
mass in water: mh;
quickly wipe the specimen with a dampened
cloth and determine the mass ms of the specimen
saturated with water.
In the case of natural stones with visible cavities
(e.g. travertine) the apparent volume is determined by
measuring the dimensions of the specimens to the
nearest millimetre.

8.2.2 Method A (pycnometer)


For each specimen, after having determined the
apparent density and the open porosity, grind each
specimen separately until the particles will pass
through a sieve with 0,063 mm mesh.
Dry the ground specimen to a constant mass and set
apart a mass me of approximately 25 g weighed to an
accuracy of 0,01 g.
Introduce deionized water into the pycnometer and fill
it until approximately half full. Then add the weighed
mass me of the ground specimen into the pycnometer
and agitate the liquid to disperse the solid matter.
Expose the pycnometer to a vacuum of (2 0,7) kPa
until no further air bubbles rise, then fill it with
deionized water almost to the top and leave the solid
matter to settle until the water above the residue is
clear.
Next, carefully top up the pycnometer with deionized
water, fit the ground stopper and gently wipe off any
overflow. Finally weigh the pycnometer to an accuracy
of 0,01 g (m1).
Empty and wash the pycnometer, fill it with deionized
water only and weigh to an accuracy of 0,01 g (m2).
Before each weighing make sure that the ambient air
temperature is (20 5) 8C.
8.2.3 Method B (Le Chatelier volumenometer)
For each specimen, after having determined the
apparent density and the open porosity, grind each
specimen separately until the particles will pass
through a sieve with 0,063 mm mesh.
Dry the ground specimen to a constant mass and set
apart a mass me of approximately 50 g weighed to an
accuracy of 0,1 g.

BSI 09-1999

Page 5
EN 1936:1999

Introduce deionized water into Le Chatelier


volumenometer until the level is up to the 0 graduation.
Then add the weighed mass me of the ground
specimen into the volumenometer in five fractions in
the region of 10 g each, ensuring that all of each
fraction falls into the liquid. After the introduction of
each fraction, agitate the liquid to disperse the ground
specimen. Read the graduations to determine the Vs in
millilitres to the nearest 0,1 ml of liquid displaced by
the mass me of the ground specimen.
Before taking the initial at 0 level and final volume
readings make sure that the ambient air temperature
is (20 5) 8C.

9 Expression of results
9.1 General
The volume of the open pores (in millilitres) is
expressed by the equation:
m 2 md
3 1 000
Vo = s
(1)
rrh
The apparent volume (in millilitres) is expressed by the
equation:
m 2 mh
3 1 000
Vb =
(2)
rrh
which can alternatively be calculated on the basis of
the dimensions of the specimen.
NOTE The value of the density of water rrh at 20 8C is 998 kg/m3.

9.2 Apparent density


The apparent density (in kilograms per cubic metre) is
expressed by the ratio of the mass of the dry specimen
and its apparent volume, by the equation:
md
3 rrh
rb =
(3)
ms 2 mh
9.3 Open porosity
The open porosity is expressed by the ratio (as a
percentage) of the volume of open pores and the
apparent volume of the specimen, by the equation:
m 2 md
3 100
po = s
(4)
ms 2 mh
9.4 Real density
The real density (in kilograms per cubic metre) is
expressed by the ratio of the mass of the ground dry
specimen me to the volume of liquid displaced by the
mass me, by the equations:
Method A (pycnometer)
me
rr =
(5a)
3 rrh
m2 + me 2 m1
Method B (Le Chatelier volumenometer)
m
rr = e 3 rrh
Vs

BSI 09-1999

(5b)

9.5 Total porosity


The total porosity is expressed by the ratio (as a
percentage) of the volume of pores (open and closed)
and the apparent volume of the specimen, by the
equation:
1
1
2
r
rb rr

p=
3 100 = 1 2 b 3 100
(6)

rr
1
rb

10 Test report
The test report shall contain the following information:
a) unique identification number of the report;
b) the number, title and date of issue of this
European Standard;
c) the name and address of the test laboratory and
the address where the test was carried out if
different from the test laboratory;
d) the name and address of the client;
e) it is the responsibility of the client to supply the
following information:
the petrographic name of the stone;
the commercial name of the stone in
accordance with prEN 12440;
the country and region of extraction;
the name of the supplier;
the direction of any existing plane of
anisotropy (if relevant to the test) to be clearly
indicated on the sample or on each specimen by
means of two parallel lines;
the name of the person or organization which
carried out the sampling;
the surface finish of the specimens (if relevant
to the test);
f) the date of delivery of the sample or of the
specimens;
g) the date when the specimens were prepared
(if relevant) and the date of testing;
h) the number of specimens in the sample;
i) the dimensions of the specimens;
j) for each specimen: the real density (if determined)
and the apparent density to the nearest 10 kg/m3, the
open porosity and the total porosity (if determined)
to the nearest 0,1 %;
k) the arithmetic mean of the individual values for
the real density (if determined) and for the apparent
density (to the nearest 10 kg/m3), for the open
porosity and for the total porosity (if determined)
(to the nearest 0,1 %);
l) the method used for the determination of the real
density (when relevant);
m) all deviations from the standard and their
justification;
n) remarks.
The test report shall contain the signature(s) and
role(s) of the responsible(s) for the testing and the
date of issue of the report. It shall also state that the
report shall not be partially reproduced without the
written consent of the test laboratory.

BS EN
1936:1999

BSI
389 Chiswick High Road
London
W4 4AL

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