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BRICK TESTING

BRICKS CLASSIFICATION

Based on drying method bricks are classified into two groups:

1. Sun-dried bricks: These bricks are dried using sun heat directly after moulding. This type of
brick is used in construction of temporary or simple structure like pizza oven. If there is a heavy
rain, this brick should be used.
2. Brunt bricks: Normally, this brick is burnt in mechanical burner.

BRICKS ARE ALSO CLASSIFIED INTO FOUR GROUPS AS FOLLOWS:

1. First class brick: This type of brick is table moulded with uniform shape. Normally, these
bricks are burnt in kilns. Edge and surface of this bricks are sharp, smooth, square and straight as
well. It contains all composition in right proportion and for this right amount of silica, sand,
water makes it first class brick. It doesn’t contain any salt as composition. You can use this
bricks to build dome wall, foundation and hearth of pizza oven.
2. Second class brick: This type of brick is also ground moulded and burnt in kilns. But its
surface, edge is not smooth, sharp like first class bricks. Surface is comparatively rough. Hair
cracks may be in this type of bricks and size is also not uniform. This brick is less recommended
for making pizza oven. Normally, it is used where brickwork with plaster is needed. But you can
use this only for making foundation of pizza oven.

3. Third class brick: This brick is also table moulded and usually burnt in clams. This brick is not
so hard like first class and second class bricks. Rough surface with burnt and irregular edge is
seen on this bricks. If two third class bricks are struck together, it will produce dull sound and
one brick may be broken. It’s use only for temporary structure and unimportant works. It is not
recommended to use this type brick in making pizza oven.

4. Fourth class brick: Over burnt bricks with dark color and irregular shape is known as fourth
class bricks. Fourth class bricks are used as aggregate in making foundation, surkhi, brick floor
and the like. As this type brick is over burnt, it gives compact structure and higher strength.
Sometime, it gives more strength than first class bricks. But it is not recommend for pizza oven
construction. Only it can be used as aggregate under foundation of pizza oven.
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH TEST:

This test is done to know the compressive strength of brick. It is also called crushing strength of
brick. Generally 5 specimens of bricks are taken to laboratory for testing and tested one by one.
In this test a brick specimen is put on crushing machine and applied pressure till it breaks. The
ultimate pressure at which brick is crushed is taken into account. All five brick specimens are
tested one by one and average result is taken as brick's compressive/crushing strength.
Aim To determine the compressive strength of bricks
Compression testing machine ,the compression plate of which shall have ball seating in the form
of portion of a sphere center of which coincides with the centre of the plate.

Compression Testing Machine

Specimens
Three numbers of whole bricks from sample collected should be taken .the dimensions should be
measured to the nearest 1mm
Sampling

Remove unevenness observed the bed faces to provide two smooth parallel faces by grinding
.Immerse in water at room temperature for 24 hours .Remove the specimen and drain out any
surplus moisture at room temperature. Fill the frog and all voids in the bed faces flush with
cement mortar (1 cement,1 clean coarse sand of grade 3mm and down). Store it under the damp
jute bags for 24 hours filled by immersion in clean water for 3 days .Remove and wipe out any
traces of moisture.

Procedure

(I) Place the specimen with flat face s horizontal and mortar filled face facing upwards between
plates of the testing machine.

(II) The load at failure is maximum load at which the specimen fails to produce any further
increase in the indicator reading on the testing machine.

Calculation

The average of result shall be reported.

Range Calculation
Maximum compressive strength =

Contact area =

Maximum expected load =


The range to be selected is …………………

Result
Average compressive strength of the given bricks =…………..

IS SPECICATIONS

Speciation of Common Clay Building Bricks


Dimensions: The standard size of clay bricks shall be as follows

Length (mm) Width (mm) Height (mm)

190 90 90

190 90 40

Classification: The common burnt clay shall be classified on the basis of average compressive
strength as given in table.

Average compressive strength


Class Designation

Not less than Less than

( ) ( )

350 35 40

300 30 35

250 25 30

200 20 25
175 17.5 20

150 15 17.5

125 12.5 15

100 10 12.5

75 7.5 10

50 5 7.5

35 3.5 5
WATER ABSORPTION TEST

Water Absorption test: In this test bricks are weighed in dry condition and let them immersed
in fresh water for 24 hours. After 24 hours of immersion those are taken out from water and wipe
out with cloth. Then brick is weighed in wet condition. The difference between weights is the
water absorbed by brick. The percentage of water absorption is then calculated.

The less water absorbed by brick the greater its quality. Good quality brick doesn't absorb more
than 20% water of its own weight.
Aim
To determine the percentage of water absorption of bricks
Apparatus

A sensitive balance capable of weighing within 0.1% of the mass of the specimen and ventilated
oven

Specimen

Three numbers of whole bricks from samples collected for testing should be taken.

Procedure

(I) Dry the specimen in a ventilated oven at a temperature of 105 °C to 115°C till it attains
substantially constant mass.

(II) Cool the specimen to room temperature and obtain its weight ( ) specimen too warm to
touch shall not be used for this purpose .

(III) Immerse completely dried specimen in clean water at a temperature of 27+2°C for 24 hours.

(IV) Remove the specimen and wipe out any traces of water with damp cloth and weigh the
specimen after it has been removed from water ( ).
CALCULATIONS

Water absorption, % by mass, after 24 hours immersion in cold water in given by the formula,

The average of result shall be reported.

Result
Water absorption of the given bricks = ………….%

Specification
When tested as above, the average water absorption shall not be more than 20% by weight up to
class 125 and 15% by weight for higher class.
EFFLORESCENSE TEST:

Efflorescense test: The presence of alkalies in bricks is harmful and they form a gray or white
layer on brick surface by absorbing moisture. To find out the presence of alkalis in bricks this
test is performed. In this test a brick is immersed in fresh water for 24 hours and then it's taken
out from water and allowed to dry in shade.

If the whitish layer is not visible on surface it proofs that absence of alkalis in brick. If the
whitish layer visible about 10% of brick surface then the presence of alkalis is in acceptable
range. If that is about 50% of surface then it is moderate. If the alkalis's presence is over 50%
then the brick is severely affected by alkalies
Various types of tests on bricks are conducted to check the qualities of bricks for construction
purposes. Tests on bricks are conducted at construction site as well as in laboratory.

Bricks are oldest and important construction materials because of their durability, reliability,
strength and low cost. To produce good quality of structure, good quality materials are required.

To decide the quality of the materials some tests are to be conducted on bricks. The tests which
are required to find the suitability of bricks for construction purposes are discussed below.
Types of Tests On Bricks for Construction Purpose
Following tests are conducted on bricks to determine its suitability for construction work.

 Absorption test

 Crushing strength test

 Hardness test

 Shape and size

 Color test

 Soundness test

 Structure of brick

 Presence of soluble salts (Efflorescence Test)

Absorption Test on Bricks


Absorption test is conducted on brick to find out the amount of moisture content absorbed by
brick under extreme conditions. In this test, sample dry bricks are taken and weighed. After
weighing these bricks are placed in water with full immersing for a period of 24 hours. Then
weigh the wet brick and note down its value. The difference between dry and wet brick weights
will give the amount of water absorption. For a good quality brick the amount of water
absorption should not exceed 20% of weight of dry brick.
CRUSHING STRENGTH OR COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH TEST ON
BRICKS

Crushing strength of bricks is determined by placing brick in compression testing machine. After
placing the brick in compression testing machine, apply load on it until brick breaks. Note down
the value of failure load and find out the crushing strength value of brick. Minimum crushing
strength of brick is 3.50N/mm2.if it is less than 3.50 N/mm2, then it is not useful for construction
purpose.

A good brick should resist scratches against sharp things. So, for this test a sharp tool or finger
nail is used to make scratch on brick. If there is no scratch impression on brick then it is said to
be hard brick.
Shape and size of bricks are very important consideration. All bricks used for construction
should be of same size. The shape of bricks should be purely rectangular with sharp edges.
Standard brick size consists length x breadth x height as 19cm x 9cm x 9cm. to perform this test,
select 20 bricks randomly from brick group and stack them along its length , breadth and height
and compare. So, if all bricks similar size then they are qualified for construction work.

A good brick should possess bright and uniform color throughout its body.
Soundness test of bricks shows the nature of bricks against sudden impact. In this test, 2 bricks
are chosen randomly and struck with one another. Then sound produced should be clear bell
ringing sound and brick should not break. Then it is said to be good brick.

To know the structure of brick, pick one brick randomly from the group and break it. Observe
the inner portion of brick clearly. It should be free from lumps and homogeneous.

A good quality brick should not contain any soluble salts in it. If soluble salts are there, then it
will cause efflorescence on brick surfaces.
To know the presence of soluble salts in a brick, placed it in a water bath for 24 hours and dry it
in shade. After drying, observe the brick surface thoroughly. If there is any white or grey color
deposits, then it contains soluble salts and not useful for construction.
WHAT IS EFFLORESCENCE IN BRICKS AND CONCRETE?

EFFLORESCENCE IN BRICKS:

Usually sulphate of magnesium, calcium, sulphate and carbonate (and sometimes chloride and
nitrates) of sodium and potassium are found in efflorescence. These salts may be traced to the
brick itself, sand used in construction, the foundation soil, ground water, water used in the
construction and loose earth left over in contact with brick work. Bricks with magnesium
sulphate content higher than 0.05 percent should not be used in construction. Soluble salt content
in sand (chloride and sulphate together) should not exceed 0.1 percent.
Water, if it finds access to brick work, moves along its pores by capillary action and carries with
it dissolved salts. As the solution evaporates from the exposed surface of the brick work, the salts
are left as deposit on the surface or on layers just below it. Disintegration or flaking of the brick
surface is caused by the mechanical force exerted by salts as these crystallize just below the
exposed surface. Magnesium sulphate, in particular, disintegrates bricks and pushes out plaster.

REMEDIES:
1. Well fired bricks should be used in construction.
2. Sand should be tested for its salt content.
3. Proper D.P.C. should be provided in the building.
4. Efflorescence on brick work traceable to salts in the materials can be removed by dry brushing
and washing repeatedly. Such efflorescence may re-appear in dry season but usually are less in
intensity. Finally these disappear as the salt content of the bricks is gradually leached out.

TESTING BRICKS FOR EFFLORESCENCE

Distilled water to be filled in a dish of suitable size. The dish should be made of glass, porcelain
or glazed stone ware. Place the end of the bricks in the dish, the depth of immersion in water
being 25 mm. Place the whole arrangements in a warm (for example, 20 to 30oC) well ventilated
room until all the water in the dish is absorbed by the specimen and the surface water evaporate.
Cover the dish with suitable cover, so that excessive evaporation from the dish may not occur.
When the water has been absorbed and bricks appear to be dry, place a similar quantity of water
in the dish and allow it to evaporate as before. Examine the bricks for efflorescence after the
second evaporation and report the results as:
(a) NIL – When there is not perceptible deposit of efflorescence.
(b) SLIGHT- Not more than 10% area of the brick covered with a thin deposit of salt.
(c) MODERATE- Covering upto 50% area of the brick.
(d) HEAVY- Covering 50% or more but unaccompanied by powdering or flacking of the brick
surface.
(e) SERIOUS- When, there is a heavy deposit of salts accompanied by powdering and/or
flacking of the exposed surfaces.

EFFLORESCENCE AND LEACHING IN CONCRETE:

When water percolates through poorly compacted concrete or through cracks or along badly
made joints, the lime compounds with in the concrete leached out which leads to the formation
of salt deposits on the surface of concrete, known as efflorescence. This caused primarily by
calcium hydroxide Ca(OH)2 one of the hydration products and slightly soluble in water,
migrating to concrete surface through the capillary system. After evaporation, the solid Ca
(OH)2 reacts with the atmospheric carbon dioxide CO2 to form calcium carbonate CaCO3, a
white deposit on the concrete surface.

Early efflorescence can be removed with a brush and water. Heavy deposits may require acid
treatment of the surface of the concrete. The acid used is HCl diluted from the concentrated form
in a ration of 1:20 or 1:10. The action of the acid stops when it has been used up by the reaction
with lime, but the concrete should be washed in order to remove the salts which have been
formed.

Efflorescence and leaching in concrete is harmful. In addition to blemish and ugly appearance,
the process of carbonation of concrete is accelerated. In reinforced concrete, the chances of
corrosion of steel are increased due to carbonation and higher permeability of concrete. It is
therefore necessary the concrete making materials should be of good quality, mineral and
chemical admixtures preferably be used, properly proportioned (preferable design mixes) as per
required durability and grade of concrete. All the materials should be properly mixed, placed,
compacted, finished and cured.
HARDNESS TEST & SIZE, SHAPE AND COLOR TEST:

Hardness test & Size, shape and color test: In this test a scratch is made on brick surface with
a hard thing. If that doesn't left any impression on brick then that is good quality brick.

In this test randomly collected 20 bricks are staked along lengthwise, widthwise and heightwise
and then those are measured to know the variation of sizes as per standard. Bricks are closely
viewed to check if its edges are sharp and straight and uniform in shape. A good quality brick
should have bright and uniform color throughout.

How To Conduct Various Tests For Checking The Quality Of Bricks


inShare22

Brick is the vital element of any building construction. To make the building durable, the quality
of the brick should be judged well.

Given the below the detailed lists of tests to detect the quality of bricks. Among these tests, some
are done in laboratory and the remains are on the jobsite.

This test is executed to find out the compressive strength of brick. It is also known as crushing
strength of brick. Usually 5 specimens of bricks are transmitted to laboratory for testing and
tested separately. Under this test a brick specimen is provided to a crushing machine and applied
pressure unless it breaks. The extreme pressure that is liable for brick crushing is also
considered. All five brick specimens are verified separately and average result is treated as
brick's compressive/crushing strength.

Under this test bricks are weighed in dry condition. Then the bricks are submerged in fresh water
for 24 hours. Once the 24 hours are completed, these are withdrawn from water and expunge
with cloth. Again the brick is weighed in wet condition. The variance between weights denotes
the water immersed by brick. Then the estimation is made for the percentage of water absorption.
If the brick consumes less water, the quality of the brick will be better. Good quality brick
doesn't consume more than 20% water concerning its own weight.
If the bricks contain alkalies, it is injurious as they develop a gray or white coating on brick
surface through moisture absorption. This type of test is useful to detect the availability of alkalis
in bricks. Under this test a brick is submerged in fresh water for 24 hours and then it's withdrawn
from water and kept to be dried in shade.
If the whitish coat is invisible on surface, it ensures that no alkalis are present in brick. If the
whitish coat is detectable about 10% of brick surface then the existence of alkalis is in tolerable
range. If it is about 50% of surface then it may be reasonable. If the alkalis are available more
than 50% then the brick is rigorously influenced with alkalies.

Under this test, the brick surface is scratched with a solid thing and if the brick is unaffected,
then the quality of the brick is good.
Size, shape and color test: Under this test, arbitrarily collected 20 bricks are demarcated as per
length, width and height and then those are computed to obtain the deviation of sizes according
to standard. Bricks are carefully monitored to verify if its edges are sharp and straight and
undeviating in shape. A superior quality brick must contain bright and unvarying color
throughout.

Under this test two bricks are retained with both hands and hit with one another. If there is
apparent metallic ringing sound and the bricks don't break then the quality of bricks are good.

Under this test, a brick is cracked or a cracked brick is gathered and narrowly inspected. If there
exist any flows, cracks or holes on that cracked face then that refers to inferior quality brick.
Soundness test: In this test two bricks are held by both hands and struck with one another. If the
bricks give clear metallic ringing sound and don't break then those are good quality bricks.

Structure test: In this test a brick is broken or a broken brick is collected and closely observed.
If there are any flows, cracks or holes present on that broken face then that isn't good quality
brick.
FLY ASH BRICK

Fly ash brick (FAB) is a building material, specifically masonry units, containing class C fly
ash and water. Compressed at 28 MPa (272 atm) and cured for 24 hours in a 66 °C steam bath,
then toughened with an air entrainment agent, the bricks last for more than 100 freeze-
thaw cycles. Owing to the high concentration of calcium oxide in class C fly ash, the brick is
described as "self-cementing". The manufacturing method saves energy, reduces mercury
pollution, and costs 20% less than traditional clay brick manufacturing.

HISTORY

Coal dust has historically been collected as a waste product from homes and industry. During the
nineteenth century coal ash was taken by 'scavengers' and delivered to local brick works, where
the ash would be mixed with clay. The income from the sale of ash would normally pay for the
collection of waste.[1]
THE RAW MATERIALS

Funton Creek. Presumably this was a navigable channel in the days when the brick works was
serviced by barges bringing fly-ash from London and returning with loads of bricks.

The raw materials for Fly Ash Bricks are:

Material Mass

Fly ash 60%

Sand/Stone dust 30%

Ordinary Portland Cement/(Lime+Gypsum) 10%

Total formula of material 100%

The strength of fly ash brick manufactured with the above compositions is normally of the order
of 7.5 N/mm2 to 10 N/mm2. Fly ash bricks are lighter and stronger than clay bricks.

Main ingredients include fly ash, water, quicklime or lime sludge, cement, aluminum powder
and gypsum. The block hardness is being achieved by cement strength, and instant curing
mechanism by autoclaving. Gypsum acts as a long term strength gainer. The chemical reaction
due to the aluminum paste provides AAC its distinct porous structure, lightness, and insulation
properties, completely different compared to other lightweight concrete materials. The finished
product is a lighter Block - less than 40% the weight of conventional Bricks, while providing the
similar strengths. The specific gravity stays around 0.6 to 0.65. This is one single most USP of
the AAC blocks, because by using these blocks in structural buildings, the builder saves around
30 to 35 % of structural steel, and concrete, as these blocks reduce the dead load on the building
significantly

There are three important ingredients of fly ash which affect the strength and look of fly ash
brick.

1. Loss on Ignition (LOI); fly ash looses weight when it burns at about 1000°C due to
presence of carbon and water. The weight loss happens due to carbon combustion and
moisture evaporation is called "Loss on Ignition(LOI)". This is expressed as percentage.
The lower the loss of Ignition, the better will be fly ash. As per BIS it should not be more
than 5%.
2. Fineness; the fine fly ash has more surface area available to react with lime, thus more
will be the pozzolanic activity of fly ash. The greater pozzolanic activity contributes to
the strength of fly ash brick. As per BIS it should not be more than 320 m2/kg.
3. Calcium (CaO) content; the pozzolanic reactivity of fly ash is more in high calcium fly
ash. The greater the pozzolanic activity leads to higher the strength of fly ash brick. For
C class fly ash CaO should be more than 10% and for F class it might be lower than
10%.[2]
ADVANTAGES

1. It reduces dead load on structures due to light weight(2.6 kg, dimension: 230 mm X 110
mm X 70 mm).
2. Same number of bricks will cover more area than clay bricks
3. High fire Insulation
4. Due to high strength, practically no breakage during transport and use.
5. Due to uniform size of bricks mortar required for joints and plaster reduces almost by
50%.
6. Due to lower water penetration seepage of water through bricks is considerably reduced.
7. Gypsum plaster can be directly applied on these bricks without a backing coat of lime
plaster.
8. These bricks do not require soaking in water for 24 hours. Sprinkling of water before use
is enough.

DISADVANTAGES

1. Mechanical strength is low, but this can be rectified by adding marble waste or mortar
between blocks.
2. Limitation of size. Only modular size can be produced. Large size will have more
breakages.
CONCLUSIONS

i. The mechanical properties were found to be enhanced in fly ash bricks than the clay bricks.
Compressive strength and flexural strength of fly ash brick was 54.21% and 56% higher than the
clay bricks and 8.58% lighter in weight than the clay bricks.

ii. Costs of fly ash brick is 40% less than the clay brick.

iii. Fly ash bricks are energy-efficient and environment friendly and it is recommended for the
construction in seismic zones.

iv. Equation for determining the masonry strength has been arrived using the brick strength and
the mortar strength.

v. Based on the triplet bond shear test, the presence of fly ash had a strong influence on brick -
mortar joint. The bond strength of unreinforced clay brick masonry in 1:6 cement mortar with
20% replacement of fine aggregate with fly ash, CBM20 was about 1.5 times higher than the
unreinforced clay brick masonry in 1:6 cement mortar, CBM.

vi. The bond strength of unreinforced fly ash brick masonry in 1:6 cement mortar with 10%
replacement of fine aggregate with fly ash, FBM10 was twice the unreinforced fly ash brick
masonry in the ratio of 1:6 cement mortar, FBM based on the triplet shear test. Incorporation of
fly ash resulted in the reaction of pozzolanas with the calcium hydrate which produced strong
calcium silicate hydrates, thus enhancing the bond strength of the masonry by modifying the
microstructure of the mortar-brick unit interface.

vii. Elastic modulus of masonry (Epm) was determined with the prism strength (fpm). 166

viii. The equivalent homogeneous elastic modulus of the brick masonry was arrived for the
unreinforced and the reinforced brick masonry (both clay brick masonry and fly ash brick
masonry) with the elastic modulus of brick, mortar and mesh and with thickness of brick and the
mortar bed joint.