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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures

Tests For Aggregates And Bricks

7.8 Tests for Bricks

7.8.1 Introduction. Since bricks are made from variable naturally occurring materials, care
should be exercised in placing too much importance on the test results obtained on a
single sample. For test results to be meaningful and useful in the evaluation of material
properties the tests have to be carried out according to the prescribed method and
perhaps even more importantly the samples have to represent the materials being

7.8.2 Determination of dimensions Size. The standard dimensions of common bricks shall be:

Length Width Depth / Height

240 mm 115 mm 70 mm Size of voids

a) Solid bricks shall not have holes, cavities or depressions.

b) Cellular bricks shall not have holes, but may have frogs or cavities not exceeding
20% of the gross volume of the brick.
c) Perforated bricks shall have holes not exceeding 25% of the gross volume of the
brick. The area of any one hole shall not exceed 10% of the gross area of the brick.
d) Frogged bricks shall have depressions in one bed. Frog size should not exceed
130 mm x 50 mm x 10 mm. Variation. Small variation in the dimension shall be permissible to the following extent
only :

Table 7.8.1
Specified Dimension Maximum Permissible Variation
Over 50 mm and upto 75 mm ±1.5 mm
Over 75 mm and upto 100 mm ±3.0 mm
Over 100 mm and upto 150 mm ±5.0 mm
Over 150 mm and upto 250 mm ±6.0 mm Dimensional deviations. The overall measurements of 24 bricks shall not fall outside
the limits given in Table 7.8.2. In addition, the size of any individual brick shall not
exceed the size given in 7.8.2.

Table 7.8.2
Sizes Overall measurement of 24 bricks
Maximum Minimum
240 mm 5880 mm 5680 mm
115 mm 2910 mm 2810 mm
70 mm 1710 mm 1650 mm Procedure for measuring dimensions

a) Take 24 bricks. Remove any blisters, small projections or loose particles of clay
adhering to the brick. Place the bricks in contact with each other in a straight line

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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures
Tests For Aggregates And Bricks

upon a level surface, using the appropriate arrangement for each work size shown
in Figure 7.8.1.

b) Measure the overall dimension (Length, width or height) to the nearest millimeter,
using an in extensible measure long enough to measure the whole row at one time,
results recorded in Form 7.8.1.

Note. Alternatively, the sample may be divided in half to form 2 rows of 12 bricks.
Measurement of each row is made separately and the results are summed

7.8.3 Relative density and absorption Introduction. The relative density of bricks may be measured using the saturated
surface-dry (SSD) method used for the determination of density of cores and concrete
specimens. Density. The density of bricks is defined as the average density of 10 bricks sampled
according to this test method and tested on the SSD basis. Water absorption. The test method for the determination of water absorption in this
standard is the 5 h boiling test. Equipment. The equipment required for this test is listed below:

a) Ventilated drying oven with automatic control capable of maintaining a constant

temperature of 110 – 1150C.
b) Water tank, provided with a grid to ensure free circulation of water between
masonry units and the bottom of the tank.
c) Balance capable of weighing to an accuracy of 0.1% of the mass of the specimen. Preparation of specimens

a) Use 10 bricks sampled in accordance with this test procedure.

b) Dry the specimen to constant mass in the oven at a temperature of between 110
and 1150C. When cool, weigh each specimen to an accuracy of 0.1% of its mass. Test procedure

a) Place the 10 specimens in a single layer in a tank of water immediately after

weighing, so that the water can circulate freely on all sides of them. Leave a space
of about 10 mm between bricks and the sides of the tank.
b) Heat the water to boiling point in approximately 1 h.
c) Boil for 5 h continuously, and then allow to cool to room temperature by natural loss
of heat for not less than 16 h or more than 19 h.
d) Remove the specimens, wipe off the surface water with a damp cloth and weigh.
When wiping perforated bricks, shake them to expel water that might otherwise be
left in the perforations.
e) Complete weighing any one specimen within 2 min after its removal from the water. Calculation of water absorption. Calculate the water absorbed by each specimen. A,
expressed as a percentage of the dry mass, using the following expression.

A = 100 x (wet mass – dry mass) / dry mass

Calculate the average of the water absorption’s of the 10 specimens to the nearest
0.1%. A data sheet is given as Form 7.8.2.

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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures
Tests For Aggregates And Bricks

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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures
Tests For Aggregates And Bricks

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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures
Tests For Aggregates And Bricks

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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures
Tests For Aggregates And Bricks Maximum permissible water absorption. The water absorption shall in no case be
greater than the water absorption for the appropriate class of brick given in Table 7.8.3

Table 7.8.3 Classification of bricks by compressive strength and water


Grade Compressive Strength Water absorption

for 10 bricks (%)
Average for 12 halved Minimum for
bricks (N/mm2) individual halved
bricks (N/mm2)
A 28 21.1 10
B 17.5 14 12
C 10.5 8.4 16

7.8.4 Compressive strength determination Introduction. The compressive strength of bricks shall in no case be less than the
compressive strength for the appropriate class of brick given in Table 7.8.3.

When bricks are to be broken for use as road making, aggregate tests such as the Los
Angles abrasion, aggregate crushing strength and aggregate impact value may give a
more satisfactory indication of their suitability for use. Equipment. The equipment required for the determination of compressive strength of
brick is listed below:

1. Testing machine, compatible with the testing machine required for testing concrete
specimens and capable of applying the rate of loading specified in the test

Testing machine requirements:

It shall be equipped with two permanent ferrous bearing platens which

shall be at least as large as any plywood packing or, where such packing
is not being used, the bedding faces of the specimens being tested.

The upper machine platen shall be able to align freely with the specimens
as contact is made but the platens shall be restrained by friction or other
means from tilting with respect to each other during loading.

The lower compression platen shall be plain, non-tilting bearing block.

The testing face of the platen shall be hardened and shall have:

a) a flatness tolerance of plus or minus 0.05 mm

b) a parallelism tolerance for one face of each platen with respect to the
other of 0.10 mm.
c) a surface texture not greater than 3.2 micron

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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures
Tests For Aggregates And Bricks Preparation of specimen. Twelve bricks taken at random from sample shall be halved
and one half from each whole brick used for determining the compressive strength. The
overall dimension of each bedding face shall be measured to the nearest of 1.3 mm
and the area of the face having smaller area shall be taken as the area of the bricks for
testing the compressive strength. Test procedure

a) Bricks with frogs

1) Immerse the bricks in water at room temperature for 24 hours. They shall then
be removed and allow to dry at room temperature for about 5 minutes.
2) Then fill the frogs with cement-sand mortar with a ratio of 1:11/2. Sand should
be clean and well graded and passing through 3.35 mm sieve. Trowel the
mortar off flush with surface of the bricks.
3) After filling the frogs, store the bricks under the damp sacks for 24 hours and
then immerse in water for 6 days before bricks are considered ready for testing.
After seven days of filling the frogs, take out the specimens and wipe off the
moisture with damp cloth.
4) Then place the specimen with flat surface horizontally and the mortar filled face
facing upwards between two plywood sheets of 3-ply, normally 3 to 4 mm thick
and carefully centered between the plates of the compression testing machine.
5) Then apply the load axially at a uniform rate of 14 N/mm 2 per minute, until
failure. The failure shall be deemed to have occurred when no further increase
in the load is registered with unchanged rate of moving head travel.
6) Calculation of compressive strength: Obtain the strength of each specimen by
dividing the maximum load obtained during loading by the appropriate area of
the bed face. Record the strength in N/mm2 to the nearest 0.1 N/mm2.
Calculate the average of the 12 compressive strengths and report it to the
nearest 0.1 N/mm2.

b) Solid bricks / bricks with a frog intended to be laid downwards / perforated

bricks / cellular bricks

Immerse the brick in water for 6 days or saturate the brick by boiling as described
in water absorption test. Then follow the and

c) Solid bricks with cavities

Fill the cavities with capping compound or mortar mix and immerse in water for 6
days and then follow and

d) Brick with holes

No capping compound is used and holes remain empty. Immerse the brick in water
for 6 days, take out and wipe off the moisture and then follow and Calculation of compressive strengths

Strength = Maximum load in Newton / net area of brick in mm2.

For bricks with holes, net area of brick = Gross area of brick – area of holes.
Gross area = Length of brick x width of brick.

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Chapter 7 Standard Test Procedures
Tests For Aggregates And Bricks

Area of hole = π where d is the diameter of the hole
Note. When bricks are to be used as crushed aggregate, for in a blend as unfound
material, the necessity to determine the compressive strength accurately as it
is when the bricks are to be used in load-bearing walls, is not so critical (see Report. Report the compressive strength in a data sheet to the nearest 0.1 N/mm2. Data
sheets are given as Forms 7.8.3 and 7.8.4.

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