When it comes to construction, the durability of building materials matters the most. In Pakistan, bricks are widely used in the construction industry as a building block. Various types of quality tests are conducted on bricks both on-site and in a laboratory. If you are planning to buy bricks for your next construction project, be it of any scale, a few tips will help you ascertain the quality of bricks to make an informed decision before investing in them. Below is the list of simple tests that you can conduct for quality assurance on-site:
It is essential to test the amount of moisture content a brick will absorb under extreme conditions. To test the water absorption level of a batch of bricks, do the following:
- Take a dry brick and weigh them.
- Note the exact figure of its weight.
- Take a tub full of water and immerse the brick in it for 24 hours.
- Note down the weight of the wet brick.
- Compare both the values of dry brick and the one that was absorbed in water for 24 hours. The difference will give you the value of the water absorption of the brick.
A good quality brick will never exceed the water absorption level up to 20% of the weight of the dry brick.
If you want to determine the crushing strength, then place the brick in a compression testing machine. You have to apply the load on the brick until it breaks. Note down the value of failure load to find out the crushing strength value. The minimum crushing strength of the brick should be 3.50N/mm2. Anything less than this is unfit for construction purposes.
A high-quality brick is resistant to scratches from sharp objects. Take a sharp nail or object and try to scratch the surface of the brick. If no scratch marks appear on bricks, it is a sign of hard brick that reveals good quality.
The uniformity in shape and size of brick is a sign of good quality. The bricks should always be rectangular and should have sharp edges. Standard brick size is usually 19cm x 9cm x 9cm. To determine the uniformity of shape and size of bricks, pick 20 bricks from the batch at random and stack them along their length, breadth, and height for comparison. If the bricks are close to the measurements as stated earlier, then they are suitable for construction.
A high-quality brick has a bright red color. A closer look at the brick will reveal the actual color and hues. Always go for ones that are uniform in color without any inconsistencies.
It is crucial to determine the nature of bricks against a sudden external impact. This will be the tell-tale of its strength and durability. Randomly pick two bricks and strike them with one another. If the sound is of a clear bell ringing, it indicates the soundness and good-quality of brick.
The quality test of the brick is not just limited to its exterior. You also have to examine the interior as a tell-tale sign of its quality. For this purpose, randomly pick a brick and break it. Closely examine the inner side of the brick. A good quality brick will be free from any lumps and will be homogeneous in composition.
A good-quality brick is always free of soluble salts. The presence of soluble salts causes efflorescence on brick surfaces. To determine the presence of soluble salts in bricks, place two or three bricks in the water for over 24 hours and then dry them in the shade. Once it gets dried, thoroughly observe its surface. If there are white or grey-colored deposits on the surface of bricks, then it means that soluble salts are present. Such bricks are unfit for construction purposes.
These simple easy-to-perform tests will help you better determine the quality of bricks. Do you want to learn more about construction materials? Stay tuned with Zarea. Zarea is your go-to place for all interior design and construction industry-related queries. Now you can also shop online all the high-quality construction and finishing materials in one go on Zarea. Our rate list will give you insightful information that will cut short the tricky price comparison process in the market.