How To Check Quality Of Bricks At Construction Site: Bricks are pretty much important for building strong and durable structures. So, we should properly inspect the quality of the bricks through a series of try-outs before using them in real tasks. Here are 9 proven experiments that you can apply on bricks to assess their qualities.
How to Check Quality of Bricks at Construction Site?
So, let’s look into them in detail.
(1) Dimension of Bricks
Dimension of bricks has a great influence on the construction process. If you have unequal bricks with heavyweight, you may face huge problems during the fabrication. You may need to spend extra time, money, and effort to erase the bumpiness of the bricks. E.g. plastering the surfaces. Hence, it’s good to measure the dimension (length, width, and height) of the bricks before using them for construction purposes.
For this, you can use the sampling approach where you will pick 20 or 25 random bricks and measure their height, width, and length. If you find them identical, you can freely use them for your projects. Anyways, you can overlook variations of +/-3% (for A class bricks) and +/-8% (for other classes) during this trial.
(2) Water Absorption
Bricks are water absorbent. But there is a safety limit for their absorption rate and quality bricks strictly maintain this. So, you can use the absorption rate to evaluate the quality of bricks.
For this, you have to take 5 dry bricks and individually measure their weight. After that, you will calculate the average weight of these bricks and write it down in your notebook. Then, soak those bricks in water for 24 hours and weigh their average weight. Now, find the difference between these averages and turn it into a percentage. This amount will indicate the water absorption of your bricks. Here is a simple formula for this.
Water Absorption % = (Difference in weight / Original Weight) x 100
Bricks having 12-20% water absorption is suitable for building purposes.
Now, tell me why water absorption rate is so important.
We use cement mortar to bind multiple bricks and ultimately create an architecture. So, if the bricks have a higher retention rate, they will absorb more water leading to weaker brick bonds.
The same thing happens at the time of lower water absorption.
(3) Hardness Test
A hardness test helps to assess the strength, flexibility, and wear resistance of bricks. In this test, you will take a sharp tool or use your fingernail to make a scratch on the brick surface. Quality brick will receive no scratches even after the hardness test. Thus, you can find your desired bricks for the upcoming projects.
(4) Testing of Color
It’s the easiest way of testing bricks’ quality. Here you just have to have a look at the bricks and figure out their color and brightness. Make sure all the bricks have a uniform deep red, cherry, or copper color. They can also be bright and shiny.
(5) Soundness Test
In this test, you will hold two random bricks on each hand and slightly hit them together. If they make a clear metallic or bell ringing sound, then you can take them as strong bricks.
(6) Size and Shape
Like colors, bricks must have a uniform size to qualify for brickwork. But how can you know if they are akin or not? For this, you have to take a simple test.
Take 20 random bricks from the spot and heap up them length, breadth, and height wise. After comparing, if you find them of equal size, be sure to use them for your construction work.
Besides size, brick’s shape is another consideration for buyers. Make sure the bricks are rectangular-shaped with fine edges and have a rough surface to hold the cement mortar.
You can easily get this by taking a quick visual inspection.
(7) Observation of Structure
This is where you want to observe the structure of bricks. Take a brick from the heap and break it into two pieces. Then, look for a homogeneous, compact, and defect-free inner part. If the brick meets all these features, you can safely use it for your dream project.
(8) Crushing strength
Crushing strength is one of the significant indicators of strong bricks. So, how do you measure the crushing or compressive strength of your bricks?
A compression testing machine can help you in this case. Place a brick in the machine and apply different amounts of pressure on it until it breaks. Note down the value of unsuccessful attempts and find the average compressive strength of the brick.
Don’t use any bricks whose crushing strength is below 3.50 N/m㎡. Because they are unsuitable for construction use.
(9) Efflorescence Testing
Bricks containing high amounts of soluble salts (e.g. sodium and potassium) can be detrimental to your construction. Because these salts easily get mixed with the mortar water and cause a structural collapse of the establishments. You can know if your bricks have harmful salts by conducting efflorescence tests.
In this test, you have to bathe the brick in the distilled water for about 24 hours and let it dry in a shaded place. After that, observe the dry brick to find any white or grey deposits on it. If there is no such deposit, you can use it for construction activities. Anyways, bricks having 10%-50% deposits with no powdering can be a suitable option for general construction.
These were nine easy-to-use tricks of testing bricks quality. If you are patient enough to run all these tests, you can definitely get premium bricks for your sensitive construction work. Yet you can make an additional impact test to avoid waste of bricks during transport.
Hope you got all the information valuable. Please let us know below the comment section if you want us to add more ways on brick quality testing.
Writer: Nayeema Akter