Laboratory Tests and Raw Material Tests before Clay Brick Making

Click:107 Laboratory testsIf blocks have to satisfy an official standard, they will probably have to betested in a laboratory. These tests will need to be repeated periodically tomaintain quality control. Tests normally specify the sizes for blocks and theacceptable compressive strength - how much weight they can bear beforecrushing. For certain uses, such as damp-proof courses, water absorption or suction rate may also be specified.Raw material testsThe quality of block which can be made at a particular site is largelypredetermined by the type of soil available. There are some simple soil testswhich don't need very special equipment. In the sedimentation jar test, asample of soil is dissolved in a transparent jar of water. When the soilsettles you can get an idea of the fractions of clay, fine and coarse sand thatare present. Another test is the linear shrinkage test. A sample column ofwetted and mixed soil is pressed into a mould and allowed to dry. The shrinkageindicates how much clay there is in the soil and whether problems can beexpected when drying blocks. Soil test are useful indicators, but you reallyonly find out whether good blocks can be made by firing samples. Beforeinvesting in a full size kiln, however, it is possible to fire cubes or eggs of soil either in a laboratory kiln or a simple field oven.ConclusionThese guidelines will help field-workers judge the quality of blocks.Furthermore, if the information presented is used as a basis by those workingwith blockmakers, it will go some way to establishing an agreed approach toassessing the technical problems they face and proposing appropriate solutions.That is, solutions which make the best use of available resources: areaffordable, manageable, cost effective, and ultimately successful.

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