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Evaluation and improvement frost durability of clay bricks

Koroth, S.
Thesis, Ph.D. (Building), Concordia University, Centre for Building Studies, Supervisors: P. Fazio and D. Feldman

Koroth, S., (1997), Evaluation and improvement frost durability of clay bricks, Thesis, Ph.D. (Building), Concordia University, Centre for Building Studies, Supervisors: P. Fazio and D. Feldman.
In cold regions like Canada, frost action was reported to be the major cause of disintegration of brick veneer. Two approaches to ensure frost durability of clay bricks were studied in this research. One involved the evaluation of durability, while the other studied the improvement of durability through impregnation. In order to carry out these studies, three major objectives were set out for this research. They were: (1) to develop an index to evaluate frost durability, (2) to investigate the feasibility of using nondestructive methods to evaluate durability, and (3) to study the effect of impregnation with different materials on improving durability. It was intended in this research to develop a general durability index for clay bricks, irrespective of the manufacturing process adopted. The performance of the brick was studied using laboratory freeze-thaw test. As the time and facility requirements necessary for the unidirectional freezing test were beyond the constraints which existed in this research, an accelerated omnidirectional freeze-thaw test was used. This fact must be considered while interpreting the results from the freeze-thaw test. The study carried out to compare the performance of existing durability indices showed that they had limitations in reliably assessing durability. Therefore new durability indices were developed based on water absorption properties of bricks. These indices were found to overcome the limitations of existing indices. The feasibility study on nondestructive evaluation of durability was carried out using ultrasonic pulse velocity. New durability provisions were derived based on pulse velocity, using ASTM C216 specifications. At this stage it can be used only along with the ASTM method but it can avoid the time consuming ASTM procedure in many cases. Studies on impregnated bricks showed that there was a general shifting of pore sizes towards lower diameter region. Paraffin impregnated brick showed excellent freeze-thaw performance. The bond between brick and mortar was found to have been adversely affected due to impregnation. But more studies using brick wall component are recommended before final conclusions are drawn on brick-mortar bond strength. Paraffin was found to be the most cost effective among the impregnating materials studied.

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