brick test

7 Brick Test | Tests on Bricks | Testing of Bricks | Brick Quality Check Test

7 Different Types of Tests on Bricks

Brick is the oldest and most extensively used construction material. Bricks are popular construction materials because of their local and cheap availability, strength, durability, reliability, and insulating properties against heat and sound.

Brick has a rectangular shape mostly used in building construction. Bricks are manufactured by molding mass of suitably proportioned earth in timber or steel molds.

The brick prepared from mold is allowed to dry first and then burnt in kilns designed for the purpose. Most of the standard brick has a rectangular shape and of such proportion that the length is generally twice the width plus the thickness of the mortar joint.

Brick thickness is less than or at the most equal to the width of the brick. The standard size of brick is such that it can be easily lifted and handled with one hand. They do not require any lifting appliances.

Various Tests of Bricks are as Follows,

  1. Water absorption test
  2. Crushing strength test
  3. Hardness test
  4. Shape and size test
  5. Soundness test
  6. Test for the presence of soluble salts.

Read More: Fly Ash Bricks vs Red Bricks – Which is Better?

1. Water Absorption Test of Bricks

Water absorption test for bricks can be performed by using two methods,

(i) 24-hour immersion cold water test

(ii) 5-hour boiling water test

Water Absorption Test of Bricks
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24-hour Immersion Cold Water Brick Test:

  • The dry specimen is put in an oven maintained at a temperature of 105 to 115o C, till it attains substantially constant mass.
  • After cooling the specimen at room temperature weight of the specimen was recorded as W1.
  • The dry specimen is then immersed completely in the water at a temperature of 27 ± 2o C for 24 hours.
  • Take out specimens from the water and wipe all water from its surface with a wet cloth.
  • Complete weighing of the specimen, 3 minutes after the specimen has been removed from the water.
  • Let this weight be W2.
  • Water absorption  after 24 hours of immersion in cold water is given by
  • (W2 – W1) x 100 / W1

5-hour Boiling Water Brick Test:

  • The brick sample is dried in an oven at 105 to 115o C till it attains constant mass.
  • Cool the brick sample at room temperature and record its weight (W1).
  • The brick is immersed in boiling water for 5 hours.
  • With brick immersed in water is allowed to cool at 27 ± 2o C.
  • The brick sample is taken out and wiped with a damp cloth.
  • Complete the weighing of the specimen in three minutes. Let it be W3.
  • Water absorption, percent by mass, is given by (W3 – W1) x 100 / W1

Read More: AAC Block – Manufacturing Process (AAC Blocks Vs Red Bricks)

2. Efflorescence Test

  • Soluble salt available in brick causes efflorescence. The presence of such salts can be determined as follows.
  • Place one end of the bricks in a 25 mm depth of water in a dish with a minimum diameter of 150 mm and depth of 30 mm.
  • The dish is made of porcelain, glass, or of glazed stonework.
  • The experiment is performed in a well-ventilated room between 20 to 30 degrees C till all the water in the dish is either absorbed by the specimen or evaporated.
  • After the specimen has dried, add a similar quantity of water to the dish and let it be absorbed by the specimen for efflorescence after the second evaporation.
 Efflorescence Test
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Efflorescence in brick is denoted by nil, slight, moderate, heavy, or serious as defined below:

Nil: When a salt deposit is imperceptible, then it is said to be Nil.

Slight: When efflorescence does not cover more than 10% of the exposed area of the bricks, it is said to be slight.

Moderate: When the deposit of efflorescence is heavier than slight and does not cover more than 50 percent of the exposed area of the brick surface. There should not be powder or flake on the brick-exposed surfaces.

Heavy: When the deposit covers an area of 50 percent or more of the exposed area of the brick surface. Then it is said to be efflorescence salts are heavy. There should not powder or be flaking of the brick-exposed surfaces.

Serious:  efflorescence is said to be serious when there is powdering or flaking of salt on the exposed surface of bricks.

Read More: Brick Work Calculation Excel Sheet

3. Compressive Test on Brick

Compressive strength test of brick
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  • For this test well brunt clay brick is selected.
  • The top and bottom faces of bricks are ground to provide a smooth and even surface for the test.
  • The brick sample is then placed in water at room temperature.
  • Clean top flogs of brick and fills them with cement mortar (1 part cement and 1 part clean coarse sand of grade 3 mm and down), store under damp jute bags for 24 hours, and then immerse in clean water for 3 days.
  • Take out the brick sample and clean the extra water from the surface.
  • Place brick sample between two plywood sheets, each 3 mm thick, with flat faces horizontal and mortar-filled faces facing upwards.
  • The brick sample between plywood sheets is carefully set in the center of the compression testing machine.
  • Fix the gauge of the machine and tighten it and start applying the axial load at a uniform rate of 140 kg/cm2 per minute till failure.
  • The maximum load on the dial gauge at the failure of the brick sample is noted.

Compressive strength =  maximum load at failure/ Base are of Brick.

Read More: Soundness Test of Cement – Procedure and Results

4. Hardness Test on Brick

Hardness Test of Bricks
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The Hardness Test of Brick can be judged with the help of the scratch of the fingernail. Try to scratch the figure on the brick, if no scratch is left on the surface of the brick, it is considered to be having sufficient hardness.

6. Shape and Size Test

7 Brick Test | Tests on Bricks | Testing of Bricks | Brick Quality Check Test
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The shape of bricks should be truly rectangular and should have standard sizes per the relative code of regulation.

7. Soundness Brick Test

Hardness test of Bricks
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A soundness brick test is conducted by striking two bricks together. The striking of brick should emit a ringing sound. It can be tested by the fall of brick. A good quality brick should not break, when made to fall flat on hard ground, from a height of about 1 m.


In conclusion the 7 brick test serves as a comprehensive and reliable method for evaluating the durability of brick and quality of brick, this test which include dimension, compressive strength, efflorescence, soundness, hardness, presence of soluble salts and water absorption.

By Subjecting the bricks to this rigorous examinations, engineers and builders can make informed decision regarding their usage, ensuring and the safety and longevity of structure.


What are fly ash bricks and red bricks?

Fly ash bricks are made from a combination of fly ash (a byproduct of coal combustion) and cement, while red bricks are traditionally made from clay.

Are fly ash bricks stronger than red bricks?

In terms of strength, both fly ash bricks and red bricks can be comparable, depending on their quality and manufacturing process.

Which type of brick is more cost-effective?

Fly ash bricks are generally more cost-effective than red bricks because fly ash is a waste material and is often available at a lower cost than clay.

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