ASTM C1794 - 19

    Standard Test Methods for Determination of the Water Absorption Coefficient by Partial Immersion

    Active Standard ASTM C1794 | Developed by Subcommittee: C16.33

    Book of Standards Volume: 04.06


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 The purpose of these tests is to obtain, by means of simple apparatus, reliable and easy to determine values of liquid water transport for capillary active materials expressed in suitable units. These values are for use as part of the material properties in hygrothermal analysis tools for building envelope design and forensic studies. As the topic of liquid transport phenomena in porous materials is very complex, Appendix X1 in ISO 15148 shows some more detailed background information.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method defines a procedure to determine the water absorption coefficient of a material by partial submersion. The scope is to evaluate the rate of absorption of water due to capillary forces for building materials in contact with normal or driving rain above grade. The procedure is typically suitable mainly for masonry material, plaster, or a coating in combination with a substrate; but it can also be used for insulation materials. This test method is designed to be used only on homogeneous materials and does not apply to materials that are composites or non-homogeneous (for example, Faced Rigid Closed-cell Insulation). It is not within the scope of this standard to determine liquid uptake phenomena in below-grade applications. The water absorption coefficient is mainly used as an input datum for numerical simulation of the combined heat and moisture transport in building envelopes for design and forensic investigation purposes.

    1.2 The values stated in either SI units or inch-pound units are to be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system are not necessarily exact equivalents; therefore, to ensure conformance with the standard, each system shall be used independently of the other, and values from the two systems shall not be combined. However, derived results can be converted from one system to the other using appropriate conversion factors (see Table 1).

    1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.4 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    C168 Terminology Relating to Thermal Insulation


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 91.100.01 (Construction materials)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard
    Link Here
    Link to Active (This link will always route to the current Active version of the standard.)

    DOI: 10.1520/C1794-19

    Citation Format

    ASTM C1794-19, Standard Test Methods for Determination of the Water Absorption Coefficient by Partial Immersion, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2019, www.astm.org

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