A brief study has been carried out on the effect of temperature on brick suction or initial rate of absorption (IRA), which is a factor in determining the amount of water extracted from mortar placed between bricks. This is important during cold weather construction when the amount of water extracted determines the pore space available for expansive forces if the remaining water freezes at an early age.
The study included extruded clay and shale, dry-press clay, sandlime, and concrete bricks selected to include a range of control IRA (suction) values. Values were determined at 20, 10, −1.5, and −10°C with water at 20°C and at 20°C with water at 10°C.
Results indicate a small reduction in suction with dropping temperature for low absorption bricks and a substantial drop for high absorption extruded and dry-press clay bricks at temperatures below 0°C. It is concluded that bricks should be at temperatures above 0°C to ensure maximum potential for reducing the moisture content of mortar during winter construction.
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