SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2002

Thermal Conductivity and Moisture Measurements on Masonry Materials


A program of work involving measurement of moisture transport properties coupled with guarded hot plate thermal conductivity of some typical masonry materials containing different amounts of moisture has been carried out in support of a large European Union investigation involving the thermal performance of masonry walls. The basic property data were required to assist in both the verification of different hot-box methods and in the development and verification of a simple model that could be used to estimate the thermal performance of moist masonry walls with typical moisture contents.

The five materials studied were an aerated concrete, a high-density hollow concrete block, a hollow clay block and two mortars of widely different density. Measurements were carried out by a number of thermal conductivity laboratories in accordance with appropriate ISO and CEN standards on each material in the dry state and conditioned at 23°C/50%RH and 23°C/90%RH. In addition the moisture absorption/desorption and the water vapor permeability were measured for each material.

The results are discussed with respect to their use and value to the overall program and to previous work on masonry materials. In particular the validity of previous relationships for thermal conductivity with density and for the effects of moisture are also discussed.

Author Information

Salmon, DR
Thermal Metrology Team, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middx., UK
Williams, RG
Thermal Metrology Team, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middx., UK
Tye, RP
National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middx., UK
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Developed by Committee: C16
Pages: 58–75
DOI: 10.1520/STP11005S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5469-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2898-9