Physical Analysis of Building Materials

Physical Analysis of Building Materials

Physical analysis of building materials at Metalab has a wide array of library of tests. Physical tests lets us know the sustainability of material and estimate design life of a structure.

Cement is a popular binding material, is a very important civil engineering material. This article concerns the physical properties of cement. We analyse the materials precisely for parameters fineness by blaine air, soundness, compressive strength, consistency, setting time.

Bitumen and Asphalt substance produced through the distillation of crude oil that is known for its waterproofing and adhesive properties. Bitumen production through distillation removes lighter crude oil components, such as gasoline and diesel, leaving the “heavier” bitumen behind. The producer often refines it several times to improve its grade. Tests on bitumen are Penetration test, Ductility test, Softening point test, Specific gravity test, Viscosity test, Flash and Fire point test. For Asphalt Binder Content, Marshall Stability and Maximum Specific Gravity.

Aggregates and Fine Aggregates are the key components in concrete which contributes to the compressive strength. Physical analysis like grain size analysis, specific gravity, bulk density, water absorption for fine and coarse aggregates and aggregate impact value, aggregate abrasion value, aggregate crushing value, elongation and flakiness index for coarse aggregates.


Soil being a natural occurrence should be analysed so as know if the soil could support the structure the parameter tested are grain size analysis, specific gravity, CBR test, Optimum moisture content and maximum dry density, liquid limit, plastic limit, shrinkage limit, Cohesion value and angle of internal friction (ϕ).

AAC Blocks, Solid/Hollow Concrete Blocks, Bricks are the masonary units of the building which are analysed for dimension analysis, compressive strength, water absorption, efflorescence, dry density, drying shrinkage and thermal conductivity.

Marble, Granite and Tiles are the materials mainly used for flooring purpose in building, the granites are tested for parameters like water absorption, mohs hardness, modulus of rupture, breaking strength,

Concrete, is a composite material that consists essentially of a binding medium within which are embedded particles or fragments of aggregates, usually a combination of fine aggregates and coarse aggregates; in Portland-cement concrete, the binder is a mixture of a Portland-cement and water, with or without admixtures. In order to determine the quality of concrete on site, it shall undergo quality tests. Concrete undergo compressive strength test at 7 and 28 days, rapid chloride ion penetration test, and water penetration test.

Soil investigation must be undertaken to determine the bearing capacity of the soil, its settlement rate and the position of the water table. One of the easiest methods is to dig trial pits and visual inspections carried out then samples with minimum disturbance are collected for subsequent laboratory testing. Where possible, drilling should be undertaken as this enables one to obtain undisturbed samples from which settlement rate and bearing capacity may be obtained. For soils that loosen, such as sand and gravel, a plate-bearing test can be used to determine the bearing capacity of the soil insitu and designing of the static loads on spread footings. If the strength of the soil is not adequate for the increased loading, it is necessary to improve on the foundations by introducing piles or enlarging the footing and reinforcing it betters to sustain the increased loading.

Bituminous Design Mix aims to determine the proportion of bitumen, filler, fine aggregates, and coarse aggregates to produce a mix which is workable, strong, durable and economical.

Concrete Design Mix is the proportions for cement, water, aggregates, fine aggregates, admixtures in a manner to achieve desired compressive strength when tested after curing period.

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