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Wetenschappelijk en Technisch Centrum voor het Bouwbedrijf


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Frost Resistance of Clay Masonry Units: In-Depth Experimental Study of the European Method.

In June 2006 a European method for the determination of the frost resistance was published as CEN/TS 722-22. In order to evaluate its severity compared to the Belgian method, considered as suitable for our climate, BBRI started an experimental research program in collaboration with BCRC. A detailed parametric study (impregnation level, number of cycles, water spraying...) was performed on a dozen of brick types. The temperatures in the bricks were followed showing fundamental differences, mainly distinguished by freeze-thaw cycling over the complete thickness for the Belgian method contrary to superficial cycling for the European method while the underlying thickness remains frozen. To evaluate the severity, quantitative methods as the measurement of the loss of dynamic elasticity modulus and cohesion strength were applied. We can conclude that the Belgian method is more severe than the European one. Since the European method shows interesting advantages (masonry walls allowing testing mortars or surface treatments, superficial cycling) further work is planned in optimizing on one hand the principles of the test (uniformity of thawing, ease of fabrication and inspection ...) and on the other hand parameters related to the severity (impregnation level, number of cycles ...) in order to simulate different climatic regions.


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Smits (A.)
Gregoire (Y.)
Tirlocq (J.)
Lefort (V.)
Andre (S.)

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