Efflorescence on clay bricks masonry: towards a new test method.

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Efflorescence on clay bricks masonry used for veneer wall makes up a real problem appearing frequently just after the building implementation. Even if it affects only the aesthetic of the building, their baneful consequences are however indisputable both on the economical point and the quality concept in the building art. Except some intern laboratory procedures, there aren't any normalized test methods at the European level that take at the same time the clay brick and its mortar into account in the displaying of the efflorescence phenomenon. Now, most of the efflorescence's studies show that the interaction between these two elements is responsible for the efflorescence apparition. In Belgium, the national norm tests only the brick sensibility without evaluated the exchanges with the hydraulic binders material. In this article, an efflorescence test responding to these exigencies is presented. This test is the result of a research based on the understanding of the efflorescent salts apparition mechanism and the reproduction of this mechanism on laboratory samples. This reproduction has been done thanks to the precise determination of each parameter defining the different phases of this salts apparition mechanism: implementation, curing, humidification and drying. Collated to a great number of real cases, the test is now under validation. The research, of which the goal is to present an efflorescence test in a new evaluation method of the brick/mortar assembly eventually normalizable at the European level in order to complete test method on masonry norm, proceeds from collaboration between the Belgian Building Research Institute and the Belgian Ceramic Research Centre.