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Porosity measurements of some brick samples collected in Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu.


The five brick samples collected from Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu at the Sankarabarani riverbed area were studied to correlate the percentage of the porosity values. The sites are different locations topographically. In Sankarabarani the samples are MMB, TNB, VPB, SPB and MCB are taken for in this present study. Bricks are made of clay particles of different types and sizes. The space between particles is called pore space. Pore space determines the amount of water that a given volume of brick sample can hold. Porosity is the percentage of the total volume of brick samples that consist of pore space. This is important measurement in areas where drinking water is provided by groundwater reserves.

The present study reveals the measurements of percentage of porosity of the different brick samples using standard water absorption methods in the received state. The observed data are listed in the Table 1.


The density or porosity affects a number of the properties of the brick but probably the most important effect is its strength (Davis and Walther, 1964). Porous bricks are mechanically weak. Brick with the lowest porosity has the greatest strength, thermal conductivity and heating capacity.


The brick samples were collected and cut in a small piece. A small piece is enough to find out the porosity. But water absorption method the percentage of porosity of the samples were calculated by using the formula given below (Maniatis et al., 1947); Sankaran and Ramasamy (1993); Sajeev (1996), Palanivel and Velraj (2003).

Percentage of porosity = Volume of Pores/Volume of the sample X 100.

The porosity values and class of the Bricks are presented in the Table1.


The five brick samples taken from Sankarabarani riverbed different locations are described with their name, colour and porosity values in Table 1.

The measurements of porosity values of brick samples are used to identify the quality of brick we have reported that the porosity values for bricks generally lie in the range between 38.16% and 69.31%. It is stated the range of porosity values can also reveal the particle size and the composition of the clay minerals of the bricks. The five samples viz. MMB, TNB, VPB, SPB and MCB from Sankarabarani riverbed are having porosity values 42.14, 43.64, 38.16, 69.31 and 54.92 respectively. The differences in the porosity values indicate the presence of larger void space and the particle size of the clay in the samples.

The low values of porosity for the samples indicate that they are made up of fine particles.


The results of this investigation demonstrate the following:

Recent studies made by structural clay and manufactures have shown that uniform shaped high strength brick can be constructed at least porosity value bricks.

Of the five samples investigated, VPB carries the lowest percentage of porosity 38.16% which of course has the maximum strength as confirmed by manufacturer.

The difference in strength of these samples, as understood from the opinion of the artisans is not much appreciable. But it is definitely lower than the strength of the previous sample of porosity value 38.16.

Porosity measurement alone normally cannot indicate the strength of the brick. Since other factors such as compressive strength, flexural strength, shrinkage, water absorption etc., have also to be taken in to consideration.


1. Davies and Walther. March 1964. Journal of the American Ceramic Society. Vol. 47 (No.3) March 1964.

2. Maniatis, Y., Simopoulaous, A., Jones, R.E., Karakalos, Ch. II Whitbread, I.K.; Williams, C.K. II and Kostikas, A. 1984. Journal of Field Archaelogy 11: 205-222.

3. Palanivel, R. and Velaraj, G. 2003. Journal of Curr. Sci. 3 (1); 63-66.

4. Sankaran, S. and Ramasamy, K. 1993. Asian Journal of Physics, 157-160.

5. Sajeev, S.V.1996. "Infrared Spectroscopic and Magnetic studies of some Archaeological sites in South India", Ph.D. Thesis. 1996. Department of Physics, Annamalai University India.

B. Rajamannan *, M. Balachandramohan, and G. Viruthagiri Department of Physics, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar--608 002, India * Corresponding author
Table 1. Percentage of porosity values of brick samples collected
from Sankarabarani riverbed, Villupuram District, Tamil Nadu.

Sample name Colour % of porosity

MMB Red ware 42.14
TNB Red ware 43.64
VPB Red ware 38.16
SPB Red ware 69.31
MCB Red ware 54.92
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Author:Rajamannan, B.; Balachandramohan, M.; Viruthagiri, G.
Publication:Bulletin of Pure & Applied Sciences-Geology
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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