Determination of water absorption and bulk density of all ceramic tiles


  • Oven – approx 110. able to maintain the temperature of0C
  • Balance – accurate to 0.01% of the mass of the test sample
  • water bath
  • desiccant
  • chamois leather
  • wire basket

test sample preparation

  • A test sample consists of 10 numbers of complete tiles. If the surface area of ​​the individual tile sample is 0.04m. More than2, then the number of tile samples in a sample can be reduced to 5.
  • When the mass of each individual tile is less than 50 g, take a sufficient number of tiles so that each test sample weighs 50 g to 100 g.
  • If the tile dimensions exceed 200mm, it can be cut, but include the cut pieces in the measurement.

Testing Process

  1. Bake the tiles in the oven at 110±5. dry on0c, until it attains a constant mass, that is, when the difference between two consecutive weights at 24 h intervals is less than 0.1%.
  2. Refrigerate the tiles in desiccators over the silica gel, until cooled to room temperature.
  3. Weigh each tile sample and record the weight of the individual test sample (ie M1) in the observation sheet.
  4. Place the tiles in the water bath vertically with no contact with the water so that there is a 50 mm water depth at the top and bottom of the tiles. Maintain the water level 50 mm above the tiles throughout the test.
  5. Heat the water until it comes to a boil and continue to boil for 2 hours. After 2 hours, turn off the heat source and allow the tiles to cool, still fully submerged in this water overnight.
  6. Remove the tiles from the water bath and remove the surface water from the pieces of tile from the chamois leather.
  7. Weigh each tile immediately and record the weight (ie m2) in the observation sheet.
  8. Now place the samples in a wire basket which is submerged in water and measure the weight of each sample to the nearest 0.01 g.


1. Water absorption

For each tile, calculate the water absorption in percentage (up to the first decimal place) of dry mass using the following formula.

Water absorption (%) = [(m2 – m1) / m1] * 100


m1 = mass of dry tile, g . In

m2 = mass of the wet tile, g . In

Calculate the average water absorption of the sample as the average of the individual result.

2. Bulk Density

Bulk Density (B), g/cm. In3, the ratio of the dry mass of a sample divided by the external volume, including pores. Calculate the bulk density of the tile as follows.

b = m 1 / v


B = bulk density of the tile, g/cm3

m1 = mass of dry tile, g

V = external volume, cm. In3, (M2 – M3)

m3 = mass of suspended tile impregnated by boiling water method g. In

Calculate the average bulk density of the sample as the average of the individual result.


The test report should include the following.

  • Description of tiles
  • Water absorption and bulk density of each tile sample
  • Water absorption and bulk density


IS: 13630 (Part-I)2) – Ceramic Tiles – Test Methods, Basis for Sampling and Acceptance [Part 2 – determination of water absorption & bulk density]

Er. Mukesh Kumar

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Er. Mukesh Kumar is Editor in Chief and Co-Funder at ProCivilEngineer.com Civil Engineering Website. Mukesh Kumar is a Bachelor in Civil Engineering From MIT. He has work experience in Highway Construction, Bridge Construction, Railway Steel Girder work, Under box culvert construction, Retaining wall construction. He was a lecturer in a Engineering college for more than 6 years.