Ana S. Guimaraes

  • This work presents an extensive experimental characterisation of two different ceramic brick blocks with different interface, at different heights, during the drying process. First, a laboratory characterization of the building material used (ceramic bricks and different mortars) is presented, showing their hygrothermal, mechanical and thermal properties, namely, bulk porosity and density, water vapour permeability, capillary absorption, retention curve, moisture diffusivity as a function of moisture content and thermal conductivity. Moreover, the moisture transfer in multi-layered systems was analysed in detail taking into account the interface contact between the building elements.

  • The knowledge of moisture migration inside building materials and construction building components is decisive for the way they behave when in use. The durability, waterproofing, degrading aspect and thermal behaviour of these materials are strongly influenced by the existence of moisture within their interior, which provoke changes in their normal performance, something that is normally hard to predict. Due to the awareness of this problem, the scientific community have per-formed various studies about the existence of moisture inside porous materials. The complex aspects of moisture migration phenomenon tended to encompass monolithic building elements, since the existence of joints or layers contributes to the change of moisture transfer along the respective building element that contribute to the change of mass transfer law. The presentation of an experimental analyses concerning moisture transfer in the interface of material that makes up masonry is described in such a way as to evaluate the durability and/or avoid building damages.

    In this work it was analysed, during the wetting process, the influence of different types of interface, commonly observed in masonry, such as: perfect con-tact, joints of cement mortar, lime mortar, and the air space interface. The results allow the calculation of the hygric resistance. With these results, it is possible to use any advanced hygrothermal simulation program to study the water transport in building elements, considering different interfaces and their hygric resistance.

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