A variety of materials are used in construction, including brick, stone, plaster, mortar and concrete. They all interact with moisture in the air, with water adsorbing or diffusing through their pores.
Characterizing the behavior of water in building materials is fundamental to understanding their interaction with the environment. Water also plays an important role in degradation processes such as crack formation and the chemical attack of concrete and cement by chlorides and sulfates. Differences in the sorption and water transport properties of different materials can therefore be used to help explain or predict their performance over time.
Both equilibria and kinetics can be studied by measuring water uptake gravimetrically, as a function of time, temperature and relative humidity (RH). The IGAsorp and IGAsorp-CT can accurately determine weight change under atmospheric pressure but at different RHs. The isothermal uptake can be determined at temperatures up to 85°C and drying can be performed up to 350°C. Furthermore, water sorption can be measured from vacuum up to the saturated vapor pressure using the IGA-002.