Skip to main content Skip to main menu Skip to footer


How do you test building materials?

Depending on the material and application, there are various ways to perform building material testing. Some standard methods include destructive methods, non-destructive options, and accelerated methods. 

For instance, destructive processes involve destroying a material sample to see how it behaves. This method often helps to evaluate the strength of a material. 

Nondestructive testing is a less destructive building material testing alternative that uses various methods to assess a material’s condition without damaging it. This testing is typically used to check for cracks, corrosion, and other defects. 

There are several other construction materials surveys you should know when to use. While there are somewhere around 30, you can group them into a few general categories. 

Construction Materials Strength Assessments

There are a variety of ways to determine the strength of construction materials, whether in the field or the building material testing lab. One common practice is to use a compression machine. This machine applies pressure to a material to see how much force it can withstand before it breaks.

Another common way to verify material strength is with a tensile machine. This machine measures the amount of force required to pull a material apart. This is often used to confirm the strength of cables, ropes, and other materials subjected to tension.

By reviewing the results of building materials testing processes, builders can ensure that their projects are safe and structurally sound. This is especially important for high-risk projects, such as bridges and skyscrapers.

Sizing and Composition Examinations

Construction composition reviews are essential for ensuring construction projects’ quality and safety. By administering construction composition tests, construction professionals can identify potential problems with the construction project before they become too costly or hazardous to fix.

Composition tests, sieve experiments, and other materials reporting standards can help determine the materials used in a concrete blend, how much clay is in the building material, and other particle size analyses. 

Impact and Abrasion Testing Procedures

Regarding confirming a material’s durability, two of the most critical factors for building material testing are impact and abrasion. 

Impact testing determines how well a material can withstand a sudden force, while abrasion examinations measure how well a material can withstand being scratched or rubbed. Abrasion can even refer to erosive processes that occur over time. 

Field Observations and Reviews (CBR and Density Testing)

Field CBR (compaction ratio) building material testing determines the optimum compaction level for a soil blend. It is also used to assess the ability of soil to resist permanent deformation. The CBR method is one in which a cylindrical soil specimen is subjected to a static load until failure.

Testing for Permeability and Moisture Content

Permeability and moisture content reviews are important aspects of building material testing. They’re used to determine how easily fluids can pass through a material. This information is vital for many reasons, including the design of filters, the development of coatings, and the study of flow in porous media.

There are several methods for performing permeability tests. The most common is the steady-state method, which measures the flow rate of fluid flow through a material under steady-state conditions. However, the transient process is also widely used and measures the flow rate of fluid flow through a material under temporary conditions. 

ForneyVault Can Help You Learn More About Material Testing and CMT Software

With so many different examination types, procedures, and measurement standards, it’s helpful to eliminate redundancies and human error from your general review processes. ForneyVault offers comprehensive CMT software that you can use in building materials testing laboratories to help mitigate error, reduce variance, and streamline testing for smoother development. So, get started and contact us today. 

Want more like this? Join our mailing list for monthly content.