Materials and Structures

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1265–1271 | Cite as

Porosity–density relations in stone and brick materials

  • Christopher HallEmail author
  • Andrea Hamilton
Original Article


The open porosity of a specimen of stone or brick material is often measured using a gravimetric method based on Archimedes’ principle. This widely used technique also allows both the bulk density and the solid density of the specimen to be determined, although the solid density is not often reported. We discuss the relation between the porosity and density, both for single specimens and for groups of specimens of similar materials, using for illustration data on limestones, sandstones and fired-clay bricks. The significance of the solid density can be overlooked but it is informative both as a material property and as a method of identifying errors in data. We emphasize how the solid density depends on mineralogy and on closed porosity.


Porosity Density Fired-clay brick Limestone Sandstone 



We thank Maurice Rogers for drawing our attention to the data contained in the BRE stone list, and for useful discussions on British sandstones; Tim Yates (BRE) for providing new data on Ancaster limestone and information on test procedures; and Vicky Pugsley and Isobel Griffin for unpublished data.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EngineeringUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of StrathclydeGlasgowUK

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