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Measurement and identification of the main variables related to the moisture expansion of ceramic tiles

Abstract

Moisture expansion is characterized by the increase of dimensions of ceramic bodies when they take contact with water - liquid or gas. The phenomenon may contribute to the development of pathologies in ceramic tiles, as glaze cracking and detachment from facades after their installation. Moisture expansion has been studied since the beginning of the last century and the performed studies have supported the current standards. However, there are several disagreements related to the procedures of measurement, in terms of the quantification of the expansion and of methodology of accelerated hydration to be used to predict the future expansions. For this reason, the project of research will intend to contribute to improve the methodologies of evaluation of moisture expansion in ceramic tiles, as well to identify the main variables responsible for the moisture expansion in the current ceramic tiles produced in the country. It will be collected samples from different commercial ceramic tiles destined to cover external facades. The moisture expansion of the samples will be characterized by some different procedures in laboratory, considering changes in the procedures of hydration and quantification of the expansion. Simultaneously, the microstructure of the selected products will be characterized to the identification of the factors responsible for the moisture expansion. The better comprehension about the moisture expansion of ceramic tiles and the identification of the methods of measurement able to predict the potential moisture expansion of these tiles can generate fundamental knowledge to the improvement of the studies of pathologies related to the moisture expansion. Consequently, the project will intend to contribute to increase the technical quality and the methodologies of evaluation of performance of the ceramic tiles produced in Brazil. (AU)