Research Associate Marissa Bartz adding water to the Rilem tube.

This test is used to determine the absorptivity of materials by measuring the length of time it takes a material to soak up 1 mL of water. We frequently use the Rilem test to examine how quickly building materials will absorb water/moisture.  Running the test requires a specifically designed graduated tube temporarily sealed to the surface of the material with a putty, as well as water and a timer.  The resulting data are reported as mL water absorbed by unit of time (either minute or second).

This test has been used in the anti-salt efflorescence coating study and during the examination of the effects of alternative herbicides on building materials.

Example table and graph to report Rilem absorption data.


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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119