Carbide moisture test

Unlike electronic instruments, carbide moisture kits, also known as calcium carbide meters or Speedy moisture testers, are used in damp surveys to measure the moisture content in materials, most commonly in building materials like concrete, wood, and plaster. They help identify the moisture content in the material obtained from the inside of the structure, such as walls or floors.

The carbide moisture kit involves a chemical reaction between calcium carbide and moisture in a material sample. The reaction produces acetylene gas, whose pressure correlates with the moisture content.

A sample of the material under investigation is placed inside the pressure vessel of the meter, and calcium carbide is added. When the vessel is sealed and shaken, any moisture present in the sample reacts with the calcium carbide to produce acetylene gas.

A pressure gauge measures the pressure of the gas within the vessel, and this reading is used to determine the sample’s moisture content, usually expressed as a percentage of the dry weight of the sample.

Carbide moisture meters provide accurate and reliable measurements, which are crucial for correctly diagnosing damp problems. The results are obtained quickly, often within minutes, allowing for efficient dampness assessment across different building parts. These kits can be used on a wide range of building materials, making them suitable for comprehensive damp surveys in various types of constructions.

During a damp survey, various points and materials within a building can be tested to identify areas with elevated moisture content. Combined with the other tests, this can help pinpoint the potential dampness source.