The Vicat needle is used for the determination of setting time of mortar and cement paste, according to BS EN 196-4.
Mortar or cement are placed in a truncated cylinder of ebonite or other plastic material. The needle is left to touch the upper surface of the mortar and is left to fall under its own weight.
The test starts when the needle stops 3 mm away from the bottom of the cylinder and ends when the needle cannot penetrate more than 0.5 mm within the tested mortar or cement.
Access can be provided to individual researchers upon proper technical and health and safety training.