Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 391, Issue 4, pp 1343–1350 | Cite as

Investigating morphological changes in treated vs. untreated stone building materials by x-ray micro-CT

  • Simone Bugani
  • Mara CamaitiEmail author
  • Luciano Morselli
  • Elke Van de Casteele
  • Koen Janssens
Original Paper


Calcareous stones have been largely used to build historical buildings. Among these, the calcarenites are usually characterized by a high content of calcite and a high open porosity, which make them very sensitive to the weathering caused by physical and chemical agents. In order to prevent their deterioration and to retard their decay, different protective products—mainly polymers—are applied on the stone artefact surfaces. In this work we apply the methodology tested in a preliminary study to investigate the morphological changes of the internal structure of a biocalcarenite (Lecce stone) by micro x-ray computed tomography (μ-CT). The porosity and other morphological parameters of the rock before and after the conservation treatment were calculated on a significant number of samples. The Student’s t test was applied for statistical comparison. The results reveal that the treatment with Paraloid B72 (PB 72) is homogenously distributed and causes small changes to the natural properties of the rock, whereas the application of a fluoroelastomer (NH) causes an appreciable decrease in porosity and variation in terms of wall thickness distribution, probably resulting from its inhomogeneous distribution.


Porosity and other morphological parameters of Lecce stone were investigated by μ-CT: the effect of conservation treatment with fluoroelastomer on wall thickness distribution is illustrated


Cultural heritage Stone conservation Calcarenite Porosity Morphological parameters Protective treatments μ-CT 



The authors wish to thank the ATHENA project (Contract MEST-CT 2004 – 504067) within Marie Curie Actions for funding part of Simone Bugani’s PhD project and Dr. Olivieri for linguistic consulting.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simone Bugani
    • 1
  • Mara Camaiti
    • 2
    Email author
  • Luciano Morselli
    • 1
  • Elke Van de Casteele
    • 3
  • Koen Janssens
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Industrial Chemistry and MaterialsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Conservation and Enhancement of Cultural HeritageNational Research CouncilSesto Fiorentino (Fi)Italy
  3. 3.SkyScan N.V.KontichBelgium
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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