Advertisement

Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 72, Issue 6, pp 1789–1799 | Cite as

Alteration kinetics of natural stones due to sodium sulfate crystallization: can reality match experimental simulations?

  • Teresa Diaz GonçalvesEmail author
  • Vânia Brito
Original Article

Abstract

Salt decay is a very destructive mechanism that affects frequently the porous building materials of our architectural heritage. Sodium sulfate is one of the salts found in this context. It usually demonstrates high destructive power in salt crystallization tests because it can crystallize not only during evaporative processes but also when the temperature drops or when the salt solution comes into contact with pre-existing crystals. However, the use of extreme temperatures or successive wet/dry cycles also makes these tests unrepresentative of reality. To verify whether sodium sulfate can also be so destructive in field conditions, we have performed crystallization tests consisting of a single isothermal drying event. Three natural stones, relevant for the architectural heritage, were used for the purpose: Bentheimer sandstone, Ançã limestone, and a current Portuguese limestone of low porosity. The stones gave rise to distinct salt decay patterns: efflorescence, multilayer delamination and unilayer delamination, respectively. These morphological alterations were characterized at the micrometer scale by a new method based on what we have called the alteration kinetics curve. Such curve is calculated from topographic profiles obtained by a non-contact optical technique. The multilayer and unilayer delamination decay were also monitored by time-lapse photography. The work led us to conclude that sodium sulfate can indeed be also very destructive in field-representative conditions. Moreover, it showed that the optical method can be a valuable aid in the development of more realistic salt crystallization tests.

Keywords

Architectural heritage Salt decay Salt crystallization Sodium sulfate Natural stone Optical profilometry 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work was performed under the research project DRYMASS (ref. PTDC/ECM/100553/2008) which is supported by national funds through the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) and the Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil (LNEC). We are grateful to Tiago Enes Dias for carrying out the time-lapse photography. We would like to acknowledge also the contributions, in different aspects of the work, of Silvia Pereira, José Delgado Rodrigues, Veerle Cnudde, Timo G. Nijland, Manuel Francisco Pereira, Leo Pel, João Palma, Luís Nunes, José Costa and Graça Tomé.

Supplementary material

12665_2014_3085_MOESM1_ESM.avi (28.7 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (AVI 29388 kb)
12665_2014_3085_MOESM2_ESM.avi (69.3 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (AVI 70933 kb)

Supplementary material 3 (MP4 10040 kb)

12665_2014_3085_MOESM4_ESM.avi (59.4 mb)
Supplementary material 4 (AVI 60800 kb)

Supplementary material 5 (MP4 7916 kb)

Supplementary material 6 (MP4 4058 kb)

References

  1. Alonso FJ, Ordaz J, Valdeon L, Esbert RM (1987) Revisión crítica del ensayo de cristalización de sales (Critical review of salt crystallization tests). Materiales de Construcción 206:53–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Arnold A, Zehnder K (1989) Salt weathering on monuments. In: Zezza F (ed) Proc. 1st int. symposium on the conservation of monuments in the Mediterranean Basin, Bari, pp 31–58Google Scholar
  3. ASTM International (2004) Standard test method for determination of pore volume and pore volume distribution of soil and rock by mercury intrusion porosimetry. ASTM D 4404-84Google Scholar
  4. Brito V, Diaz Gonçalves T (2013) Drying kinetics of porous stones in the presence of NaCl and NaNO3: experimental assessment of the factors affecting liquid and vapour transport. Transp Porous Media 100(2):193–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. CEN (1999) Natural stone test methods. Determination of resistance to salt crystallization. EN 12370Google Scholar
  6. Chatterji S, Jensen AD (1989) Efflorescence and breakdown of building materials. Nordic Concrete Resh 8:56–61Google Scholar
  7. CRC (1985) Handbook of chemistry and physics. In: Weast RC (ed) CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  8. Dautriat J, Gland N, Guelard J, Dimanov A, Raphanel JL (2009) Axial and radial permeability evolutions in compressed sandstone: end effects and shear-band induced permeability anisotropy. Pure appl Geophys 166:1037–1061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Diaz Gonçalves T (2007) Salt crystallization in plastered or rendered walls. PhD Thesis, LNEC and Instituto Superior Técnico (IST). Available at http://www-ext.lnec.pt/LNEC/bibliografia/DM/TG_PhDthesisMar2008.pdf
  10. Diaz Gonçalves T, Rodrigues JD, Abreu MM, Esteves AM, Santos Silva A (2006) Causes of salt decay and repair of plasters and renders of five historic buildings in Portugal. In: proc. conference heritage, weathering and conservation, Madrid, Instituto de Geologia Económica (CSIC-UCM), vol 1. Balkema, Madrid, pp 273–284Google Scholar
  11. Diaz Gonçalves T, Pel L, Delgado Rodrigues J (2007) Drying of salt contaminated masonry: MRI laboratory monitoring. Environ Geol 52:293–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Doehne E, Selwitz C, Carson DM (2002) The damage mechanism of sodium sulfate in porous stone. In: Simon S, Drdácký M (eds) proc. SALTeXPERT Meeting, Prague, European research on cultural heritage. State-of-the-art studies, vol 5, 2006:127–160Google Scholar
  13. Goudie A, Viles H (1997) Salt Weathering Hazard. John Wiley & Sons, UKGoogle Scholar
  14. Greenspan L (1977) Humidity fixed points of binary saturated aqueous solutions. J Res Nat Bur Stand-A Phys Chem 1:89–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hall C, Hoff WD (2012) Water transport in brick, stone and concrete, 2nd edn. Taylor and Francis, London and New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Hamilton A, Menzies RI (2010) Raman spectra of mirabilite, Na2SO4·10H2O and the rediscovered metastable heptahydrate, Na2SO4·7H2O. J Raman Spectrosc 41:1014–1020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. ISCS–ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Stone (2008) Illustrated glossary on stone deterioration patterns. Glossaire illustré sur les formes d’altération de la pierre. ISBN 978-2-918086-00-0. Retrieved 16 July 2013 at http://www.icomos.org/en/what-we-do/disseminating-knowledge/publicationall/monuments-and-sites/116-english-categories/resources/publications/261-monumentsasites-xv
  18. Linnow K, Zeunert A, Steiger M (2006) Investigation of sodium sulfate phase transitions in a porous material using humidity-and-temperature-controlled X-ray diffraction. Anal Chem 78:4683–4689CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Pel L, Saidov T (2013) The thermodynamic and poromechanic crystallization pressure of sodium sulfate heptahydrate: an NMR Study. Poromechanics V, 782–789. doi: 10.1061/9780784412992.094
  20. Price C, Brimblecombe P (1994) Preventing salt damage in porous materials. In: Roy A, Smith P (eds) Preprints of the contributions to the ottawa congress preventive conservation: practice, theory and research. International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, London, pp 90–93Google Scholar
  21. RILEM TC 25-PEM (1980) Recommended tests to measure the deterioration of stone and to assess the effectiveness of treatment methods. Mater Struct 13:195–197Google Scholar
  22. Rodriguez-Navarro C, Doehne E (1999) Salt weathering: influence of evaporation rate, supersaturation and crystallization pattern. Earth Surf Proc Land 24:191–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rodriguez-Navarro C, Doehne E, Sebastián E (2000) How does sodium sulfate crystallize? Implications for the decay and testing of building materials. Cement Concrete Res 30:1527–1534CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ruiz-Agudo E, Mees F, Jacobs P, Rodriguez-Navarro C (2007) The role of saline solution properties on porous limestone salt weathering by magnesium and sodium sulfates. Environ Geol 52:269–281CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Saidov TA, Shahidzadeh N, Pel L (2013) Crystallization of sodium sulfate on hydrophilic/hydrophobic surfaces during drying: an NMR study. Europhys Lett 102:28003. doi: 10.1209/0295-5075/102/28003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Schaffer RJ (1932) The weathering of natural building stones. London, His Majesty’s Stationery Office. Building Research Special Report 18. Reprinted, with slight amendments, 1933Google Scholar
  27. Taylor Hobson (2009) Talysurf Cli 1000 operator’s handbook. Revision 26, Software version 2.7Google Scholar
  28. Thury H (1828) Sur le procédé proposé par M. Brard pour reconnaître immédiatement les pierres qui ne peuvent pas résister a la gelée (…) (On the procedure proposed by M. Brard for recognizing immediately the stones that cannot resist icing (…)). Annales de Chimie et de Physique 38:160–192Google Scholar
  29. Zehnder K (2007) Long-term monitoring of wall paintings affected by soluble salts. Environ Geol 52:353–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Laboratory for Civil EngineeringLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations