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Building stones durability by UVA radiation, moisture and spray accelerated weathering


Photodegradation is the alteration of the materials due to exposure to sunlight. This phenomenon is evident in paint, ink, pharmaceuticals and polymers. In polymers, photodegradation is caused by ultraviolet radiation (300–400 nm), which activates the breaking of C-C bonds and the formation of hydroperoxides, thermolabile substances. Although to a lesser extent, photodegradation also affects more resistant materials such as building stones. In these, it causes a change of color and luminosity due to the oxidation of organic matter or to the change in the valence of ions as Fe2+, Mn2+. In outdoor weathering, photodegradation is associated with other environmental factors such as rain, moisture, temperature, and condensation, which, in conjunction with sunlight, significantly increase the decay of the natural stone. The following research illustrates an accelerated degradation test on building stone by the UVA light, moisture, spray accelerated weathering tester by reproducing the ASTMG154 Cycle 7. To simulate outdoor weathering, materials are exposed to alternating cycles of UV light and moisture at controlled temperatures. It simulates the effects of natural sunlight and artificial irradiance using special fluorescent UV lamps in the UVA, UVB, and UVC section of the electromagnetic spectrum. A series of physical/aesthetic parameters (e.g., CIE L*a*b* color, gloss, roughness, water vapor permeability) of a selected group of building stones from Portugal is evaluated. Weathering shows an increase of roughness and a sensitive decrease of gloss.






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The authors gratefully acknowledge the following funding sources: INOVSTONE4.0 (POCI-01-0247-FEDER-024535), co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER) and Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) under the project UID/Multi/04449/2013 (POCI-01-0145-FEDER-007649). Carla Lisci gratefully acknowledge FCT for the PhD grant SFRH/BD/149699/2019 co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and MEC national funds. Fabio Sitzia gratefully acknowledge the Recursos Humanos Altamente Qualificados (University of Evora) for the contract with Ref. ALT2059-2019-24.

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Authors and Affiliations



Carla Lisci: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing - original draft, Writing- review and editing. Fabio Sitzia: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal analysis, Investigation, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, writing-review and editing. Vera Pires: Methodology, Validation, Visualization, Writing-review and editing, Formal analysis. José Mirão: Funding acquisition, Validation, Visualization, Writing-review and editing.

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Correspondence to José Mirão.

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Lisci, C., Sitzia, F., Pires, V. et al. Building stones durability by UVA radiation, moisture and spray accelerated weathering. J Build Rehabil 7, 60 (2022).

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  • Accelerate ageing
  • QUV
  • Stone durability
  • Gloss
  • Color