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Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Construction and Building Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 August 2023) | Viewed by 11418

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
CNR-SPIN (SuPerconducting and Other INnovative Materials and Devices Institute), 84084 Fisciano, SA, Italy
Interests: nanomaterials; multifunctional coatings; durability of polymers; construction materials; stone conservation; cultural heritage; eco-efficient materials for sustainable constructions
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The conservation and management of stone building materials are multifaceted processes requiring studies across many disciplines. Such materials, widely used in any civil construction and monument, are susceptible to decay under the influence of physical, chemical, or biological agents, often acting in synergism. The characterization of stone materials is not only essential for predicting their durability and behavior in service, but also helpful for selecting the most compatible and performing restoration strategy. Knowledge regarding the nature, properties, and decay of stone materials is a key step to identify the remedial needs and plan for appropriate conservation actions. On the other hand, several approaches and a wide range of products have been designed to avoid, or at least reduce, stone decay.

Within this context, this Special Issue aims to publish original research and review papers, from investigators, in both academia and industry, dealing with recent advances in the study of stone building materials, either natural or artificial. Research based on laboratory tests, field trials, and case studies is welcome.

The topics include but are not limited to new methods used to characterize stone materials, the study of mechanisms of decay and synergisms between them, assessment of decay patterns, design and synthesis of innovative protective systems, effectiveness of conservation treatments, and provenance and technology of ancient materials.

Dr. Mariateresa Lettieri
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • natural stone materials
  • mortars and plasters
  • concrete
  • mechanisms of decay
  • conservation treatments
  • cleaning methods
  • protective coatings
  • consolidation
  • durability
  • weathering effects

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 3686 KiB  
Article
Adaptation of a Standard Method for Water Absorption Testing of Stone Materials: The Case of a Hydrophilic Protective Coating
by Gabriel Búrdalo-Salcedo, Indira Rodríguez, María Fernández-Raga, Sagrario Fernández-Raga, Carlos Rodríguez-Fernández and José Miguel González-Domínguez
Materials 2023, 16(12), 4228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16124228 - 7 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1168
Abstract
The historical stone heritage that we inherit must be passed on to future generations, not only in the same conditions that we found it but, if possible, in better ones. Construction also demands better and more durable materials, often stone. The protection of [...] Read more.
The historical stone heritage that we inherit must be passed on to future generations, not only in the same conditions that we found it but, if possible, in better ones. Construction also demands better and more durable materials, often stone. The protection of these materials requires knowledge of the types of rocks and their physical properties. The characterization of these properties is often standardized to ensure the quality and reproducibility of the protocols. These must be approved by entities whose purpose is to improve the quality and competitiveness of companies and to protect the environment. Standardized water absorption tests could be envisaged to test the effectiveness of certain coatings in protecting natural stone against water penetration, but we found that some steps of these protocols neglect any surface modification of the stones, and hence may not be completely effective when a hydrophilic protective coating (i.e., graphene oxide) is present. In this work, we analyze the UNE 13755/2008 standard for water absorption and propose alternative steps to adapt the norm for use with coated stones. The properties of coated stones may invalidate the interpretation of the results if the standard protocol is applied as is, so here we pay special attention to the characteristics of the coating applied, the type of water used for the test, the materials used, and the intrinsic heterogeneity of the specimens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation)
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19 pages, 4910 KiB  
Article
The Use of Expanded Polystyrene and Olive Stones in the Manufacture of Lightweight Bricks: Evaluation of Their Properties and Durability
by María López Gómez and Giuseppe Cultrone
Materials 2023, 16(4), 1330; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16041330 - 4 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1653
Abstract
This paper studies the effects of using 20, 40 and 60% vol. of either expanded polystyrene (EPS) or olive stones as additives in the manufacture of handmade bricks. The bricks were made using clayey earth from Viznar (Spain) and were fired at 950 [...] Read more.
This paper studies the effects of using 20, 40 and 60% vol. of either expanded polystyrene (EPS) or olive stones as additives in the manufacture of handmade bricks. The bricks were made using clayey earth from Viznar (Spain) and were fired at 950 °C. The effects of the additives on the mineralogical, textural and physical properties of the fired bricks were analysed, focusing mainly on possible changes in their pore system, thermal insulation, compressive strength, colour and salt crystallisation resistance. From a mineralogical point of view, the bricks made with olive stones had a lighter red colour due to their lower hematite content. As expected, the samples made with these additives had greater porosity and better thermal insulation. However, they also had lower compressive strength to the point that the only samples that met the recommended criteria for general construction work were those with 20% vol. EPS, while those with 40% vol. EPS met the criteria to be used as lightweight bricks. Both additives improved the resistance of the bricks to decay by salt crystallisation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation)
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17 pages, 5251 KiB  
Article
Energy Dissipation and Damage Evolution during Dynamic Fracture of Muddy Siltstones Containing Initial Damage under the Freeze Thaw Effect
by Yufei Jia, Yuxin Bai, Dong Xia, Fuping Li and Bing Liang
Materials 2023, 16(1), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma16010120 - 22 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1367
Abstract
This research aims to evaluate the influences of the freeze–thaw (F-T) effect on the energy dissipation mechanism and damage evolution characteristics of muddy siltstones containing initial damage. At first, four initial damage levels were achieved by applying different impact loads to the intact [...] Read more.
This research aims to evaluate the influences of the freeze–thaw (F-T) effect on the energy dissipation mechanism and damage evolution characteristics of muddy siltstones containing initial damage. At first, four initial damage levels were achieved by applying different impact loads to the intact rock, and the damage stresses for levels I, II, III, and IV initial damage were 9.80 Mpa, 17.00 Mpa, 23.34 Mpa, and 32.54 Mpa, respectively. Then dynamic compression tests were conducted on the muddy siltstones containing initial damage after 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 40 F-T cycles in the temperature range from −20 to 20 °C. The damage variable of the muddy siltstones was determined by studying energy distribution during fracture of the rock. The damage evolution characteristics of the muddy siltstone containing initial damage under the F-T effect were explored combined with the fractal theory. Test results show that (1) the dynamic compressive strength of the muddy siltstones decreases exponentially with the increasing number of F-T cycles; the dynamic compressive strength of muddy siltstone with different initial damage decreased by 54.9%, 48.4%, 39.4%, 42.5%, and 44.5% after 40 freeze-thaws, respectively, compared with that of intact. (2) The absorbed energy, reflected energy, and transmitted energy of the muddy siltstones subject to different levels of initial damage exhibit step-like changes under the effect of F-T cycles and the rate of decrease in absorbed energy decreases in the late stage of F-T cycles. (3) Both the damage variable and the fractal dimension of the muddy siltstones show an increasing trend with an increase in the number of F-T cycles, and it is more difficult for damage to become superimposed as the damage accumulates to that range causing fatigue (the damage variables ranged from 0.73 to 0.97) while the fractal dimension of the fracture surfaces in the rock still increases. (4) With the gradual increase in the damage variable, the energy absorption density of the rock is negatively correlated with the fractal dimension of the rock fragments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation)
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13 pages, 3889 KiB  
Article
Analysing the Porosity Distribution in Stone Surfaces by Means of Unilateral NMR after Long-Term Outdoor Weathering
by Melanie Groh, Jeanette Orlowsky and Robert Schulte Holthausen
Materials 2022, 15(13), 4604; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15134604 - 30 Jun 2022
Viewed by 1089
Abstract
Porosity changes in the near-surface area of sandstones due to long-term weathering can produce deterioration. Therefore, porosity analyses on weathered sandstones are significant for detecting possible influences on the pore structure. Classical methods for determining the porosity and pore size distribution in sandstones [...] Read more.
Porosity changes in the near-surface area of sandstones due to long-term weathering can produce deterioration. Therefore, porosity analyses on weathered sandstones are significant for detecting possible influences on the pore structure. Classical methods for determining the porosity and pore size distribution in sandstones can only investigate the entire sample volume. In contrast, in this publication, the porosity was analysed in 0.2 mm steps over a depth of 5 mm by means of single-sided NMR measurements on water-saturated sandstones under vacuum. Evaluations of Obernkirchener and Schleeriether Sandstones that were weathered outdoors in Germany for over 30 years are presented. The results showed that the water content in Vol.-% strongly correlated with the normalised NMR signal. The unweathered sandstones showed a uniform distribution of micro and capillary pores throughout the stone depth. As a result of 30 years of outdoor weathering, changes in the pore structure occurred at the sandstone surface due to weathering down to depths of about 0.6 mm. The porosity of the Schleeriether Sandstone samples, mainly the microporosity, clearly increased in this region. Due to the dominance of capillary pores in the Obernkirchener Sandstone, the changes were not as pronounced, but a shift towards smaller pores in the surface area was observable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation)
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16 pages, 7300 KiB  
Article
Degradation Analyses of Systemic Large-Panel Buildings Using Comparative Testing during Demolition
by Maciej Wardach, Janusz R. Krentowski and Piotr Knyziak
Materials 2022, 15(11), 3770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15113770 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1656
Abstract
Assessment of the technical condition of large-panel buildings, due to their on-going use and covering resulting from thermomodernization works, is problematic. Results from non-destructive tests (NDT) are subjected to high uncertainty. Destructive tests, which give results with the highest level of confidence, are [...] Read more.
Assessment of the technical condition of large-panel buildings, due to their on-going use and covering resulting from thermomodernization works, is problematic. Results from non-destructive tests (NDT) are subjected to high uncertainty. Destructive tests, which give results with the highest level of confidence, are practically not used. Local sampling for testing gives only a partial image of the condition of a prefabricated building. In this type of construction, joints connecting the precast elements are the most vulnerable to degradation. Access to them is technically difficult. Demolition of this type of building is extremely rare. However, it is a unique opportunity to perform a full spectrum of both NDT and destructive testing. This gives an opportunity for large-scale demolition sampling to identify hidden defects and compare the results obtained by different methods. The comparison of results allows for the scaling of NDT methods and reveals the presence of typical relationships. The paper presents visual, non-destructive, and destructive tests’ results of an over 40-year-old large-panel building scheduled for demolition. The design of this building is repetitive and similar to solutions found in thousands of other buildings. The usefulness of particular research methods for evaluating the technical condition of prefabricated buildings has been determined. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation)
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19 pages, 24443 KiB  
Article
Historically Accurate Reconstruction of the Materials and Conservation Technologies Used on the Facades of the Artistic Buildings in Lecce (Apulia, Italy)
by Daniela Fico, Daniela Rizzo, Raffaele Casciaro and Carola Esposito Corcione
Materials 2022, 15(10), 3658; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15103658 - 20 May 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1495
Abstract
The protection of the stone surfaces of the buildings of the city of Lecce (Apulia, Italy) represents an ancient practice, which has always allowed the conservation of the historical-artistic heritage of the city, which nowadays is an international touristic and cultural destination. The [...] Read more.
The protection of the stone surfaces of the buildings of the city of Lecce (Apulia, Italy) represents an ancient practice, which has always allowed the conservation of the historical-artistic heritage of the city, which nowadays is an international touristic and cultural destination. The identification of ancient recipes, materials and methodologies for the protection of historical buildings plays an important role in establishing correct protocols in order to ensure the durability of stone surfaces over time. This work presents a historically accurate reconstruction of the materials and conservation technologies used on the facades of the artistic buildings in Lecce. Several historical buildings, both civil and religious, have been selected in order to investigate the treatments applied on their facades and to know the traditions spread in the past in the field of building conservation in the Salento territory. Thanks to non-invasive or micro-destructive techniques (optical microscopy, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, pyrolysis–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry), the characteristic molecular markers of the materials and the products of degradation have been identified, deepening the knowledge of the mechanisms of deterioration and interaction between the stone material, the surface finish and the surrounding environment. The paper is a valuable tool for the knowledge of ancient traditions and the planning of proper restoration works. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation)
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16 pages, 36311 KiB  
Article
Plutonic Rocks as Protection Layers to Concrete Exposed to Ultra-High Temperature
by Fernando França de Mendonça Filho, Cláudia Romero Rodriguez, Erik Schlangen and Oğuzhan Çopuroğlu
Materials 2022, 15(10), 3490; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15103490 - 12 May 2022
Viewed by 1510
Abstract
Concrete structures perform poorly when withstanding thermal shock events, usually requiring repair or replacement after one single instance. In certain industries (such as petrol, metallurgic and ceramics), these events are not only likely but frequent, which represents a considerable financial burden. One option [...] Read more.
Concrete structures perform poorly when withstanding thermal shock events, usually requiring repair or replacement after one single instance. In certain industries (such as petrol, metallurgic and ceramics), these events are not only likely but frequent, which represents a considerable financial burden. One option to solve this issue would be to decrease the heating rate imposed onto the concrete material through the use of a protective surface layer. In this work, the suitability of dunite and microgabbro as protective materials is explored through X-ray diffraction, thermal dilation, optical microscopy, X-ray microtomography, thermo-gravimetric analysis and a compressive test. Further, the thermal dilation was used as an input to simulate a composite concrete-rock wall and the respective stresses caused by a thermal shock event. The dehydration of chrysotile in dunite and the decomposition of analcime, chamosite and pumpellyite in microgabbro were both favourable for the performance of the stones in the desired application. The thermal stability and deformation were found in the range of what can be applied directly on concrete; however, it was clear that pre-heating treatment results in a far more durable system in a cyclic thermal load situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stone Building Materials: Characterization, Decay, and Conservation)
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