Special Issue "Petrography of Construction Materials: Compositional, Mineralogical and Textural Features"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Gianluca Iezzi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Engineering and Geology (InGeo), University of G. d'Annunzio Chieti and Pescara, Chieti, Italy
Interests: crystal-chemistry of amphiboles, pyroxenes, garnets and feldspathoids; high-T, low-T and high-P phase transitions; solidification (nucleation and crystallization) of natural and synthetic silicate liquids; petrology of volcanic rocks; textures, fabrics and kinematics of lavas and dikes; rock physics; textures, fabrics and strain history of fault rocks; construction materials; CDW (construction and demolition waste)

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural and man-made construction materials have been used from many centuries. Indeed, aggregates, cements, mortars, concretes, bricks, tiles, or, in general, any rock-like ceramic are, by far, the most processed and exploited materials by man. Appearance, provenance, fabrication, strength, durability, insulation, failure, uses, etc., or, in general, peculiarities and macroscopic physico-chemical properties of building materials rely on three main aspects of their constituting phases: i) chemical composition (bulk and micro) or geochemistry, ii) crystalline and non-crystalline attributes, i.e., mineralogy, and iii) size, shape, distribution, orientation, etc., of particles and voids, i.e., textures. These three aspects deliver the petrographic descriptions of construction materials and are quantified using several analytical methods: Optical microscopy, SEM, diffraction methods, XRF, EPMA, ICP-MS, FTIR, Raman, TEM, tomography, plus many others. These petrographic examinations are used in many scientific, technical and industrial branches, such as Earth and material Sciences, engineering, physics, chemistry, archaeometry, forensic, and toxicology.

This Special Issue intends to unite researchers and experts using petrographic methods on the investigation of ancient and modern construction materials, as well as their wastes labelled CDW (construction and demolition wastes).

Prof. Gianluca Iezzi
Guest Editor

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Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical Analysis of Mortars in the Walls of Ávila (Spain) and Its Surroundings
Minerals 2019, 9(6), 381; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9060381 - 24 Jun 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
The present article evaluated the mineralogical composition of 85 mortar samples from some emblematic monuments of Ávila city (Spain), which were collected during the restoration of the monuments. The aim of this article is to try to extract the relationship between the composition [...] Read more.
The present article evaluated the mineralogical composition of 85 mortar samples from some emblematic monuments of Ávila city (Spain), which were collected during the restoration of the monuments. The aim of this article is to try to extract the relationship between the composition and the origin of the raw materials, as well as to identify possible alterations in the samples. The study of the samples was carried out using visual and petrographic techniques such as stereoscopic microscope, XRD, and SEM/EDX analysis. The main components of the mortars were calcite, feldspar and quartz, although small amounts of phyllosilicates were also identified. The minerals of the mortars came from the surroundings of the city, and some of the samples presented evident alteration of the original materials due to humidity, salt concentration, and biological weathering, possibly inducted by unfortunate effects of the restoration. Finally, a study of the salts present in some mortars showed that most samples display contamination of soluble salts such as halite, thenardite, hexaedrite, and carnalite. This investigation offers fresh insight into historic building activity and related techniques, and should provide knowledge useful for restoration and conservation processes. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Mineralogical Sequence of Self-Healing Products in Cracked Marine Concrete
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050284 - 10 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Self-healing of cracked concrete beams after 25 years of marine exposure was investigated. The extent of self-healing and the chemical and mineralogical composition of the self-healing products were characterized, and mechanisms proposed. There was no effect of varying silica fume (4%, 12%) and [...] Read more.
Self-healing of cracked concrete beams after 25 years of marine exposure was investigated. The extent of self-healing and the chemical and mineralogical composition of the self-healing products were characterized, and mechanisms proposed. There was no effect of varying silica fume (4%, 12%) and fly ash content (0%, 20%) on the mineralogy and chemistry of the self-healing products and the extent of self-healing. Crack widths smaller than 0.2 mm appeared closed. With increasing crack depth, a sequence of changing mineralogy of self-healing products was found. In the outer part of the crack (0–5 mm depth from the exterior surface) only calcite was precipitated followed by brucite layers from 5–30 mm depth. The brucite was occasionally intermixed with calcite. At crack depths >30 mm only ettringite was observed. It is hypothesized that the mineralogical sequence observed with increasing crack depth occurs due to an increasing pH of the solution inside the crack with increased crack depth. Self-healing of cracks in marine exposed concrete is proposed to happen through precipitation of ions from seawater partly in reaction with ions from the cement paste in the outer part of the crack and through dissolution and reprecipitation of ettringite at larger crack depths. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
An Integrated Analytical Approach to Define the Compositional and Textural Features of Mortars Used in the Underwater Archaeological Site of Castrum Novum (Santa Marinella, Rome, Italy)
Minerals 2019, 9(5), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9050268 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper aims to carry out an archaeometric characterization of mortar samples taken from an underwater environment. The fishpond of the archaeological site of Castrum Novum (Santa Marinella, Rome, Italy) was chosen as a pilot site for experimentation. The masonry structures reached the [...] Read more.
This paper aims to carry out an archaeometric characterization of mortar samples taken from an underwater environment. The fishpond of the archaeological site of Castrum Novum (Santa Marinella, Rome, Italy) was chosen as a pilot site for experimentation. The masonry structures reached the maximum thickness at the apex of the fishpond (4.70 m) and consisted of a concrete conglomerate composed of slightly rough stones of medium size bound with non-hydraulic mortar. After sampling, for a complete characterization of selected mortar fragments, different and complementary techniques (stereomicroscopy, polarizing optical microscopy, and X-ray powder diffraction analysis) were carried out in order to: a) define the minero-petrographic features; and b) investigate their state of conservation. The obtained data allowed the determination of the main constituents of mortars from a compositional point of view. The raw materials, in fact, were quite homogeneous, as well as the ratio in which they were mixed, confirming the typical "recipe" used in Roman times to manufacture hydraulic-type mortars by adding pozzolana. At the same time, it was possible to identify the various degradation processes we were interested in, namely, biological colonization (bio-fouling) that develops differently according to environmental conditions. Based on characterization phase results, the research will help to develop adequate techniques for intervention (innovative tools and methods for the protection of underwater cultural heritage) with particular regard to cleaning and consolidating procedures to be carried out directly in situ. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Multi-Analysis Characterisation of a Vernacular House in Doha (Qatar): Petrography and Petrophysics of its Construction Materials
Minerals 2019, 9(4), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9040241 - 18 Apr 2019
Abstract
This study characterises the original construction materials (building stones and mortars) of a collapsed two-storey colonnaded structure in the Ismail Mandani house, located in the old city centre of Doha (Qatar). Results were drawn based on interpretation and integration of historical, in situ [...] Read more.
This study characterises the original construction materials (building stones and mortars) of a collapsed two-storey colonnaded structure in the Ismail Mandani house, located in the old city centre of Doha (Qatar). Results were drawn based on interpretation and integration of historical, in situ observations and analytical data. The mortars and stones were characterised following a multidisciplinary approach, combining macroscopic observation with petrographic microscopy, mineralogical analysis (X-ray diffraction) and elemental analysis (handheld X-ray fluorescence) of samples. Moreover, hydric properties, ultrasonic pulse velocity and colour of representative samples of the house were studied. The results revealed the use of two types of stones and three different types of gypsum mortars. The original construction materials came from nearby coastal stones. Gypsum of the most used mortar had a calcination temperature between 120 and 160 °C and its colour was produced by lumps with higher Fe content. The materials’ effective porosity and water absorption were high, and their ultrasonic pulse velocity was low. These petrophysical results indicated they had low quality for construction purposes. The composition and colour of the original construction materials were quantified, which will allow the reproduction of their aesthetic characteristics and improvement of their quality in future reconstruction works. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Correlations between the Properties of Crushed Fine Aggregates
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020086 - 30 Jan 2019
Abstract
Aggregates are essential in the production of composite building materials and their properties and characteristics influence the performance of these materials in use. Nevertheless, despite the existence of several standardized and other methods for testing aggregates, the inherent inhomogeneity of these geomaterials does [...] Read more.
Aggregates are essential in the production of composite building materials and their properties and characteristics influence the performance of these materials in use. Nevertheless, despite the existence of several standardized and other methods for testing aggregates, the inherent inhomogeneity of these geomaterials does not permit the establishment of rigid specifications for their quality. Hence, research on aggregate testing and quality control is always timely. This paper presents the results of standardized (soundness, Micro-Deval, sand equivalent, methylene blue, water absorption, and relative density) and non-standardized (PXRD) laboratory tests performed on crushed fine aggregates of different mineralogical composition quarried in Cyprus. From these results, it is evident that the mineralogical composition of aggregates affects their physicomechanical properties. A good correlation was observed between the magnesium sulphate soundness coefficient and the Micro-Deval coefficient. This may lead to the introduction of an alternative test method for the quality testing of fine aggregates at European level. A reasonable correlation was also noted between the methylene blue and sand equivalent test results, despite the fact that the literature does not seem to support such a relationship. No further correlations were observed among the rest of the properties investigated. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
On the Use of Sodium Chloride and Calcined Diatomite Sludge as Additives to Improve the Engineering Properties of Bricks Made with a Clay Earth from Jun (Granada, Spain)
Minerals 2019, 9(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9010064 - 21 Jan 2019
Abstract
Solid bricks manufactured out of clayey earth from a quarry near the city of Granada (Spain) were studied and compared with others to which two additives were added during the kneading of the raw material: Calcined diatomite sludge and sodium chloride. Samples with [...] Read more.
Solid bricks manufactured out of clayey earth from a quarry near the city of Granada (Spain) were studied and compared with others to which two additives were added during the kneading of the raw material: Calcined diatomite sludge and sodium chloride. Samples with and without additives were fired at 800 °C, 950 °C, and 1100 °C. New mineral phases were formed in the bricks after firing. These included gehlenite, diopside, and plagioclase, which is gradually enriched in calcium, and microcline, which is transformed into sanidine. Mullite and molysite also appeared in the bricks made with added salt. Porosity increased substantially in the bricks that contained diatomite sludge, while the addition of sodium chloride accelerated the mineralogical transformations and caused sintering at relatively low temperatures of 800 °C. The bricks became more compact and less anisotropic as the firing temperature increased. This behaviour was less evident in the bricks with added diatomite sludge, which alters the orientation of the phyllosilicates. The bricks fired at 1100 °C had the best physical parameters. However, the bricks with added sodium chloride fired at 800 °C reached hygric and compactness values that were at least similar to bricks from the other groups fired at 950 °C. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using Factor Analysis to Determine the Interrelationships between the Engineering Properties of Aggregates from Igneous Rocks in Greece
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 580; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120580 - 08 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
This paper investigates the interrelationships between the engineering properties of igneous aggregate rocks from Greece with the aid of the R-mode factor analysis. The collected samples represent mafic and ultramafic rocks from the ophiolite complexes of Gerania, Guevgueli, Veria-Naousa, and Edessa as well [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the interrelationships between the engineering properties of igneous aggregate rocks from Greece with the aid of the R-mode factor analysis. The collected samples represent mafic and ultramafic rocks from the ophiolite complexes of Gerania, Guevgueli, Veria-Naousa, and Edessa as well as intermediate-acidic rocks from the surrounding areas of the complexes. Factor analysis verifies the important interdependences among the engineering parameters like physical, mechanical, geometrical, and physicochemical properties by giving statistical significance. Variations of the petrographic characteristics of the investigated rocks influence their engineering properties as well as the interdependence among them. Factor 1, which is the most representative one (~36% of the total variance), shows interdependences between certain physical, mechanical, physicochemical properties such as total porosity (nt) with moisture content (w), nt with the Los Abrasion value (LA), and the uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) with point load index Is(50). Additionally, the second factor (~27% of the total data variability) correlates physical properties such as w, nt, physicochemical properties such as the methylene blue test (MBF), mechanical properties such as UCS, Is(50), and loss on ignition (LOI), which highlights the effect of mineralogy on these properties. Lastly, Factor 3 (~14% of the total data variability) expresses the interdependence of the flakiness index (IF), which is an elongation index (IE) relative to their alteration (LOI). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Petrographic Characteristics and Physico-Mechanical Properties of Aggregates on the Quality of Concrete
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 577; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8120577 - 08 Dec 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
This paper examines the effect of the aggregate type on concrete strength, and more specifically, how the petrographic characteristics of various aggregate rocks as well as their physico-mechanical properties influences the durability of C 25/30 strength class concrete. The studied aggregate rocks were [...] Read more.
This paper examines the effect of the aggregate type on concrete strength, and more specifically, how the petrographic characteristics of various aggregate rocks as well as their physico-mechanical properties influences the durability of C 25/30 strength class concrete. The studied aggregate rocks were derived from Veria-Naousa and Edessa ophiolitic complexes as well as granodiorite and albitite rocks from their surrounding areas in central Macedonia (Greece). Concretes were produced with constant volume proportions, workability, mixing and curing conditions using different sizes of each aggregate type. Aggregates were mixed both in dry and water saturated states in concretes. Six different types of aggregates were examined and classified in three district groups according to their physicomechanical properties, petrographic characteristics and surface texture. The classification in groups after the concrete compressive strength test verified the initial classification in the same three groups. Group I (ultramafic rocks) presented the lowest concrete strengths, depending on their high alteration degree and the low mechanical properties of ultramafic aggregates. Group II (mafic rocks and granodiorite) presented a wide range of concrete strengths, depending on different petrographic characteristics and mechanical properties. Group III (albite rocks) presented the highest concrete strengths, depending on their lowest alteration degree and their highest mechanical properties. Therefore, mineralogy and microstructure of the coarse aggregates affected the final strength of the concrete specimens. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Impact of Secondary Phyllosilicate Minerals on the Engineering Properties of Various Igneous Aggregates from Greece
Minerals 2018, 8(8), 329; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8080329 - 31 Jul 2018
Cited by 5
Abstract
This paper investigates the effect of alteration on the physicomechanical properties of igneous rocks used as aggregates, from various areas from Greece. The studied lithologies include serpentinized dunites, serpentinized harzburgites, serpentinized lherzolites, metamorphic gabbros, diabases, dacites and andesites. Quantitative petrographic analysis shows that [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the effect of alteration on the physicomechanical properties of igneous rocks used as aggregates, from various areas from Greece. The studied lithologies include serpentinized dunites, serpentinized harzburgites, serpentinized lherzolites, metamorphic gabbros, diabases, dacites and andesites. Quantitative petrographic analysis shows that the tested samples display various percentages of secondary phyllosilicate minerals. Mineral quantification of the studied rock samples was performed by using the Rietveld method on X-ray diffraction patterns. The samples were also tested to assign moisture content (w (%)), total porosity (nt (%)), uniaxial compressive strength (UCS (MPa)) and Los Angeles abrasion test (LA (%)). The influence of secondary phyllosilicate minerals on the physicomechanical behavior of the tested samples was determined using regression analysis and their derived equations. Regression analysis shows a positive relationship between the percentage of the phyllosilicate minerals of the rocks and the moisture content as well as with the total porosity values. In mafic and ultramafic rock samples, the relationships between the secondary phyllosilicate minerals and their physicomechanical properties have shown that the total amount of the secondary phyllosilicate minerals results negatively on their physicomechanical properties. On the other hand, the low percentage of phyllosilicate minerals in volcanic rocks can’t be able to define their engineering properties. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemical and Mineralogical Characterization of Recycled Aggregates from Construction and Demolition Waste from Mexico City
Minerals 2018, 8(6), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/min8060237 - 31 May 2018
Abstract
In this study, four samples of recycled aggregates from the construction and demolition waste of Mexico City were characterized in order to find innovative uses for these types of materials. Gravel and sand from a recycling plant were analyzed, as well as aggregates [...] Read more.
In this study, four samples of recycled aggregates from the construction and demolition waste of Mexico City were characterized in order to find innovative uses for these types of materials. Gravel and sand from a recycling plant were analyzed, as well as aggregates produced in the laboratory from demolished concrete collected from landfills. The characterization was carried out by means of XRD (X-ray Diffraction), chemical microanalysis (EDS), X-ray fluorescence (XRF), pH measurement, and sieve analysis. The minerals present in the analyzed materials were feldspars, cristobalite and pyroxene, which corresponded to the natural aggregates, as well as variable amounts of calcite, a product of the carbonation of the cement paste adhered to these aggregates, and in a smaller proportion, calcium hemicarboaluminate, rosenhanite, and tobermorite. The quality (amount of cement) of the original concrete has a great influence on the granulometry and the chemical–mineralogical composition of the aggregates, since there will be different quantities and qualities of the cement paste adhered to the aggregates depending on their size. Finally, the pH values measured in all samples fluctuated between 10.15 and 12.08, suggesting that these materials can be used in soil stabilization or in agricultural applications. Full article
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