Publication: Salt crystallization in porous construction materials
II. Mass transport and crystallization processes
Full text at PDC
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Elsevier Science B.V.
In order to study the processes of salt weathering of monumental stones, several samples were partially immersed in sodium, potassium and magnesium sulphate solutions which ascended through their capillary network and, eventually, crystallized. This procedure pretends to simulate the conditions in which foundations and lower walls of building structures are, within the zone of capillary rise of saline groundwater. Mass transport and the rhythmic nature of crystallization fronts inside samples reminds the Liesegang phenomenon, so they have been considered as a form of dissipative structures. The saline deposits developed on the surface of the samples were efflorescences (mirabilite and epsomite), subefflorescences (picromerite, aphthitalite and arcanite) and crusts (aphthitalite and arcanite). The most devastating effects resulted from massive crystallization inside the samples or from surface peeling due to the development of subefflorescences or crusts.