Assessment the stones compatibility based on salt weathering tests

  • Asaad Al-Omari Civil Eng , Mosul University-Mosul
  • Kevin Beck PRISME-Université d’Orléans , Rue Léonard de Vinci, France
  • Xavier Brunetaud PRISME-Université d’Orléans , Rue Léonard de Vinci, France
  • Muzahim Al-Mukhtar PRISME-Université d’Orléans , Rue Léonard de Vinci, France
Keywords: Compatibility; salt weathering; porous limestone; tuffeau; Richemont


The current study aims to assess the compatibility between tuffeau and Richemont stone exposed to salt weathering, the most frequent physical-mechanical weathering process. Different experimental tests, both in macro- and in micro- scale, were performed on the aged stone samples underwent 20 wetting-drying cycles using salt solution of sodium chloride. The results of the aged samples were then compared with the already results belonged to the fresh samples. In the accelerated ageing tests the stone samples were situated in two different methods: the isolated stone samples and the pair of stone samples, i.e. one tuffeau sample linked to one Richemont sample. The linked test method was adopted to simulate the in-situ situation of the stones. The main results show that the microstructural characteristics of the stone (pore size distribution, water transfer properties and tensile strength) strongly reflect the stone resistance versus the salt weathering. Moreover, the results indicate that the integrity of tuffeau stone samples increased when linked to the Richemont stone samples referring to the presence, in partial way, the compatibility between the two stones. However, the limited conditions of the salt crystallization test (i.e. only 20 wetting-drying cycles) were not sufficient to detect the complete behavior of the two stones towards the salt weathering. Therefore, the current results confirm that the compatibility assessment between the stones cannot be judged based on the results presented in this study.


A Al-Omari, (2014), Risk assessment of thermo-hydro-mechanical stone decay in built heritage, Ph.D. thesis, University of Orléans, France.
A E Charola, J Weber, (1992), The hydration- dehydration mechanism of sodium sulphate. In: 7th International Congress on Stone Deterioration and Conservation, eds. Delgado Rodrigues J., Henriques F., F.Telmo Jeremias F., Laboratorio Nacional de Engenharia Civil, Lisbon, PP. 581-590.
A La Iglesia, V Gonzalez, V Lopez-Acevedo, and C Viedna, (1997), Salt crystallization in porous construction materials I. Estimation of crystallization pressure, J. Cryst. Growth, 177, pp. 111–118.
C Cardell, F Delalieux, K Roumpopoulos , F Auger, R Van Grieken, (2003), Salt-induced decay in calcareous stone monuments and buildings in a marine environment in SW France. Construction and Building Materials, 17:165–79.
C Groot, and P Maurenbrecher, (2016), Repair Mortars for Historic Masonry, State of the Art Report of RILEM Technical Committee TC 203-RHM, RILEM Publications S.A.R.L.
D Jefferson, S Hanna, B Martin, and D M Jones, (2006), Identifying and Sourcing Stone for Historic Building Repair: An Approach to Determining and Obtaining Compatible Replacement Stone, Technical Advice Note, Swindon [England]: English Heritage.
E M Winkler, E J Wilhelm, (1970), Salt burst by hydration pressures in architectural stone in urban atmosphere, Geol Soc Am Bull 81, PP. 567- 572.
EN 12370 STANDARD, "Natural stone test methods – determination of resistance to salt crystallization", 1999.
G Borsoi, B Lubelli, R van Hees, R Veiga, and A Santos Silva, (2017), Evaluation of the effectiveness and compatibility of nanolime consolidants with improved properties, Construction and building materials, 142, pp.385-394.
K Beck, (2006) Etude des propriétés hydriques et des mécanismes d’altération de pierres calcaires à forte porosité, Ph.D. Thesis. University of Orleans, France.
L Schueremans, Ö Cizer, E Janssens, G Serré, and K Van Balen, (2011), Characterization of repair mortars for the assessment of their compatibility in restoration projects: Research and practice, Construction and building materials, 25, pp.4338-4350.
M Angeli, J P Bigas, D Benavente, B Menéndez, R Hebert, and C David, (2007) Salt crystallization in pores; quantification and estimation of damage, Environ. Geol. 52, pp. 205–213.
M Ludovico-Marques, and C Chastre, (2012), Effect of salt crystallization ageing on the compressive behavior of sandstone blocks in historical buildings, Engineering Failure Analysis, 26, PP. 247–257.
Normal 13/83, Dosaggio dei sali solubili, CNR-ICR, Rome, Italy, 1983.
P López-Arce, J Garcia-Guinea, D Benavente, L Tormo, and E Doehne, (2009), Deterioration of dolostone by magnesium sulphate salt: an example of incompatible building materials at Bonaval Monastery, Spain, Construction and Building Materials, 23(2), pp.846–855.
Q Sun, Y Zhang, (2019), Combined effects of salt, cyclic wetting and drying cycles on the physical and mechanical properties of sandstone. Engineering Geology, Volume 248, 8 January, PP.70-79.
S Modestou, M Theodoridou, and L Ioannou, (2015), Micro-destructive mapping of the salt crystallization front in limestone. Engineering Geology, 193 PP. 337–347.
S Yu, and C T Oguchi, (2010), Role of pore size distribution in salt uptake, damage, and predicting salt susceptibility of eight types of Japanese building stones, Engineering Geology, 115, pp 226–236.
T D Gonçalves, and V Brito, (2016), Differential thermal expansion as a cause of salt decay: literature review, experiments, and modelling of micro andmacro effects on Ançã limestone. Stud. Conserv.
T De Kock, W De Boever, J Dewanckele, M A Boone, P Jacobs, and V Cnudde, (2015), Characterization, performance and replacement stone compatibility of building stone in the 12th century tower of Dudzele (Belgium), Engineering Geology, 184, pp. 43-51.
V Zedef, K Kocak, A Doyen, H Ozsen, and B Kekec, (2007), Effect of salt crystallization on stones of historical buildings and monuments, Konya, Central Turkey. Building and Environment, 42, PP. 1453–1457.
Z S G Silva, and J A R Simão, (2009), The role of salt fog on alteration of dimension stone, Construction and Building Materials 23, PP. 3321–3327.
Z-T Wang, and Z-S An, (2016), A simple theoretical approach to the thermal expansion mechanism of salt weathering. Catena, 147 PP. 695–698
How to Cite
Al-Omari, A., Beck, K., Brunetaud, X. and Al-Mukhtar, M. (2019) “Assessment the stones compatibility based on salt weathering tests”, Zanco Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences, 31(s3), pp. 75-83. doi: 10.21271/ZJPAS.31.s3.11.