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Rijniers, L A and Pel, L and Huinink, H P and Kopinga, K (2005) Salt crystallization as damage mechanism in porous building materials — a nuclear magnetic resonance study. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, 23 (2). pp. 273-276. ISSN 0730725X

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Salts can damage building materials by chemical reactions or crystallization, which is a serious threat to cultural heritage. In order to develop better conservation techniques, more knowledge of the crystallization processes is needed. In a porous material, the size of a salt crystal is limited by the sizes of the pores. It has been predicted that as a consequence, the solubility of a salt increases with decreasing pore size. This increase seems to be related to an increase of the stress generated by a crystal on the pore wall. It has been suggested that the resulting stress could become high enough to induce failure. We have studied the crystallization of salts in porous materials with well-defined pore sizes. Samples were saturated at 40 °C with saturated Na2SO4 and Na2CO3 solutions. Next we have cooled the samples to 0 °C and waited for nucleation. After nucleation occurred, the solubility in the porous material was measured with nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) as a function of the temperature. The measurements on Na2CO3 indeed show an increase in solubility with a decrease in pore size. For Na2SO4, we did not observe a pore size-dependent solubility. However, we have to remark that these results show a metastable crystal phase. The results can be used to calculate the actual pressure exerted by the crystals onto the pore wall.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Salt decay; Crystallization; NMR; Porous material; Monitoring
Subjects: ?? Salt ??
English > Damage functions > Salt damage
Depositing User: Anna Samuelsson
Date Deposited: 07 May 2008 13:36
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 12:54

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