Efflorescence on thin sections of calcareous stones
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2004
Limestone and marble, still frequently used as building materials are especially vulnerable to the destructive effects of efflorescence. The effect of interaction between five different calcareous stones and corrosive atmospheres has been investigated. A novel technique of stone degradation analysis has been used where thin sections of fresh stone materials were exposed in a corrosion chamber under controlled conditions (temperature, relative humidity (RH), SO2 and NO2 concentration). Following 1-weeks exposure; observations of the initial crystallisation were studied by light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results obtained from the surface analysis clearly showed sulphation of the samples and formation of gypsum. Observations of the initial corrosion indicated differences in the location of efflorescence and its shape among and within the samples. The mineralogy, grain shape and size, mineral defects and existence of cracks and pores, all influenced the substrates reactivity. The most vulnerable areas and the places where the corrosion started on the calcitic stones were the triple grain junctions followed by grain boundaries, and on the dolomitic marble cracks and pores.