A new accelerated salt weathering test by RILEM TC 271-ASC: preliminary round robin validation

B. Lubelli*, A. M. Aguilar, K. Beck, T. De Kock, J. Desarnaud, E. Franzoni, D. Gulotta, I. Ioannou, A. Kamat, B. Menendez, I. Rörig-Dalgaard, E. Sassoni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Salt crystallization is a major cause of damage in porous building materials. Accelerated salt weathering tests carried out in the laboratory are among the most common methods to assess the durability of material to salt decay. However, existing standards and recommendations for salt weathering tests have limitations in terms of effectiveness and/or reliability. In the framework of the RILEM Technical Committee 271-ASC, a procedure has been developed which proposes a new approach to salt crystallization tests. It starts from the consideration that salt damage can be seen as a process developing in two phases: accumulation of the salt in the material and propagation of the decay. In the first phase, salts are introduced in the material and accumulate close to the evaporation surface, while in the second phase damage propagates because of repeated dissolution and crystallization cycles, induced by re-wetting with liquid water and by relative humidity changes. In this paper, the procedure is described and the results of a first round robin validation of the test, carried out on 7 materials and involving 10 laboratories, are presented. The results show that the procedure is effective to cause decay within the time period of the test (about 3 months) and that the decay increases with subsequent cycles. The decay observed differs in type and severity depending on the salt type and concentration and on the type of substrate. The decay types detected in the laboratories are generally representative of those observed in the field for the selected substrates. The differences in durability between the various substrates, as assessed at the end of the test, are in line with the durability expected based on field observation. The reproducibility of the results in terms of decay type is good; some differences have been observed in terms of material loss. These are more significant in the case of NaCl contaminated specimens. Based on the results, proposals for fine-tuning of the procedure are given.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
Number of pages17
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • RILEM TC 271-ASC
  • Round robin
  • Salt crystallization test
  • Sodium chloride
  • Sodium sulphate


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