Effect of moisture on tuffstone weathering

Barbara Lubelli, T.G. Nijland, H.J. Tolboom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionProfessional

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Abstract

Tuffstone elements with a large length/width ratio, as e.g. mullions, often suffer damage in the form of cracks parallel to the surface and spalling of the outer layer. The response of tuff to moisture might be a reason for this behaviour. This research aimed at verifying if a differential dilation between parts with different moisture content (as outer and inner part of partially encased mullion) can lead to damage.
The effect of moisture on the degradation of Ettringen and Weibern tuff has been investigated. A purpose-made weathering test was carried out to simulate the wetting-drying process. Despite no cracks developed during the test, existing cracks widened up and the flexural tensile strength of both materials decreased. The moisture transport properties of the stones were determined as well as their porosity and pore size. Ettringen tuff has a considerable amount of very fine porosity, resulting in slow moisture transport and significant hygroscopic adsorption. Both tuffstones have an extreme hydric dilation. Environmental X-ray diffraction analyses showed that Ettringen tuff undergoes (reversible) mineralogical changes when subjected to RH cycles, whereas this does not occur for Weibern. All results support the hypothesis that moisture gradients in tuff elements may enhance decay in this stone.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUse and conservation of Rhenish tuff in the Netherlands, Germany, Flanders and Denmark
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the symposium in Amersfoort
EditorsT.G. Nijland
PublisherTNO, Delft
Pages65-83
ISBN (Print)978-90-5986-482-5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSymposium on Use and conservation of Rhenish tuff in the Netherlands, Germany, Flanders and Denmark - Amersfoort, Netherlands
Duration: 23 Mar 201723 Mar 2017

Conference

ConferenceSymposium on Use and conservation of Rhenish tuff in the Netherlands, Germany, Flanders and Denmark
CountryNetherlands
CityAmersfoort
Period23/03/1723/03/17

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