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Open Access item Bricks in historical buildings of Toledo City: characterisation and restoration

Authors:López-Arce, Paula
García Guinea, Javier
Gracia, Mercedes
Obis, Joaquín
Keywords:Brick characterisation, Heritage, Historical buildings, XRD, DTA, SEM, Mössbauer spectroscopy, Optical polarising microscope, Paleoindicator, Raw material provenance
Issue Date:Jan-2003
Citation:Materials Characterization 50(1): 59-68 (2003)
Abstract:Two different types of ancient bricks (12th to 14th centuries) collected from historical buildings of Toledo (Spain) were characterised by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy/energy-dispersive X-ray spectrometers (SEM/EDS), electron probe microanalysis (EM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), differential thermal analysis (DTA) and 57Fe-Mössbauer spectroscopy. Physical properties such as water absorption and suction, porosity, density and compression strength were also determined. Several minerals found in the brick matrix, such as garnet, let us infer raw material sources; calcite, dolomite, illite and neoformed gehlenite and diopside phases, on temperature reached in firing; secondary calcite, on first cooling scenarios; and manganese micronodules, on late pollution environments. XRD and DTA of original and refired samples supply information about firing temperatures. Additional data on firing conditions and type of the original clay are provided by the Mössbauer study. Physical properties of both types of bricks were compared and correlated with raw materials and fabric and firing technology employed. The physicochemical characterisation of these bricks provides valuable data for restoration purposes to formulate new specific bricks using neighbouring raw materials.
Description:10 pages (final publisher version), 23 pages (attached post-print version).
Publisher version (URL):http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1044-5803(03)00101-3
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