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Failures in the standard characterization of dimension stone durability during freeze-thaw testing

AutorMarco Castaño, L.D.; Martínez-Martínez, J. ; Benavente, D.; García del Cura, M. Ángeles
Palabras claveLimestone
Durability test
Fecha de publicación2-mar-2010
CitaciónGlobal Stone Congress, 2-5 de marzo de 2010. Alicante, España. 5 pp.
ResumenThe freeze-thaw standard test is widely used and is an important criterion for selecting a stone to be used as paving (UNE-EN 1342:2003) and cladding (UNE-EN 1469:2005). According to these standard tests, frost durability is estimated by: a) the volume lost in the samples (less than 1%); b) visual deterioration; or c) the drop in sample strength (less than 20%). The freeze/thaw number is only given for paving or cladding stone, and is 48 and 12 respectively. In this work, the frost resistance of 170 samples of ten dimension stone varieties were studied: three travertines, two lumachellas (or biocalcirrudites), one micrite limestone, one calcite marble, one biocalcarenite, and two oolite limestones. The mineralogy is calcite in the whole varieties, but their open porosity value varies between <1% (calcite marble) and > 25% (lumachella). Samples were divided into five groups and each one was tested after 0, 12, 48 and 96 cycles. At the end of the cycles several properties were measured: a) volume lost; b) variation in open porosity; c) visual deterioration; and d) sample strength. The microstructural evolution of the texture was also studied, using SEM in polished samples (1x1x1 cm size). Results show that: 1) One variety of lumachella and one variety of oolite limestone were weathered after freeze-thaw according to the standards. These stones show some fractures at the mesoscale. However, at the microscale, many stones show microfissuring processes and matrix washing. Both aspects are highly dangerous for the rock’s long-term physicochemical stability. 2) The vast majority of sample damage appeared after 12 freeze-thaw cycles, with damage also frequently occurring after 48 cycles. This result suggests that the number of cycles used in the standard test is very low. 3) The microstructural damage was not measured by the variation in sample volume and strength. Results have clearly shown the need to include petrophysical parameters in freeze-thaw standard tests for a real and appropriate estimation of frost durability.
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