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Keywords:

  • THERMAL AND HYDRIC DILATATIONS;
  • SALT;
  • DESALINATION;
  • PHYSICAL PROPERTIES;
  • DENSITY;
  • POROSITY;
  • MINERALOGICAL COMPOSITION;
  • SANDSTONE;
  • PETRA

Fifteen desalinated sandstone drill core samples from Umm Ishrin Sandstone Formation in Petra (Cambrian age) were used for this study. The samples were mineralogically analysed using X-ray diffraction and their physical properties were also determined. Samples with similar physical properties and mineralogical composition were taken for further experimental work. After desalination, thermal and hydric dilatation coefficients were measured, then three types of salts (NaCl, KCl and Na2SO4·10H2O), which have high solubility and consequently are the most dangerous to building stone (and are also detected in the sandstone monuments in Petra), were introduced into the samples and their contents were calculated. The results show that salt crystallization in the pores of building stones can increase their thermal dilatation and decrease their hydric dilatation to varying extents, depending on the nature of the salt. The average increase in the thermal dilatation coefficient per unit mass of salt is the lowest for the Na2SO4·10H2O-salted samples with a value of 5.3%, while the NaCl-salted samples have the highest value with 7.8% per salt mass. The average percentage of the decrease of the hydric dilatation coefficient is 1061% for Na2SO4·10H2O-salted samples per mass of salt content; the NaCl-salted samples have a value of 1510% per mass of salt content, and the KCl-salted samples almost the same value. For the salt-free samples, it was found that in climatic conditions with a high temperature range, the deterioration of sandstone due to temperature fluctuation is more effective than that caused by change in the moisture content, while samples with high salt content suffer more from hydric dilatation.