Modeling of electromigration salt removal methods in building materials

Björn Johannesson, Lisbeth M. Ottosen

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    A model is established for the prediction of the effect of salt removal of building materials using electromigration. Salt-induced decay of building materials, such as masonry and sandstone, is a serious threat to our cultural heritage. Electromigration of salts from building materials, sensitive for salt attack of various kinds, is one potential method to preserve old building envelopes. By establishing a model for ionic multi-species diffusion, which also accounts for external applied electrical fields, it is proposed that an important complement to the experimental tests and that verification can be obtained. One important issue is to be able to optimizing the salt removing electromagration method in the field by first studying it theoretically. Another benefit is that models can give some answers concerning the effect of the inner surfaces of the material on the diffusion mechanisms and the effect of the composition of the ionic constituents on the overall behavior of the salt removal process. The model is obtained by assigning a Fick’s law type of assumption for each ionic species considered and also assuming that all ions is effected by the applied external electrical field in accordance with its ionic mobility properties. It is, further, assumed that Gauss’s law can be used to calculate the internal electrical field induced by the diffusion it self. In this manner the external electrical field applied can be modeled, simply, by assigning proper boundary conditions for the equation calculating the electrical field. A tailor made finite element code is written capable of solving the transient non-linear coupled set of differential equations numerically. A truly implicit time integration scheme is used together with a modified Newton-Raphson method to tackle the non-linearities of the present problem. Theoretical test examples are presented showing the performance of the model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSalt Weathering on Building and Stone Sculptures
    PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
    Publication date2008
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    EventModeling of electromigration salt removal methods in building materials - Copenhaen, Denmark
    Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …


    ConferenceModeling of electromigration salt removal methods in building materials
    CityCopenhaen, Denmark
    Period01/01/2008 → …

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