Salt crystallization tests: Focus on their objective

A. Elena Charola, Inge Rörig-Dalgaard, Jacek Chwast, Jan Elsen

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Many factors influence the durability of a building material, such as its mechanical resistance, exposure conditions and the presence of soluble salts in it. Since the latter interact with each other, it is difficult to relate any of them to the specific damage observed. Lubelli et al. [1] have recently summarized the shortcoming of some salt crystallization tests and of the mathematical models based on the accepted salt crystallization theories. The net result is that there is no single salt crystallization test that can provide all answers since crystallization kinetics, depending on specific circumstances, play a critical role in the induced deterioration. Nonetheless, specific tests have been developed which have proved to be practically viable in assessing particular material compatibility or potential damaging sources. Two such tests are described, one using sodium chloride to determine compatibility of restoration mortars, and another where the efflorescence of gypsum for brick masonry is evaluated. These methods have proven their reliability and lead to the conclusion that salt tests should be designed for specific objectives.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event4th International Conference on Salt Weathering of Buildings and Stone Sculptures - Potsdam, Germany
Duration: 20 Sep 201722 Sep 2017
Conference number: 4


Conference4th International Conference on Salt Weathering of Buildings and Stone Sculptures


  • Sodium chloride test
  • Sodium sulfate test
  • Masonry materials
  • Crystallization kinetics


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