workshop CRYSPOM III
 Crystallization in Porous materials
       4-7 September 2012 Tróia Portugal


Salt damages
Historical monuments, buildings, and wall paintings are a significant part of the world cultural heritage. It has been known since ancient times that the presence of salt can cause damage in porous building materials. Herodotus already reported in his book ”The histories”: ”salt exudes from the soil to such an extent it affects even the pyramids” (about 440BC, translation from 1972). Salt are also responsible for the damage in many modern buildings and civil engineering constructions

The damage caused by soluble salts is generally due to their accumulation at the surface by drying and phase transition. These salts are observed at the surface, i.e., as efflorescence, or just below the surface, i.e, as sub-florescence. Here, they may cause structural damages, e.g., delamination, surface chipping, or disintegration, with consequent loss of detail. As salts crystallize in the porous materials, they and may cause stresses inside the pores. These stresses are responsible for internal cracking of the porous material. In order to prevent damage induced by crystallization we must understand the processes causing the salt crystallization and know the preferred crystallization form. A few typical examples of salt damage are:


Heat storage
Renewable energy is of increasingly importance in our modern society. Long-term compact heat storage would enable a major break-through technology for an effective year round use of solar thermal energy.One particular heat storage method with a high potential makes use of the (hydration) crystallization energy of salts. In general these salt are stored in porous media and at present probably one of the most important factors is the stability of the salt during cycling.


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