Materiales de Construcción, Vol 69, No 333 (2019)

Thermal, physical and mechanical characterization of volcanic tuff masonries for the restoration of historic buildings

M. M. Barbero-Barrera
Department of Construction and Technology in Architecture. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Technical University of Madrid, Spain

N. Flores-Medina
Department of Construction and Technology in Architecture. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Technical University of Madrid - Universidad Europea de Canarias. School of Architecture. Department of Projects and Representation of Architecture - Departamento de Construcción Arquitectónica, Escuela de Arquitectura, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Campus Universitario de Tafira, Spain

E. Moreno-Fernández
Department of Construction and Technology in Architecture. Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Technical University of Madrid, Spain


An in-depth knowledge of building materials is essential in order to preserve them. Tuffs are one of the main types volcanic rocks in the Canary Islands. They are mainly used in masonry or as a filler of the ornamental parts of the façades. In both cases, they have been protected to guarantee their durability. However, in recent years, the renderings have been eliminated and the stone has been exposed to the elements. In this paper, two types of Canary-Island volcanic tuffs were characterized from a physical and mechanical point of view as well as their energy conservation, in order to better understand their behaviour and analyze the criteria for preserving them. Thermal conductivity and fluxes increase 2-3 times in wet conditions, as compared to dry ones. This, together with their high porosity demands the use of renderings to avoid stone decay, and at the same time improving living conditions.


Canary Islands; Tuff; Stone; Volcanic; Thermal

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