The application of the acoustic emission technique to stone decay by sodium sulphate in laboratory tests
Acoustic emission was monitored during salt crystallisation cycles in order to study the mechanisms of rock deterioration by sodium sulphate in laboratory tests. Some porous carbonate stones used in Spanish monuments (Cathedral of Oviedo, Murcia and Seo Vella of Lérida) were selected for this study. The acoustic emission detected during the different stages of the cycles (immersion, drying and cooling) was interpreted to be the result of the salt behaviour inside the stone. The use of this technique has confirmed that this behaviour depends on salt characteristics (solubility, hydration state and polymorphism of anhydrous sodium sulphate) and stone porosity and pore network.
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