Selective sandstone deterioration in the cathedrals of Salamanca, Textural anisotropy as a cause
Textural sandstone anisotropy is related to the selective deterioration of such stone in buildings. The samples studied come from the Cathedrals of Salamanca. Stone fragments, cut in different directions with regard to the base supporting the ashlars in the wall, are studied by means of a binocular magnifying glass and the Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). This shows that the sandstone microfabric has a granular and a laminar microtexture, which correspond to different directions in the plane in question as regards the position of the ashlar. Either of these circumstances coincides with the stone surface on the outside of the building and affect its surface deterioration in a different way. The SEM images of deteriorated stone were compared with those of unaffected stone, with both types coming from differently orientated cuts as regards the position of the ashlar. In conclusion, the position given to the block of stone in the building is of importance for the preservation of the stone. The speed of ultrasound transmission measured in samples from commercial quarries confirms the textural sandstone anisotropy to a greater or lesser extent.
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