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Physico-mechanical properties and durability performance of natural building and decorative carbonate stones from Cyprus

Modestou, S., Theodoridou, M. ORCID:, Fournari, R. and Ioannou, I. 2015. Physico-mechanical properties and durability performance of natural building and decorative carbonate stones from Cyprus. Geological Society Special Publications 416 (1) , pp. 145-162. 10.1144/SP416.3

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Natural stone was the primary building material in Cyprus in the past. Nowadays, its use is mostly confined to decorative purposes and restoration projects. This study represents the first thorough and systematic investigation of the characteristics of local carbonate stone. The variety of the results recorded highlights the complexity of this natural geomaterial and, hence, the particular attention needed before selecting the appropriate lithotype in construction practice. Stones coming from the same geological formation exhibit significant variations in their physico-mechanical properties. The materials’ durability against salt crystallization is explained with reference to their pore structure and flexural strength, revealing that, in many cases, small differences may have a significant impact on stone performance. The study also investigates the use of novel microdestructive techniques in the prediction of the mechanical properties of the stones under study. These techniques can be especially useful in the characterization of monumental stone, where sampling is limited, or when in situ characterization of stone is required. Natural stone has been extensively used throughout the history of mankind, both for building and decorative purposes. Even though it is considered one of the most durable traditional geomaterials, existing stone structures and monuments often show evidence of weathering and decay. Stress inflicted during use and by local climate are the major contributing factors to the degradation of building stone. The precise response of individual stone samples is highly variable. This is attributed to the complex nature and physico-mechanical behaviour of natural stone. Understanding the materials’ performance under loading or different environmental conditions is therefore considered of crucial importance in ensuring the sustainable use of stone in construction practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Geological Society
ISSN: 0305-8719
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:15

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