Original paper

A multi-technique approach for the determination of the porous structure of building stone

Barbera, Giovanni; Barone, Germana; Crupi, Vincenza; Longo, Francesca; Maisano, Giacomo; Majolino, Domenico; Mazzoleni, Paolo; Raneri, Simona; Teixeira, Josè; Venuti, Valentina


The complete knowledge of the porous structure of rocks is necessarily requested for the prediction of the damages induced by salt crystallization. Nevertheless, the geometric description of the porous structure is usually very difficult because of the variability of the size distribution of voids, ranging from nanometers to millimeters, which generally is not accessible by a single methodology. For this reason, a multi-technique approach was used here: the investigation at sub-micrometric dimensional scale (> 0.004 μm) was carried out by Hg intrusion porosimetry (MIP), whereas the study at the nanoscale required Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) analysis. All the results were interpreted in the framework of a fractal model. The analyses were performed on limestones of different geological formations, cropping out in south-eastern Sicily and largely used as building stones in Baroque monuments of the Noto Valley (belonging to the UNESCO Heritage List).


calcarenitesfractal dimensionmercury intrusion porosimetrypetrographyrock physicssmall angle neutron scattering