A study of the weathering of an historic building
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Analytica chimica acta. - Amsterdam
, p. 247-255
University of Antwerp
Various bulk and surface analytical techniques were used to study the chemical deterioration of the 13th-to-15th century limestone cathedral in Mechelen, Belgium. The weathering crust on the walls was found to be rich in sulfate, regardless of the geographic orientation. Nitrate and chloride were only detected in minor amounts in the crust and run-off samples. Attack by gaseous sulfur compounds seems to play a dominant role in the stone deterioration mechanism. Electron microprobe analysis showed predominantly bar-shaped gypsum crystals in the crust, and laser microprobe mass spectrometry showed that carbon seems to be responsible for the blackness of most crust samples. Automated electron microprobe analysis also indicated significant differences in the analytical composition of suspensions in run-off water and in rain-water.