Sodium sulfate heptahydrate

direct observation of crystallization in a porous material

Andrea Hamilton, Christopher Hall, Leo Pel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is well known that sodium sulfate causes salt crystallization damage in building materials and rocks. However since the early 1900s the existence of the metastable heptahydrate has been largely forgotten and almost entirely overlooked in scientific publications on salt damage mechanics and on terrestrial and planetary geochemistry. We use hard synchrotron x-rays to detect the formation of this metastable heptahydrate on cooling a porous calcium silicate material saturated with sodium sulfate solution. The heptahydrate persists indefinitely and transforms to mirabilite only below 0 ◦C. At the transformation, which is rapid, the solution is highly supersaturated with respect to mirabilite. We estimate that crystallization of the heptahydrate and of mirabilite have associated Correns pressures of about 9 and 19MPa, respectively, exceeding the tensile strength of building stones. We detect lattice strains in the salts from x-ray measurements consistent with these values.
Original languageEnglish
Article number212002
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Volume41
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2008

Fingerprint

Sodium sulfate
porous materials
Crystallization
sodium sulfates
Porous materials
Salts
crystallization
salts
rocks
damage
calcium silicates
X rays
Calcium silicate
Geochemistry
geochemistry
Synchrotrons
tensile strength
Mechanics
synchrotrons
x rays

Keywords

  • porus material
  • engineering
  • salt crystallization damage
  • building materials

Cite this

@article{c859f7e5e95e49e5a73e42e32274a3d9,
title = "Sodium sulfate heptahydrate: direct observation of crystallization in a porous material",
abstract = "It is well known that sodium sulfate causes salt crystallization damage in building materials and rocks. However since the early 1900s the existence of the metastable heptahydrate has been largely forgotten and almost entirely overlooked in scientific publications on salt damage mechanics and on terrestrial and planetary geochemistry. We use hard synchrotron x-rays to detect the formation of this metastable heptahydrate on cooling a porous calcium silicate material saturated with sodium sulfate solution. The heptahydrate persists indefinitely and transforms to mirabilite only below 0 ◦C. At the transformation, which is rapid, the solution is highly supersaturated with respect to mirabilite. We estimate that crystallization of the heptahydrate and of mirabilite have associated Correns pressures of about 9 and 19MPa, respectively, exceeding the tensile strength of building stones. We detect lattice strains in the salts from x-ray measurements consistent with these values.",
keywords = "porus material, engineering, salt crystallization damage, building materials",
author = "Andrea Hamilton and Christopher Hall and Leo Pel",
year = "2008",
month = "10",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1088/0022-3727/41/21/212002",
language = "English",
volume = "41",
journal = "Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics",
issn = "0022-3727",
number = "21",

}

Sodium sulfate heptahydrate : direct observation of crystallization in a porous material. / Hamilton, Andrea; Hall, Christopher; Pel, Leo.

In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol. 41, No. 21, 212002, 15.10.2008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sodium sulfate heptahydrate

T2 - direct observation of crystallization in a porous material

AU - Hamilton, Andrea

AU - Hall, Christopher

AU - Pel, Leo

PY - 2008/10/15

Y1 - 2008/10/15

N2 - It is well known that sodium sulfate causes salt crystallization damage in building materials and rocks. However since the early 1900s the existence of the metastable heptahydrate has been largely forgotten and almost entirely overlooked in scientific publications on salt damage mechanics and on terrestrial and planetary geochemistry. We use hard synchrotron x-rays to detect the formation of this metastable heptahydrate on cooling a porous calcium silicate material saturated with sodium sulfate solution. The heptahydrate persists indefinitely and transforms to mirabilite only below 0 ◦C. At the transformation, which is rapid, the solution is highly supersaturated with respect to mirabilite. We estimate that crystallization of the heptahydrate and of mirabilite have associated Correns pressures of about 9 and 19MPa, respectively, exceeding the tensile strength of building stones. We detect lattice strains in the salts from x-ray measurements consistent with these values.

AB - It is well known that sodium sulfate causes salt crystallization damage in building materials and rocks. However since the early 1900s the existence of the metastable heptahydrate has been largely forgotten and almost entirely overlooked in scientific publications on salt damage mechanics and on terrestrial and planetary geochemistry. We use hard synchrotron x-rays to detect the formation of this metastable heptahydrate on cooling a porous calcium silicate material saturated with sodium sulfate solution. The heptahydrate persists indefinitely and transforms to mirabilite only below 0 ◦C. At the transformation, which is rapid, the solution is highly supersaturated with respect to mirabilite. We estimate that crystallization of the heptahydrate and of mirabilite have associated Correns pressures of about 9 and 19MPa, respectively, exceeding the tensile strength of building stones. We detect lattice strains in the salts from x-ray measurements consistent with these values.

KW - porus material

KW - engineering

KW - salt crystallization damage

KW - building materials

U2 - 10.1088/0022-3727/41/21/212002

DO - 10.1088/0022-3727/41/21/212002

M3 - Article

VL - 41

JO - Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

JF - Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics

SN - 0022-3727

IS - 21

M1 - 212002

ER -