Characterization by X-ray computed tomography of water absorption in a limestone used as building stone in the Oviedo Cathedral (Spain)
V. G. Ruiz De Argandoña, A. Rodriguez-Rey, C. Celorio, L. Calleja, L. M. Suárez Del Rio, 2003. "Characterization by X-ray computed tomography of water absorption in a limestone used as building stone in the Oviedo Cathedral (Spain)", Applications of X-ray Computed Tomography in the Geosciences, F. Mees, R. Swennen, M. Van Geet, P. Jacobs
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Water plays a fundamental role in rock weathering processes. Its penetration and movement inside rocks greatly influences the nature and intensity of damage affecting building stones. X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a useful technique for non-destructive mapping of water penetration. For the reported study, CT was used to investigate the internal structure and water penetration patterns for the Piedramuelle Stone, a Cretaceous limestone used as building material in the Oviedo Cathedral (North of Spain).
X-ray CT provides good images of the internal structure of the samples: the sedimentary layering due to differences in composition and porosity is clearly seen, as well as other textural features. The movement and penetration rate of water was monitored during standard free absorption water tests. The images that were obtained show a clear difference between dry and wet zones in the interior of the sample. Water movement is related to the petrographic characteristics of the rock, mainly to layering which controls the direction of water penetration. Hounsfield Unit numbers provide a quantitative approach for assessing the penetration rate of water.
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X-ray computed tomography (CT) is a technique that allows non-destructive imaging and quantification of internal features of objects. It was originally developed as a medical imaging technique, but it is now also becoming widely used for the study of materials in engineering and the geosciences. X-ray CT reveals differences in density and atomic composition and can therefore be used for the study of porosity, the relative distribution of contrasting solid phases and the penetration of injected solutions. As a non-destructive technique, it is ideally suited for monitoring of processes, such as the movement of solutions and the behaviour of materials under compression. Because large numbers of parallel two-dimensional cross-sections can be obtained, three-dimensional representations of selected features can be created. In this book, various applications of X-ray CT in the geosciences are illustrated by papers covering a wide range of disciplines, including petrology, soil science, petroleum geology, geomechanics and sedimentology.