In the present work, the relationship between intrinsic factors, mechanical properties and durability of Miocene sandstones used in the architectural heritage of Tunisia, specifically in the Roman aqueduct of Oued Miliane and Uthina site, are studied. The petrographic study and the characterisation of porous network have been carried out using optical microscopy, mercury intrusion porosimetry and laser scanner confocal microscopy (LSCM). The hygric behaviour has also been determined from water absorption under vacuum, drying, capillary water absorption and water vapour permeability. The mechanical properties have been assessed from compressive strength and abrasion tests. Rock durability has been evaluated from salt crystallization (sodium sulphate) accelerated aging tests. The results show good hygric behaviour characterised by a high evaporation rate and almost no retention of water; due to the macroporous character of the rock and the good connectivity of the pore network. Because of the poor lithification, the stone has a very low mechanical strength which makes it very vulnerable to the salt crystallization effects. The absence of chemically unstable minerals preserves the rock from chemical alteration. The durability of the building stone is mainly conditioned by salt loading of the monument. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Hygric and mechanical properties
- Oued Miliane aqueduct
- Petrographic characteristics
- Uthina Roman site