Hygric swelling of Portland Brownstone

Inmaculada Jimenez Gonzalez, Megan Higgins, George W. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Portland Brownstone (PB) is a widely used building material, particularly in New York City, that is susceptible to severe deterioration from weathering. This stone contains clays that may cause damage by dilating during wetting/drying cycles. We have measured the swelling strain of PB in aqueous solutions to determine the effect of ionic strength (of KCl and CaCl2) and water activity (in isopropanol solutions). We have also measured the stress exerted during swelling when the expansion is constrained. These data permit calculation of the stresses produced during wetting/drying cycles, which are found to be comparable to the tensile strength of the stone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-27
Number of pages7
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002
EventMaterials Issues in Art and Archeology VI - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Nov 26 2001Nov 30 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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