Charge balance calculations for mixed salt systems applied to a large dataset from the built environment

Sebastiaan Godts, Michael Steiger, Scott Allan Orr, Tim De Kock, Julie Desarnaud, Hilde De Clercq, Veerle Cnudde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Understanding salt mixtures in the built environment is crucial to evaluate damage phenomena. This contribution presents charge balance calculations applied to a dataset of 11412 samples taken from 338 sites, building materials showing signs of salt deterioration. Each sample includes ion concentrations of Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl, NO3, and SO42− adjusted to reach charge balance for data evaluation. The calculation procedure follows two distinct pathways: i) an equal adjustment of all ions, ii) adjustments to the cations in sequence related to the solubility of the theoretical solids. The procedure applied to the dataset illustrates the quantification of salt mixture compositions and highlights the extent of adjustments applied in relation to the sample mass to aid interpretation. The data analysis allows the identification of theoretical carbonates that could influence the mixture behavior. Applying the charge balance calculations to the dataset validated common ions found in the built environment and the identification of three typical mixture compositions. Additionally, the data can be used as direct input for thermodynamic modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number324
Pages (from-to)1-10
Journal Scientific data
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022


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