High-resolution X-ray CT for 3D petrography of ferruginous sandstone for an investigation of building stone decay

Veerle Cnudde*, Jan Dewanckele, Matthieu Boone, Tim de Kock, Marijn Boone, Loes Brabant, Michiel Dusar, Marleen de Ceukelaire, Hilde de Clercq, Roald Hayen, Patric Jacobs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Diestian ferruginous sandstone has been used as the dominant building stone for monuments in the Hageland, a natural landscape in east-central Belgium. Like all rocks, this stone type is sensitive to weathering. Case hardening was observed in combination with blackening of the exterior parts of the dressed stones. To determine the 3D petrography and to identify the structural differences between the exterior and interior parts, X-ray computed tomography was used in combination with more traditional research techniques like optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. The 3D characterization of the ferruginous sandstone was performed with a high-resolution X-ray CT scanner () in combination with the flexible 3D analysis software Morpho+, which provides the necessary petrophysical parameters of the scanned samples in 3D. Besides providing the required 3D parameters like porosity, pore-size distribution, grain size, grain orientation, and surface analysis, the results of the 3D analysis can also be visualized, which enables to understand and interpret the analysis results in a straightforward way. The complementarities between high-quality X-ray CT images and flexible 3D software and its relation with the more traditional microscopical research techniques are opening up new gateways in the study of weathering processes of natural building stones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1006-1017
Number of pages12
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • 3D analysis
  • 3D microscopy


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