Towards a more effective and reliable salt crystallization test for porous building materials: state of the art

Barbara Lubelli*, Veerle Cnudde, Teresa Diaz-Goncalves, Elisa Franzoni, Rob P.J. van Hees, Ioannis Ioannou, Beatriz Menendez, Cristiana Nunes, Heiner Siedel, Maria Stefanidou, Veronique Verges-Belmin, Heather Viles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The durability of building materials with respect to salt crystallization is commonly determined by accelerated weathering tests, carried out in the laboratory. An effective laboratory weathering test should assess the durability and, in the case of conservation of historic buildings, the compatibility of repair materials with those existing. Besides, the test should provide reliable results within a reasonable period of time, accelerating the deterioration process without however altering its mechanism. Despite several national and international standards, recommendations and guidelines, a commonly accepted testing protocol does not yet exist. Researchers often develop and apply their own procedure, a fact that complicates comparison between different studies. The RILEM Technical Committee 271 ASC has been set up with the scope of developing improved test procedures for the assessment of the behaviour of materials under the influence of salt crystallization, which should overcome the limitations of existing standards and recommendations. This paper constitutes one of the first results of the work of the Technical Committee. It critically reviews the literature on salt crystallization tests, identifies advantages and limitations of the several test protocols and provides new ideas for the development of improved salt crystallization procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Literature review
  • Porous materials
  • Salt crystallization test
  • Salt damage


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