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    Review of Durability Testing in the United States and Europe

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    There are criticisms that durability (accelerated weathering) test procedures have no relationship to natural weathering. The fact is that stone can vary from quarry to quarry, within a single quarry, and within a single quarry block. Therefore, it is important to test the specific supply of stone for a large building project. Stone used successfully on a similar project in the past may not have the same physical or mechanical properties for a current project. Durability testing can provide comparative information that can determine stones that are more susceptible to erosion or deterioration from natural weathering.

    The purpose of this paper is to review various durability test procedures used in Europe and the United States. The Europeans are exploring separate test procedures which are appropriate for specific types of stones, while the Americans in the United States are studying a single test method that can be carried out to a standard procedure. The European systems rely on saturation coefficient and porosity, while some utilize a freeze-thaw test. The British have also studied separate test procedures that are specific for limestone, sandstone, slate, granite and marble. The French and Belgians have attempted to relate compression, capillary coefficient, sonic modulus testing and wear resistance to durability. There is wide diversity between the durability test procedures preferred by the French and Belgians then preferred by the British. The Americans rely to a great extent on freeze-thaw testing to determine durability. At present, the Americans have published more data than the Europeans regarding comparisons between durability testing and natural weathering. Based on the analysis in this paper, it may be possible to find a common thread for the development of a standard test for all stones or separate tests for individual types of stone.


    stone, durability, European test systems, United States test systems, natural weathering, accelerated weathering

    Author Information:

    Bortz, SA
    Senior Consultant, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, IL

    Wonneberger, B
    Senior Architect, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., Northbrook, IL

    Committee/Subcommittee: C18.01

    DOI: 10.1520/STP13542S