SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 26 November 2021

Freeze-Thaw Resistance Test Mechanics for Dimension Stone: A Study of the Influence of Variant Wetting Procedures during Exposure Cycling on Mechanically Determined Flexural Strength of Stone


This program explores test methodologies for the mechanical evaluation of thin stone cladding materials for resistance to freeze-thaw exposure cycling. The primary objectives of this study are to expand on existing trends in industry evaluation procedures for this property by investigating the effect of variant specimen wetting conditions during exposure cycling and improving the efficiency of laboratory exposure cycling procedures through automation refinement. A natural limestone with a history of successful use as a cladding material in environments subject to freeze-thaw exposure was used for this evaluation. To minimize naturally occurring variation between test specimens, all test materials were prepared from the same quarry location and block. The specimens were subjected to repeated cycles of freezing and thawing conducted in general accordance with ASTM C666, Standard Test Method for Resistance of Concrete to Rapid Freezing and Thawing, (Procedure B: Freeze in Air/Thaw in Water), modified with regard to the depth of water exposure (complete vs. partial specimen immersion) during the prescribed thawing cycles. Sets of specimens were removed from exposure cycling at regular intervals for flexural strength evaluation in accordance with current industry testing protocols for dimension stone (ASTM C880, Standard Test Method for Flexural Strength of Dimension Stone). Flexural strength resulting from the two exposure condition series was evaluated against the results of both the alternate exposure series and unexposed control specimens to determine the influence of the alternate wetting depth mechanics on changes in flexural performance throughout exposure cycling. The results were also evaluated against previous laboratory weathering data for a similar limestone to establish the viability of the procedures used as a potential predictor of in-service performance. This study does not directly attempt to establish performance criteria for any stone intended for use as architectural cladding but rather contributes to the establishment of a clearly defined test methodology for determining the freeze-thaw durability of natural stone to be used as a cladding material subject to such conditions.

Author Information

Scallorn, Scott, D.
Natural Stone and Cementitious Materials, Intertek Building and Construction, York, PA, US
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Pages: 54–70
DOI: 10.1520/STP162820200029
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-7703-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-7702-4