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X-ray CT imaging as a scientific tool to study the capillary water absorption in sedimentary rocks used in cultural heritages

  • Autori: Alberghina, M; Barraco, RML; Brai, M; Lo Casto, A; Mazzocchio, A; Schillaci, T
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2009
  • Tipologia: eedings
  • Parole Chiave: X-ray, CT, cultural heritages
  • OA Link:


This paper proposes the X-Ray CT imaging as appropriate tool for investigating the capillary water absorption in sedimentary rocks. This technique, in fact, provides information useful for deeping the knowledge about of the porosity and the kinetics of the water capillary absorption in porous materials. The possibility to improve in non invasive manner, the understanding of this phenomenon, constitutes a fundamental aspect to take actions in the restoration and conservation of lapideous artifact and monuments from cultural heritages. The investigated sedimentary rocks come from different Sicilian quarries and were used for the building of the Greek temples in the archaeological areas of Agrigento, Selinunte and in the baroque monuments of the Val di Noto area. The image acquisition was carried out at different times after contact with water. The wetting front progression along the height of the sample was evaluated on the basis of the estimated CT attenuation value maps. An average of the CT attenuation values measured by the ROI (Region of Interest) was used to evaluate the mean height of the wetting front, with different CT scans at fixed time intervals after sample wetting, in order to describe the dynamic behaviour of the imbibition process. CT imaging results have shown that the water absorption is highly subject to the sample porous morphology.