Centuries of masonry construction in the majority of Countries have left a wide historical building-stock inheritance, often of extraordinary architecture and design. To conserve these structures it is more and more required to understand the deterioration processes caused by the environment. When dealing with porous materials like masonry, salt crystallization is recognized as one of the major factors of environmental degradation, and there is compelling evidence that its influence will increase due to the global climate change and pollution. Therefore, a deep knowledge of this kind of deterioration process is of fundamental importance for a better choice of damage prevention methods and a sustainable management of Cultural Heritage.
The objective of the KISADAMA project is to develop an integrated approach for modelling and analysis of the decay mechanism of masonry structures (made by fired clay or sandstone brick) due to salt crystallization. In particular, the idea is to combine, at the (sub)micro-scale, theoretical, numerical and experimental studies to model the interaction between salt crystallization and deformation/damage of the masonry porous material and, then, to pass this information at the macro-scale, in order to develop effective predictive tools useful from the engineer point of view. In this way, a deep understanding of the crystallization processes can be achieved and future damage scenarios can be predicted.