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Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: M. Franquelo, M. Robador, V. Ramírez-Valle, A. Durán, M. Jiménez de Haro, and J. Pérez-Rodríguez

Abstract  

Roman ceramics of two hydraulic mortars used to build the pond and water channel of Mithraeum house from Mérida (Spain) have been studied. The sizes of the ceramic fragments found were different in both of the samples studied, showing different behaviour in the reactions with the lime. The X-ray diffraction of the ceramic shows the presence of quartz, mica (biotite), anorthite and hematite accompanied by amorphous phase, being observed scarce vitrification. The presence of mica confirms a firing temperature for manufacturing the ceramic below 900°C. In one of the ceramics studied, X-ray diffraction did not show calcite. However, in the FTIR appear bands that could be assigned to carbonates absorptions and likewise, carbonates were identified in the DTA-TG curves. Ca and small quantities of Si and Al were also identified by SEM-EDX on the surface of the pores that could be due to an amorphous phase formed in the reaction of lime with the Si and Al of the ceramic. On the other hand, in other ceramic samples carbonates (about 10%) were detected. The carbonates have been found filling the pores, sometimes accompanied by a new calcium-aluminium-silicate phase produced by the reaction between the lime and the amorphous phase of the ceramic. The carbonates and the new phases formed inside the pores are responsible for the decrease of the porosity and for the formation of new phases during the heating of the ceramics.

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Abstract  

Mortars taken from the walls of three historical buildings in Seville: Pond of Patio de las Doncellas in Real Alcazar of Seville, the Monastery of Santa Maria de las Cuevas and the Church of El Salvador were investigated. The techniques employed were thermogravimetry (TG), differential thermal analysis (DTA), XRD, FTIR, SEM with EDAX, Bernard calcimeter, granulometry, mercury intrusion porosimetry and mechanical strength tests. The majority of the studied mortars consist of calcite and silica. Gypsum was detected in samples of four mortars from the Santa Maria de las Cuevas Monastery and two from the El Salvador Church, whose samples were taken from the upper layers of the walls, but gypsum was not detected in the internal mortars layers. Only in two of the samples of the Monastery, the presence of cellulosic material as an organic additive was detected. All the studied mortars could be regarded hydraulic, so much by results from ratios between mass loss due to CO2 and H2O, hydraulic module and assays of compressive strength. The values obtained by these three techniques are related, providing good agreements between them. These results give useful information that aids in understanding the technology of historic mortars, and how to plan the restoration of these wall paintings.

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