Monitoring the moisture transport in building stones using fibre optic relative humidity sensors

Sudarsan Srinivasan, Muhammed Basheer, Bernard Smith, K.T.V. Grattan, Tong Sun, Heather Viles

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

    Abstract

    Weathering of stone is one of the major reasons for the damage of stone masonry structures and it takes place due to interlinked chemical, physical and biological processes in stones. The key parameters involved in the deterioration processes are temperature, moisture and salt. It is now known that the sudden variations in temperature and moisture greatly accelerate the weathering process of the building stone fabric. Therefore, in order to monitor these sudden variations an effective and continuous monitoring system is needed. Furthermore, it must consist of robust sensors which are accurate and can survive in the harsh environments experienced in and around masonry structures. Although salt penetration is important for the rate of deterioration of stone masonry structures, the processes involved are much slower than the damage associated with temperature and moisture variations. Therefore, in this paper a novel fibre optic temperature cum relative humidity sensor is described and its applicability in monitoring building stones demonstrated. The performance of the sensor is assessed in an experiment comprising wetting and drying of limestone blocks. The results indicate that the novel fibre optic relative humidity sensor which is tailor made for applications in masonry structures performed well in wetting and drying tests, whilst commercial capacitance based sensors failed to recover during the drying regime for a long period after a wetting regime. That is, the fibre optic sensor has the capability to measure both sorption and de-sorption characteristics of stone blocks. This sensor is used in a test wall in Oxford and the data thus obtained strengthened the laboratory observations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages371-383
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
    EventInternational workshop on civil structural health monitoring (CSHM-3): Conservation of Heritage Structures - Ottawa, Canada
    Duration: 11 Aug 201013 Aug 2010

    Conference

    ConferenceInternational workshop on civil structural health monitoring (CSHM-3): Conservation of Heritage Structures
    CountryCanada
    CityOttawa
    Period11/08/201013/08/2010

    Bibliographical note

    ISBN: 978-0-88865-883-8

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