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World Applied Sciences Journal 11 (5): 569-572, 2010

ISSN 1818-4952
IDOSI Publications, 2010

The Experimental Methods Suggested in Characterization of

Natural Stones Used in Historical Buildings
Mustafa Ozgunler and 2Seden Acun Ozgunler

Department of Building Physics and Materials, Faculty of Architecture, MSGSU, Turkey


Department of Building Materials, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract: The main aim of this paper is to preserve the historical masonry buildings by determining the
characteristics of original stone which is essential in the conservation and restoration activities. The
determination of the characteristics of original material is necessary for both conservation and restoration of
buildings. The characterization of original stone is very important to choose the appropriate treatment methods
and protective chemicals. Because, conservation methods can be different in each type of stone. And also,
characterization data of the original stone is necessary to choose appropriate the quarried stone. To make a
contribution to preservation of the cultural heritage studies, the experimental methods were evaluated for
characterization of original stones used in the structure. In this paper, Ahi Celebi Mosque which was built in
16th century by Architect Sinan in Istanbul was chosen as a case study. In this building, usage of white colored
limestone (Kufeki) and green colored volcanic tuffs (Od Stone) were observed. Being much more deteriorated,
volcanic tuffs were studied in this case. By means of this study, a characterization method applicable on
volcanic tuffs used in historical buildings is recommended. The constituting a methodology of characterization
are also applicable on other types of stones.

Key words:Volcanic tuffs Od stone Stone conservation Ahi Celebi Mosque Experimental methods
Masonry buildings

INTRODUCTION In the walls of Ahi Celebi Mosque, white colored

limestones (Kufeki) and green colored volcanic tuffs
Due to various factors historical buildings with (Od stone) were used. But, it was observed that Od
cultural value have been seriously damaged. stones were much more deteriorated than the limestones.
Especially building stones used in masonry historical Especially, Od stones used in the walls and window
buildings are affected by the environmental factors frames were seriously deteriorated. So, the
in time and thus are deteriorated. This causes detail characterization studies were conducted on Od stone
loss and structural damage in historical buildings. samples in order to make a contribution to restoration
Therefore, various preservation and restoration activities of Ahi Celebi Mosque. According to the
activities are needed to prevent the deterioration of results of the study, new stones which were compatible
stones. However, incorrect restoration usually due to with the originals were ordered from the quarry.
unsystematic or wrong choice of material leads to Od means fire in Ottoman language, because of its
irretrievable results. Various factors affect the high fire resistance, they are called Od stones in Ottoman
success of preservation and restoration activities. archive documents. Od stones were commonly used in
In order to make successful preservation activities, Early Byzantine and Late Ottoman Buildings in the walls,
appropriate experimental methods must be followed window frames and stairs, etc, [1]. The volcanic tuffs
in a systematic way. In this case study, the which are rather frequently used in historical buildings
experiments were conducted on original stones and monuments are deteriorated by various effects
which were sampled from Ahi Celebi Mosque, which because of their chaotic micro structure. The research
is located in Eminonu. It was built in 16th century by consists of laboratory tests following the suggested
Architect Sinan, [1], (Figure 1). experimental methods in the study, [2].

Corresponding Author: Seden Acun Ozgunler, Department of Building Materials, Faculty of Architecture, Istanbul Technical
University, Istanbul, Turkey, Tel: +90-2122931300/2385, E-mail:
World Appl. Sci. J., 11 (5): 569-572, 2010

Fig. 1: The photographs of Ahi Celebi Mosque

Fig. 2: The schema shows the experimental studies

The Environmental Conditions of Ahi Celebi Mosque: stones. By these studies, deterioration morphology was
In this research, before the experimental studies, the also determined. The characterization tests consisted of
environmental conditions of Ahi Celebi Mosque were micro and macro analyses conducted on the original Od
investigated. One of its facades is by the seaside (Golden stone samples such as physical, mechanical tests and
Horn) and the other facades are very close to traffic chemical and petrography analyses. These tests and
zone. The building has also problems with ground analyses were conducted on sound core and deteriorated
conditions. This building was highly affected by the salts surface of the sample. The experimental program was
coming from the sea and the air pollution caused by shown in Figure 2.
traffic. By these reasons, it was observed that there was
strong relationship between the deterioration mechanisms Taking Stone Samples: The stone samples were
of volcanic tuffs and the environmental conditions of Ahi extracted from the facades as stone blocks during the
Celebi Mosque. For determining the deterioration restoration works. These blocks had approximately
mechanisms, characterization studies were conducted by 20x20x30 cm dimensions. The necessary amounts of the
following an experimental program. In this case study an samples were taken from both the deteriorated surface and
experimental program was constituted as shown in the the sound core of the stones for the tests. Most of the
following parts. samples were taken from the window frames in the north
and west facades (Figure 3). The samples were cut in to
The Experimental Studies for Characterization: 4x4x16 cm prisms and 4x4x4cm cubic dimensions
The characterization studies were conducted for according to universal standards for the tests and
determining the type and the general properties of the analyses.

World Appl. Sci. J., 11 (5): 569-572, 2010

Fig. 3: Sampling photos

(a) (b)
Fig. 4: Thin section photographs of general matrix, a). Single Nicole, b). Double Nicole

(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 5: SEM photos of general matrix of Od stone, a).1000x, b). 2000x, c).5000x magnification

The Results of Micro Structure Analyses: The thin EDS analyses, in the zeolithic tuffs, alteration is
section analyses, XRD and SEM-EDS analyses were determined as geochemically according to the amount of
conducted on the samples in order to determine the SiO2, Na2O and K2O are decreased, Al 2O3, MgO, CaO are
type and the deterioration morphology of Od stones, increased, [3].
(Figs. 4-5). As a result of the analyses, Od stones were
determined as a rhyodasitic-dasitic tuff because of having The Physical Property Tests: The physical properties of
quartz, plagioclase, alkali feldspar, zeolite etc. silicate Od stone were determined in compliance with TSE 699, TS
minerals. And deterioration morphology was determined EN 1925, [4,5]. The physical tests consisted of capillarity,
by finding montmorillonite as a clay mineral in the micro water absorption in the atmospheric pressure, density,
structure. This was found in the result of the conversion specific gravity tests. The tests were conducted by using
of feldspar minerals in to clay minerals by the cause of the 40x40x160mm dimensioned prismatic samples.
air pollution and atmospheric events.
For the chemical analysis, EDS were conducted in The Mechanical Property Tests: The mechanical
order to determine the geo-chemical changes between the properties of Od stone were determined in compliance
sound and the altered stone samples. In the results of with TSE 699 and TS EN 14579, [4,6]. The mechanical tests

World Appl. Sci. J., 11 (5): 569-572, 2010

consisted of flexural strength, compression strength, In order to make successful restorations, it has
ultrasound velocity tests. The tests were conducted by inevitable importance of characterization studies by using
using 40x40x160mm prismatic samples and 40x40x40mm experimental methods.
cubic samples.


By this study, the characteristics (sound and 1. Topkac, S., 1992. The Restoration ond Landscaping
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