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The secret of ancient Roman hydraulic mortar: the lesson learnt from the past for future cements

DOI: 10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2024.105484 DOI Help

Authors: Laura Medeghini (CNIS, Sapienza University of Rome) , Laura Calzolari (Sapienza University of Rome) , Michela Botticelli (Kelvin Centre for Conservation and Cultural Heritage Research) , Melania Di Fazio (University of Rome) , Caterina De Vito (University of Rome) , Ida Pettiti (Sapienza University of Rome) , Fabrizio Bardelli (CNR-Nanotec) , Silvano Mignardi (University of Rome)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Cement And Concrete Composites , VOL 27

State: Published (Approved)
Published: February 2024
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 24830

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Aqua Traiana is an ancient Roman aqueduct, built to supply water to the ancient city of Rome and still working nowadays. This work is focused on the characterization of its mortars, and in particular the binders, to identify the reasons of such a durable resistance. Samples collected inside the aqueduct were analysed by Optical Microscopy (OM) in thin sections, X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRPD), Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), High Resolution Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (HR-FESEM-EDS), Electron Microprobe (EMPA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry coupled with Thermogravimetric Analysis (DSC-TGA)Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES) spectroscopy and N2 adsorption/desorption measurements. The presence of an amorphous gel-like C-(N,K)-A-S-H binder and the complete absence of calcite in Trajan Age samples constitute a unique case, and may be the reason of the high hydraulicity of the mortar. Establishing how these features were produced could allow them to be replicated in high-durability and high-compatibility restoration mortars.

Journal Keywords: Amorphous material; C-A-S-H; C-(N,K)-A-S-H; Pozzolan; Mortar; Microstructure

Diamond Keywords: Archeology

Subject Areas: Archaeological and Cultural Heritage, Materials, Engineering

Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy

Other Facilities: JC requested DPN from author 21/2/24

Added On: 21/02/2024 11:20


Discipline Tags:

Earth Sciences & Environment Mineralogy Cultural Heritage Humanities Materials Engineering & Processes Materials Science Engineering & Technology Composite Materials Geology

Technical Tags:

Spectroscopy X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) X-ray Absorption Near Edge Structure (XANES)