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Material Durability in the Anastylosis of Ancient Structures

Ariel Paige Kousgaard, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Preserving ancient Roman and Greek structures at archaeological sites safeguards cultural heritage. However, this is a challenging task when the structure is partially or fully collapsed and structural interventions are necessary despite the design limitations proposed by international guidelines. In recent decades, a commonly used and well researched method for anastylosis (i.e. reconstruction of ancient structures) has been titanium reinforcement embedded in cementitious binders to join stone elements. This method came as a response to the earlier detrimental interventions with iron or steel reinforcement and lead or Sorel cement mortar as binders. Recently, glass fiber reinforced polymer (GFRP) rebar embedded in epoxy resin was offered as an alternative because it is a cost effective alternative to titanium. However, there is not sufficient research to justify the use of GFRP with stone, particularly with respect to the durability of these materials in Mediterranean climates with high heat and salt water exposure. The main goal of this project is to investigate GFRP, grout, and epoxy for their durability after being exposed to high heat and salt water, while maintaining a weaker connection-strong base material balance when placed in anastylosis scenarios. To achieve this goal, laboratory tests were done with a base material of marble, GFRP as the connector, and two types of binders: an epoxy and an ultrafine white cementitious grout. Experiments included flexure, shear, and flexural bond tests. Behavior of the control specimens were compared to those that were environmentally conditioned simulating temperature cycles and salt exposure akin to those in the coastal Mediterranean regions. After an in-depth statistical analysis of the experimental results, it is concluded that GFRP connectors with ultrafine white grout is a better option for the reconstruction of ancient structures when compared to GFRP with epoxy. Adverse environmental conditions did not have an influence on the grout or GFRP, and grout protected the marble from failing before the GFRP failed. Although the epoxy had no statistically significant adverse reactions to the salt solution or heat, the epoxy agent bled into the marble and lead to detrimental failure of marble, violating international guidelines of historical conservation.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Kousgaard, Ariel Paige, "Material Durability in the Anastylosis of Ancient Structures" (2016). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI10142451.