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Amany Mohamed Bakr, Mona Fouad Ali, Abubakr Moussa, Amir Said
Characterization of Imitated Marble Used in Historical Buildings in Cairo – Egypt
The imitation of natural decorative marble using various techniques was used widely in Egypt during the period of Muḥammad ʿAlī family (1805–1952). Samples of imitated marble in different colors and patterns from Sabīl Umm ʿAbbās (1867) and Saʿīd Ḥalīm palace (1901) were studied in order to identify their materials and techniques of preparation. Polarizing microscope (PLM), scanning electron microscopy with the energy dispersive X-ray (SEM-EDX), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were used in performing the study. The obtained data of the two studied monuments showed the wide variation in the materials and techniques used. Sabīl Umm ʿAbbās results indicated that the imitation of the white veined marble was executed using several thin layers consisting of many substances. Zincite (ZnO) and cerussite (PbCO3) were used in the white outer finishing layer. Barite (BaSO4), calcite (CaCO3) and gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) were used in the subsurface layers. Animal glue was used as an organic binding media. Saʿīd Ḥalīm palace results show the presence of calcite, gypsum, quartz (SiO2) and tobermorite [Calcium silicate hydrate (4CaO.5SiO2.5H2O)], the latter compound is an indicator of using a mixture of calcite, gypsum, quartz and a binder hydraulic cement in the execution of the veined red imitated marble tiles of the wall casing. Hematite (Fe2O3) and magnetite (Fe3O4) were used to obtain the red and black colors. The information obtained is needed for conservation purposes in the two studied locations.Keywords: artificial marble – XRD – Sem-Edax – Ftir – PLM – Saʿīd Ḥalīm palace – Sabīl Umm ʿAbbās – characterization and conservation.