Pozzolanic Mortars for Restoration of Sacred Tuff Masonry Structures

Mariateresa Guadagnuolo (1), Giorgio Frunzio (2), Michelina Monaco (3), Anna Tafuro (4)
(1) Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy, Italy,
(2) Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy, Italy,
(3) Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy, Italy,
(4) Department of Architecture and Industrial Design, University of Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Italy, Italy


Recent earthquakes have shown the seismic vulnerability of the Italian Architectural heritage and the need of interventions. The restoration design should take into account not only assessment and rehabilitation, but also the need of fruition of the cultural assets. These aspects have been considered in the last Italian seismic codes, a performance-based set of technical requirements to be addressed in the design process. In this framework, the requirements that the materials, meant to repair or replace historic ones, should fulfill are a key issue. In particular, for tuff masonry structures, the evaluation of the mechanical characteristics of the mortar is essential. Tests performed directly on samples withdrawn on site are perhaps the most reliable tools to determine the strength characteristics of a mortar to be used for restoration. Unfortunately, the possible dimensions of the samples are not compatible with the minimum required for a reliable mechanical test, so that the characterization of the old mortars and their historic context can be made obtaining information by the treatises of the time: components and their proportions, together with curing operations are often reported in the manuals. In particular, in the Middle Age the Roman knowledge about pozzolanic mortars was somewhat lost, and the results can be seen in the durability problems of several monuments of the period. These last considerations are the motivations of this paper, in which a study of the pozzolanic mortars in tuff masonry structures is provided. As a case study, the tuff masonry structures of the Paleocristian Basilica in Cimitile are considered and examined.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Avdelidis, N. P. and Moropoulou, A. (2004). Applications of infrared thermography for the investigation of historic structures. Journal of Cultural Heritage. 5(1):119-127.

Balen, K. V., Papayianni, I., Hees, R. V., Binda, L., and Waldum, A. (2005). Introduction to requirements for and functions and properties of repair mortars. Materials and structure, 38(8):781-785,

Baronio, G. and Binda, L. (1997). Study of the pozzcolanicity of some bricks and clays, Construction and Building, volume 1.

Bergamasco, I., Gesualdo, A., Iannuzzo, A., and Monaco, M. (2018). An integrated approach to the conservation of the rooting structures in the Pompeian domus. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 31:141-151.

Binda, L. (2005). Dalla conoscenza e dalla caratterizzazione dei materiale e degli elementi dell’edilizia storica in muratura ai provvedimenti compatibili di consolidamento, . In Arti del workshop presso il Politecnico di Milano, pages 39-43, Milano, Milano. (in Italian).

Blunt, A. (1962). Artistic theory in Italy, 1450-1600. 50, Oxford University Press on Demand.

Carillo, S. (2004). L'epera di Gina Chierici nel complesse di Cimitile, in Fiengo G, Guerriere L, Monumenti e Ambienti. Protagonisti del restauro del dopoguerra. Italian, Napoli.

DD., R. (1939). “Norme per l'accetlazione e per il collaudo dei materiali da costruzione” 11/06/1939. in. Italian.

Ebanista, C. (2006). La tomba di S. Felice nel santuario di Cimitile a cinquant’anni dalla scoperta. Marigliano. (in italian).

Guadagnuolo, M., Faella, G., Donadio, A., and Ferri, L. (2014). Integrated evaluation of the Church of S.Nicola di Mira: Conservation versus safety. NDT & E International, 68:53-65.

Guadagnuolo, M. and Monaco, M. (2009). Out of plane behaviour of unreinforced masonry walls, Protection of. Historical Buildings, 2:1177-1180.

Marino, L. (2009). Materiali per un atlante delle patologie presenti nelle arce archeologiche ¢ negli edifici ridotti alla stato di rudere. pages 123-126, Firenze. (in Italian).

Megna, C. (2010). La protezione delle creste dei muri nella basilica nova di Cimitile. In Materia Cimitile, Atti della XX settimana della cultura scientifica e tecnologia del Miur, pages 61-68. (in Italian).

Monaco, M., Aurilio, M., Tafuro, A., and Guadagnuolo, M. (2019). Sustainable mortars for the application in the Cultural Heritage field. Journal of Building Engineering Editorial Board. (submitted).

Nola, P. (1996). i Carmi. vv I-II (in Italian).

Papayianni, I. and Stefanidou, M. (2007). Durability aspects of ancient mortars of the archaeological site of Olynthos. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 8:193-196.

Ramazzotti, L. and Baccini, R. (1984). L’edilizia e la regola: manuali nella Francia dell’Ouocento. (in Italian).

Restauro, C, (1972). Circolare Ministeriale . In n. 2/7 del 6 aprile 1972. (in Italian).

Rodrigues, P. F. and Henriques, F. M. A. (2004). Current Mortars in Conservation: An Overview. In International

Journal for Restoration, 10, pages 692-622.

Stefanidou. M., Pachta, V.. Konopissi, S., Karkadelidou, F., and Papayianni, I. (2014). Analysis and characterization of hydraulic mortars from ancient cisterns and baths. In Materials and structures, volume 47, pages 571-580, Greece.


Mariateresa Guadagnuolo
[email protected] (Primary Contact)
Giorgio Frunzio
Michelina Monaco
Anna Tafuro
Guadagnuolo, M., Frunzio, G., Monaco, M., & Tafuro, A. (2019). Pozzolanic Mortars for Restoration of Sacred Tuff Masonry Structures. Resourceedings, 2(3), 159–163. https://doi.org/10.21625/resourceedings.v2i3.653

Article Details