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Marcon marble/concrete unit

The objective is to develop a combined natural stone/
concrete unit, suitable for both the repair of crumbling
marble facades and new structures. The unit will provide
new potential for marble to be used as a facing material.

Facades of Carrara marble have suffered a high incidence of damage in recent decades. Throughout the world there occurs the phenomenon of white Carrara marble bulging after a few years' exposure in a facade. Many historically valuable buildings in Europe have been affected by these problems which have intensified with increasing air pollution. This erosion is due primarily to sulphur dioxide emissions. Incorporating the marble in a reinforced concrete unit can considerably increase its service life as a facing material. The idea is to retain the marble slabs in their natural position, i.e. straight, and thus prevent bending and cracking processes from commencing. Tests already performed show that a combination of these materials achieves superior strength in comparison with solid marble. The MARCON unit comprises a 10 mm thick marble slab which is cast in position in a 30 cm thick double-reinforced concrete slab. This patented production method comprises, in principle, two stages: 1. the marble is surface-treated to allow the concrete to cure in position on the marble slab; 2. the marble slab is pre-bent to compensate for the shrinkage of the concrete during the drying stage. In order to extend further unit service life, the marble is impregnated. The durable support structure has brought fresh potential for surface treatment of marble. Previous experience shows that the marble's tendency to bulge is considerably increased by surface treatment and this process would accelerate without the support structure. The main points of the project development schedule are: 1. Testing of the base material in the unit (estimates and practical studies) 2. Testing of various reinforcement types (estimates and practical studies) 3. Development of various shuttering types (practical studies) 4. Testing of various surface treatment methods (laboratory and practical studies) 5. Testing of various suspension systems (theoretical and practical studies) 6. Testing of concrete adhesion to the marble (laboratory and practical studies) 7. Testing of transport systems (theoretical and practical studies). The practical studies will be realised in the form of concrete facing projects and a completely new production process will be developed.
Project ID: 
2 015
Start date: 
09-05-1998
Project Duration: 
78months
Project costs: 
700 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Building Materials, Components and Methods
Market Area: 
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