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Evaluation of the Effect of Lichens on Ceramic Roofing Tiles by Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy-Dispersive Spectroscopy Analyses

Jelena S. Kiurski, Jonjaua G. Ranogajec,* Agnes L. Ujhelji,* Miroslava M. Radeka, Milos T. Bokorov†

University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences; *Faculty of Technology and †Faculty of Sciences and Mathematics, Novi Sad , Serbia and Montenegro

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Summary: The effect of the actions of some lichens on the quality of ceramic roofing tiles was investigated in view of textural and microstructural changes considering their biocorrosion resistance. Two types (extruded and pressed) of the real ceramic roofing tiles aged 6 to 10 years, as well as the ceramic model systems formed with the additives of the specific chemical composition Cu-slag powder (10 wt%) and CuO powder (1 wt%), treated with various concentrations of oxalic acid (0.01 wt%, 0.1 wt%, and 4 wt%) were investigated. The thalli of lichen (Verrucaria nigrescens) growth on ceramic roofing tile were examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Investigation by SEM and EDS gave information regarding the ultrastructure characteristics of the thallus and the lichen-ceramic tile contact zone, allowing the observation of the hyphal penetration and filling up of the fissures and cracks by the lichens’ hyphae. The CuO as the raw mixture additive changed the quality of the surface of the ceramic model systems as it has increased resistance to oxalic acid actions. The textural changes in the ceramic model systems and the formation of the identified destructive crystal phase, whewellite, were slowed down. The fundamental interactions between lichens and ceramic materials of the model systems have been identified as physico-chemical processes based on oxalic acid actions, which could cause ceramic matrix deterioration and consequently aging of ceramic roofing tile systems.

Key words: lichens, biocorrosion, Ca-oxalates, ceramic roofing tiles, aging, microstructure, textural characteristics

PACs: 61.16-d, 61.16.Ch, 79.20.Hx, 87.64.Dz

The financial support of the Serbian Ministry of Science and Environment (Contract No. 3200) is gratefully acknowledged.