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Understanding the mechanisms of Si–K–Ca glass alteration using silicon isotopes

Abstract : It is important to understand glass alteration mechanisms and to determine their associated kinetics in order to develop models able to predict the alteration of nuclear, basaltic or archaeological glasses. Recent studies revealed that the respective contributions of diffusion, dissolution, condensation and precipitation processes in alteration are still a matter for debate. In this work, the alteration of a medieval-type glass (Si-K-Ca) was investigated as it presents a specific composition (without B and with low Al). Experiments were performed using a dynamic device, at 30 degrees C, at pH 8 and 9 and during 1 month in order to simulate alteration in contact with water (rainfall or condensation). The solution was doped in Si-29 to discriminate between the silicon from glass (mainly Si-28) and from solution. The results showed that the external region of the alteration layer is devoid of modifier cations (K, Ca) and presents a Si-29/Si-28 ratio close to the solution one. This excludes that the alteration layer is a glass skeleton and highlights a progressive hydrolysis/condensation process, even if non-hydrolyzed silica tetrahedra could remain when the Si isotopic equilibrium is not reached. The internal zone appears to be gradually depleted in modifier cations and partly enriched in Si-29, but the thickness of this zone is overestimated using SEM-EDS and SIMS techniques. Even if in these experiments the dissolution mechanism is favored, the contribution of interdiffusion cannot be neglected to explain the weathering of ancient stained glassed windows in the atmosphere. The respective contribution of diffusion and dissolution are also discussed as a function of glass composition and surface texture, as well as of experimental conditions (alkaline pH, renewal of the solution).
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 3:18:09 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 12, 2020 - 5:38:03 PM

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Aurélie Verney-Carron, Loryelle Sessegolo, Mandana Saheb, Nathalie Valle, Patrick Ausset, et al.. Understanding the mechanisms of Si–K–Ca glass alteration using silicon isotopes. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Elsevier, 2017, 203, pp.404-421. ⟨10.1016/j.gca.2017.01.030⟩. ⟨insu-02862455⟩

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