Moisture expansion in masonry

Long term moisture expansion is a well-known property of fired clay materials, such as bricks, but its application to date archaeological and historic fired-clay is one of the most exciting developments in archaeological science since the introduction of radiocarbon dating in the 1950s for organic material. We are world-leaders in RHX dating and our main research interest is to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental principles behind the rehydroxylation reaction.

Research focus

The principal ideas behind this research specialism are:

  • investigations of the kinetic mechanisms which lead to the t1/4 law.
  • characterising single-file diffusion of water molecules in fired-clay material.
  • refining experimental method and data processing.


Academic Staff: Dr Moira Wilson,  Dr Sarah-Jane Clelland

Please contact one of the academic staff for further details of current research activity.

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