Uses of pyrite: historic and modern

Pyrite is the cause of many problems in engineering, but in the past (and more recently) it has found a number of uses. This post considers some of the historical and present uses of pyrite. Links to references are included where further information can be found. This post is frequently updated with new technologies, so please check back regularly.

Historic uses of pyrite

Ignition source

In the 16-17th centuries, pyrite was used as a source of ignition in early guns. According to (Willbanks 2004), the “wheel lock” weapon was invented in Germany around 1517.… Read the rest

New summaries of Thaumasite and Mundic problems

NEW summaries and case history pages added

Thaumasite and Mundic problems

Two new summaries/case history pages have been added to the website. These summaries concern the UK Thaumasite and Mundic problems. The pages are work-in-progress so do please check back for updates. Click the links below to find out more:

1. The UK Thaumasite problem

The summary details the UK problems associated with thaumasite. The summary includes notes on:

  • Cases of thaumasite sulfate attack in the UK (mostly on foundations of the M5 motorway bridge structures)
  • Publications, research and conferences relating to thaumasite, dating back to 1985
  • On-going remediation of bridge structures in Gloucestershire
  • Technical documents and standards

2.… Read the rest

Pyrite Resolution Board report: 2014

Pyrite Resolution Board Report 2014

The Pyrite Resolution Board report (for 2014) was published on 17th June 2015. The report PDF can be found on the Pyrite Resolution Board website, or by clicking this link.

Applications Summary (END of 2014)

The PRB first annual report provides a summary of applications to the Board. Photographs of typical damage and the remediation process are included within the report. At the end of 2014, the applications were as follows:

620 applications in total
145 applications at Validation (including 6 refused applications)
171 applications Validated, at Verification
3 applications Verified and awaiting decision on inclusion
301 applications Included in scheme
106 applications in Planning/Scheduling
190 applications at Specification and Tender Preparation stage
0 applications in Remediation
5 applications Remediated


The total expenditure reported for 2014 was reported as €796,969, with the following breakdown:
IT System Setup €72,320
Engineers €145,380 (€306,722 outstanding at end of 2014)
Works Contractors €144,371 (€3,701 outstanding at end of 2014)
Homeowner’s Payments €142,756
Administration & Overheads €292,142
The above can also be considered in terms of proportions of the whole expenditure (own calculations, not those of the PRB):
IT System Setup (9 %)
Engineers (18 %)
Works Contractors (18 %)
Homeowner’s Payments (18 %)
Administration & Overheads (37 %)
An additional €1,663,224 is possible for future payments “…in respect of the 301 dwellings included in the Scheme in 2014 for the Building Condition Assessment, alternative accommodation and storage…”

legal proceedings

The PRB report states that “…legal proceedings by the PRB against a developer in respect of 17 dwellings have commenced and it is anticipated that others will follow.Read the rest