Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Graffiti-free historic buildings

14.09.2009
Many a historic landmark is defaced with graffiti, but the spray paint can only be removed – if at all – using caustic solutions which risk damaging the underlying surface. A new breathable coating provides efficient, all-round protection against attacks by taggers.

It takes seconds to spray on graffiti, but hours or weeks to remove – especially from porous natural stone or brickwork as found in the majority of historic monuments. The paint penetrates deep into the pores from which it is impossible to remove, even with a pressure hose or multi-component solvents.

Often the only answer, other than living with the graffiti, is to etch away a part of the wall. Special anti-graffiti polymer coatings have been on the market for several years.

They create a hydrophobic seal that closes the pores, preventing the paint from adhering to the undersurface and allowing it to be wiped off. But as a result the building can no longer breathe, augmenting the risk of mold development or salt efflorescence. Because they cannot be removed easily, such coatings also run counter to the principles of conservation, which require that any changes must be reversible.

“There are conflicting requirements for this kind of polymer coating – it mustn’t seal the pores, because it is important that there should be a continuous exchange of air between the building and the external environment, and at the same time it has to prevent the spray paint from penetrating the pores. The coating needs to be sufficiently resistant to withstand both weathering and mechanical cleaning. Moreover, since we’re dealing with historic landmarks, it must be possible to completely remove the coating from the walls if required, to restore them to their original condition with little effort and without damaging the structure,” says Professor André Laschewsky, who heads the relevant research group at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam.

As part of an EU-sponsored project, Laschewsky’s team and partners from the Center of Polymer and Carbon Materials of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Gliwice and Zabrze have developed a polymer coating that meets these requirements. “Our innovative polymer film seals the pores in the substrate, so that graffiti paint doesn’t penetrate. But its micro-porous structure also creates a hydrophobic barrier that allows water vapor to escape from the building while at the same time preventing the infiltration of rainwater,” says Laschewsky.

The coating can be removed from the surface using a diluted brine solution which modifies its chemical composition and allows it to be washed off. Coordinated by the LABEIN Foundation in Spain and the german Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing the partners have coated samples of ancient stone and brick and repeatedly covered them with graffiti – which was removed completely each time.

Prof. Dr. Andre Laschewsky | Fraunhofer Gesellschaft
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Structured light and nanomaterials open new ways to tailor light at the nanoscale

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

On the shape of the 'petal' for the dissipation curve

23.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Clean and Efficient – Fraunhofer ISE Presents Hydrogen Technologies at the HANNOVER MESSE 2018

23.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>