Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New mineralogical techniques contribute to prevent national heritage damage

08.04.2008
  • Churches, palaces, monasteries, paintings, sculptures… National heritage is threatened by stone decay.
  • Researchers from Granada have designed crystallization inhibitors against the salt that destroys stone buildings, thereby contributing to the improvement of maintenance and restoration techniques.
  • The work forms part of a European project with the participation of research centres of Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Greece, Holland, Czech Republic and Spain.

Humidity, environmental pollution, cleaning with aggressive products for the chemical composition of the rock, etc give rise to the appearance of salts which cause stone decomposition, paint coats detachment, dust accumulation, etc.


Salts in the mural paintings of the upper section of the Church of the Monastery of San Jerónimo (Granada).


Laboratory tests in calcarenite test-tubes simulating alteration processes due to salt crystallization in the bases of building walls.

The treatments used up to now to deal with the problem have been directed, almost exclusively, to preserve the beauty of the affected monument, assuming, with an almost fatalist attitude, that the damage will go on as an effect of passing of time.

European experts joint in the SALTCONTROL project have collaborated in a new work line to deal with the problem: Blocking inside the stone the mineral salt crystallization process that ends up destroying it.

One of the works carried out in the framework of SALTCONTROL is the doctoral thesis “Prevención del daño debido a cristalización de sales en el patrimonio histórico construido mediante el uso de inhibidores de cristalización” (Damage prevention due to salt crystallization in national heritage through the use of crystallization inhibitors), read by Encarnación María Ruiz Agudo, under the supervision of Prof Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Navarro; as well as several papers published by scientific journals such as Journal of Physical Chemistry, Environmental Geology, Scanning y Journal of the Japanese Association for Crystal Growth.

According to Ruiz Agudo (Centro Andaluz del Medio Ambiente – Department of Mineralogy and Petrology of the University of Granada) “ornamental porous materials’ damage due to salt attack is one of the most aggressive alteration mechanisms that affect constructed heritage. In the last decades, we have developed different methods to prevent or reduce the damage due to salt crystallization in ornamental rock pores, almost all with little success”.

The thesis’s research line and the above mentioned papers have followed the recent techniques that intend to use additives to modify the crystallization process and prevent or reduce the damage produced in the rock. Up to now, most of the works in this field have assessed the efficiency of these treatments in slightly soluble salts, such as calcium and barium sulphates. The thesis “has proved the effectiveness of this type of treatment in highly soluble salts, such as sodium and magnesium sulphates, as well as sodium nitrate, which can usually be found in historic buildings”.

Applied science

The research work has been applied to the case of the effects of these treatments in the rock extracted in Santa Pudia’s quarries (Escúzar,-Granada), used in the construction of Renaissance buildings in Granada such as the Monastery of San Jerónimo, the Cathedral or the Royal Chapel. These buildings show strong alteration phenomenon due to crystallization in sodium sulphate, magnesium and sodium nitrate.

The work has conducted to the carrying out of salt crystallization tests in laboratory, which simulate alteration processes due to salt crystallization in the bases on historic buildings’ walls. “Later –says Ruiz Agudo-, we prepared a method for the implementation of the treatment developed in practical cases of ornamental stone materials conservation. Finally, in a last phase of development of the research project, we applied such treatment in pilot areas on the Monastery of San Jerónimo (Granada), where there had been important problems due to salt crystallization”.

The final result of the research work proposes the application of low-cost additives, which have proved to be very effective in the fight against the problems of ornamental porous materials. On the other hand, the research work “involves a methodology to deal with the study of damage caused by salts and the selection of the most adequate type of additive for a specific substrate and type of salt. The object of the methodology is the study of the problem in situ, in order to carry out laboratory tests that allow to select the concentration, pH and the most appropriate application method and finally to go back to the building to test the treatment in pilot areas, which permits to guarantee the success in the application of salt crystallization inhibitors inside stony materials, as we have proved in San Jerónimo”.

SALTCONTROL
The research work is part of the SALTCONTROL project, financed by the 6th framework Programme of the EU for the period 2004-2007. Together with the University of Granada, other organisms have participated in the project: the University of Münster (Germany), the University of Gant (Belgium), the University College of London, the University of Patras in Greece, the Technical University of Prague, the Architecture Conservation Centre TNO of Holland, the Andalusian Institute of National Heritage and the Technical University of Eindhoven.
SALTCONTROL’s results have been successfully applied in the Monastery of San Jerónimo (Granada-Spain) and the Fortress of Teresina (Prague, Czech Republic).

Reference: Encarnación Mª Ruiz Agudo. Dpt Mineralogy and Petrology. Phone numbers. 958248535 - 958 24 8535. E-mail. encaruiz@ugr.es. Prof Carlos Manuel Rodríguez Navarro. Phone number. 958246616. E-mail. carlosrn@ugr.es

Antonio Marín Ruiz | CEAMA-Universidad de Granada
Further information:
http://www.ugr.es

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Flexible protection for "smart" building and façade components
30.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC

nachricht Healthy living without damp and mold
16.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>