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Relationships between salts and consolidants in decayed stone

Berry, Janet; (1996) Relationships between salts and consolidants in decayed stone. Masters thesis (M.Phil), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis considers in depth the relationships between salts commonly found in decayed limestones and sandstones, and consolidants used to treat the stone. The first section discusses the sources of salts in stone, and reviews current theories on the mechanisms of salt-related decay. The problem of salts in stone can be treated in various ways; attempts may be made to remove the salts, or the salts may be stabilised in situ. Different desalination and stabilization techniques used by conservators, including consolidation, are reviewed, and their advantages and disadvantages are discussed. The next section considers in detail the possible interactions between salts and consolidants in stone, in the light of recent research. There are three stages during treatment of stone with a consolidant when salts and consolidants may be affected by each other. These stages are initial application of the consolidant; curing of the consolidant, as it changes from liquid to solid; and the period after the consolidant has cured and is a solid inside the stone. For each of these stages, the practical observations of conservators are discussed, and the theoretical situation is examined in detail. Questions are raised about physical encapsulation of salts by consolidants, and salt movement in consolidated stone. The next section attempts to answer some of the questions raised. This is achieved by conducting experiments examining the encapsulation of salts by consolidants. Scanning electron microscopy is used to discover whether salts are coated by consolidants, and whether the consolidant is able to inhibit salt activity when the treated salt is subjected to extremes of humidity. The experiments determine that only one of the consolidants tested will form a flawless covering over the salts. Furthermore, salt activity in fluctuating humidities is not prevented by any of the consolidants. In treated stone samples, however, the rate of salt movement is retarded by the presence of a consolidant. The final chapter takes into consideration the experimental results and combines them with the literature review to summarize the information. Some theoretical situations involving salts, consolidants and stone are discussed, drawing upon the information presented. Finally, recommendations are made for future research into salt movement in stone after consolidation.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Qualification: M.Phil
Title: Relationships between salts and consolidants in decayed stone
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Earth sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10104954
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