New Nanomaterials for Protecting and Consolidating Stone
The sol-gel process has been found to be successful in applications for the conservation and restoration of stone. However, a well-known drawback of the materials obtained by this process is their tendency to crack during drying inside the pores of the treated stone. In this article, we present an overview of our current research centred on producing crack-free sol-gel materials for consolidating and protecting building stone. A novel synthesis, in which a surfactant acts as a template to make the pore size of the gel network coarser and more uniform, is shown to provide an effective alternative for preventing the cracking of consolidants. We also highlight an alternative pathway, in which we add an organic component to the silica precursor in the presence of the surfactant. The hybrid organic-inorganic gel prepared in our laboratory provides excellent waterproofing to the stones under study.
M. J. Mosquera et al., "New Nanomaterials for Protecting and Consolidating Stone", Journal of Nano Research, Vol. 8, pp. 1-12, 2009