Consolidation of porous structures by polyacrylic acid gels
Cultural heritage preservation is an important social activity today. Various technical solutions have been found applicable in particular cases. This paper propoxses an alternative for the consolidation of the stone and wood porous structures using in situ obtained polyacrylic acid (PAA) gels. The treated sample is a composite which conserves degraded item’s shape, consolidated by an internal rigid polymeric skeleton.
A three-step procedure was followed: 1) Impregnation with an aqueous acrylic acid (AA) solution; 2) In situ irradiation polymerisation; 3) Drying. Influences of the experimental parameters are discussed and a convenient process is established.
Two stone types of French origin (Tuffeau and Vassens), dry degraded wood from 17th century, and waterlogged wood from Gallo- Roman period are considered.
The consolidated structures have been characterised by added weight, superficial hardness measurements and porosimetry. They were examined by SEM photos.
Using irradiation polymerisation, one can control the temperature and prevent cracks in the treated sample.
The materials treated in conformity with this procedure could be kept in museum conditions without risks of atmospheric water uptake.
Key wordsHydrogel cultural heritage preservation polyacrylic acid irradiation polymerisation composite
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