Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Graffiti-free Historic Buildings: Breathable Coating Provides Protection

Date:
September 10, 2009
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
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.

A polymer coating designed to protect historic buildings from graffiti: its water-vapor permeability allows the building to breathe despite the protective coating.
Credit: Copyright Fraunhofer IAP

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 Andrι 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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Graffiti-free Historic Buildings: Breathable Coating Provides Protection." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084445.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2009, September 10). Graffiti-free Historic Buildings: Breathable Coating Provides Protection. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084445.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Graffiti-free Historic Buildings: Breathable Coating Provides Protection." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090910084445.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) — It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins