Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New way to protect historic limestone buildings

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
University of Iowa
Summary:
Buildings and statues constructed of limestone can be protected from pollution by applying a thin, single layer of a water-resistant coating, according to new research. Researchers developed a new way to minimize chemical reactions that cause limestone buildings to deteriorate.

Chartres Cathedral. Buildings and statues constructed of limestone can be protected from pollution by applying a thin, single layer of a water-resistant coating, according to new research.
Credit: Christian JACQUET / Fotolia

Buildings and statues constructed of limestone can be protected from pollution by applying a thin, single layer of a water-resistant coating, new research suggests.

That's the word from a University of Iowa researcher and her colleagues from Cardiff University in a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, from the publishers of Nature. In the study, the researchers report a new way to minimize chemical reactions that cause buildings to deteriorate, according to Vicki Grassian, F. Wendell Miller professor in the UI departments of chemistry and chemical and biochemical engineering.

The coating includes a mixture of fatty acids derived from olive oil and fluorinated substances that increase limestone's resistance to pollution.

"This paper demonstrates that buildings and statues made out of limestone can be protected from degradation by atmospheric corrosion, such as corrosion due to pollutant molecules and particulate matter in air, by applying a thin, one-layer coating of a hydrophobic coating," she says. "We showed in particular that the degradation of limestone from reaction with sulfur dioxide and sulfate particles could be minimized with an application of this coating."

One of the buildings the researchers chose for their study was York Minster, a cathedral located in York, England, and one of the largest structures of its kind in northern Europe. Construction of the current cathedral began in the 1260s, and it was completed and consecrated in 1472.

Grassian says York Minster was a perfect structure to study because its limestone surface has been exposed for decades to acid rain, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants. She notes other historic limestone structures could benefit from the coating, including many in the United States.

She notes other attempts have been made to protect existing stonework in cultural heritage sites; however, those coatings block the stone microstructure and prevent the edifice from "breathing," thus creating mold and salt buildup.

Grassian, along with fellow authors Gayan Rubasinghege and Jonas Baltrusatis of the UI chemistry department, have been studying for years reactions of atmospheric gases with minerals such as limestone. In earlier studies, they have shown through detailed analysis that sulfur dioxide could easily degrade limestone and that this degradation reaction was enhanced in the presence of relative humidity.

The lead authors of the paper are Rachel A. Walker, Karen Wilson, and Adam F. Lee, all of Cardiff University, U.K.

The research was funded through the EPSRC/AHRC (Engineering and Physical Science Research Council/Arts and Humanities Research Council) Science and Heritage Programme. Grassian and her colleagues were funded by the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Iowa. The original article was written by Gary Galluzzo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rachel A. Walker, Karen Wilson, Adam F. Lee, Julia Woodford, Vicki H. Grassian, Jonas Baltrusaitis, Gayan Rubasinghege, Giannantonio Cibin, Andrew Dent. Preservation of York Minster historic limestone by hydrophobic surface coatings. Scientific Reports, 2012; 2 DOI: 10.1038/srep00880

Cite This Page:

University of Iowa. "New way to protect historic limestone buildings." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145922.htm>.
University of Iowa. (2012, December 4). New way to protect historic limestone buildings. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145922.htm
University of Iowa. "New way to protect historic limestone buildings." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204145922.htm (accessed April 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, April 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Why Did Nike Fire Most Of Its Nike FuelBand Team?

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nike fired most of its Digital Sport hardware team, the group behind Nike's FuelBand device. Could Apple or an overcrowded market be behind layoffs? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
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

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