Sandstone Conservation: Methodology for Evaluating Conservation Treatments

This project seeks to develop a robust, multi-method approach for evaluating conservation treatments for sandstone.

Deterioration of sandstone through natural processes, sometimes accelerated by human activities, threatens many monuments and heritage sites around the world. Many different types of conservation treatment, including consolidants, water repellents, and anti-graffiti coatings, have been developed, tested and applied around the world.

New developments in nanotechnology, biomimetics and other cross-disciplinary areas of science and technology, are leading to a rapid increase in the types of treatment. However, there is still no generally accepted set of methods and approaches for testing the performance of these treatments, and there is an urgent need to develop a standardized set of experimental methods (to include both lab and field-based testing).

Many current test methods are also highly complex and expensive and, while these give essential insights, there is also a need for cost-effective and simple methods to monitor performance in situ whose results can be compared with the more high- tech methods.


1. Investigate the appropriate sample size and number required to provide robust testing of sandstone treatments in laboratory and field settings.

2. Develop an appropriate experimental weathering methodology for (a) before and (b) after application of conservation treatments.

3. Develop a suite of laboratory analyses that together provide a rounded assessment of sandstone treatment effectiveness.

4. Develop a field experiment protocol and field-based evaluation techniques to provide additional information on sandstone treatment effectiveness.

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Page updated: October 2017