Epoxy Resins in Stone Conservation

Charles Selwitz


112 pages

PDF file size: 1.79 MB


This book presents a review of research on the use of epoxy resins as consolidants for sculpture and buildings. It deals with both the methods and materials used by conservators, focusing on a detailed chemistry of the materials as well as the practical methods of application.

Epoxy resins have been widely used as structural adhesives to repair cracks in commercial and historic buildings, but the application of this technology to the stabilization of fragile stone has generally failed. However, the proper formulation of epoxy systems with solvents has solved problems of viscosity, penetration, crust formation, and discoloration, leading to two different schools of treatment detailed in the publication. Conservators in Europe have concentrated on the treatment of statuary and isolated sections of structures, with alcohol solutions of the resins maintained in contact with the surface for a period of time in order to get deep penetration. In the United States, treatment has focused on stabilizing entire structures or major portions of buildings by spraying them with acetone solutions of epoxy resins.

The various techniques of application are discussed and evaluated. The book seeks to provide an expanded inventory of these different techniques allowing the conservator to make informed judgments.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Summary Discussion for Conservators
  • Chemistry
    • The Epoxy Component
    • The Amine Curing Agent
  • Resin Properties and Consolidation Problems
    • Penetration
      • Stone Characteristics
      • Polymer Migration
    • Color Formation
    • Resistance to Biodegradation
  • Nonsolvent Systems
    • Low-Viscosity Formulations
    • Application of Epoxy Resins at Elevated Temperatures
  • Comparison of Epoxy Resins with Other Consolidants
  • Aliphatic Epoxy Resins
  • Solvent Effects in Resin Application
  • Application Procedures
    • Pocket Methods
    • Bulk Procedures
  • Field Results
    • Work in Poland
    • Work in the United States
      • The California Building, San Diego
      • The Crescent Hill Baptist Church, Louisville
      • The Cathedral of the Assumption, Louisville
    • Work in Italy
  • Appendix
  • References
  • Index