Alkoxysilanes and the Consolidation of Stone

Alkoxysilanes and the Consolidation of Stone

George Wheeler with annotated bibliography by Elizabeth Stevenson Goins


160 pages

PDF file size: 16.5 MB


Stone is one of the oldest building materials, and its conservation ranks as one of the most challenging in the field. Alkoxysilanes in stone conservation can be traced back to 1861, when A. W. von Hoffman suggested their use for the deteriorating limestone on the Houses of Parliament in London. Alkoxysilane-based formulations have since become the material of choice for the consolidation of stone outdoors.

This volume, the first to comprehensively cover alkoxysilanes in stone consolidation, synthesizes the subject’s vast and extensive literature, which ranges from production of alkoxysilanes in the nineteenth century to the extensive contributions from sol-gel science in the 1980s and 1990s. Included are a historical overview, an annotated bibliography, and discussions of the following topics: the chemistry and physics of alkoxysilanes and their gels; the influence of stone type; commercial and noncommercial formulations; practice; lab and field evaluation of service life; and recent developments.

Designed for conservators, scientists, and preservation architects in the field of stone conservation, this book will also serve as an indispensable introduction to the subject for students of art conservation and historic preservation.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword, Timothy P. Whalen
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Historical Overview
  • The Chemistry and Physics of Alkoxysilanes and Their Gels
    • Essential Ingredients
    • Addition of Water
    • Catalysis
    • Gelation, Syneresis, and Ripening
    • Drying
  • The Influence of Stone Type
    • Mineral Composition
    • The Clay Problem
    • Other Stone Types
    • Other Issues of Structure
    • Darkening and Color Changes
  • Commercial and Noncommercial Formulations
    • Commercial Formulations
    • Noncommercial Formulations
  • Practice
    • Preconsolidation
    • Moisture and Wetness
    • Biological Growth
    • Salts
    • Application Techniques
    • Consumption
    • Application Schedule
    • Conflicting Activities
    • Darkening and Color Changes
    • Application on Black Crusts
    • Water Repellents
    • Safety and Storage
  • Laboratory and Field Evaluation of Service Life
  • Recent Developments and Final Thoughts
  • References
  • Annotated Bibliography, Elizabeth Stevenson Goins
  • Index
  • Illustration Credits
  • About the Author

About the Authors

George Wheeler is director of Conservation Research in the Historic Preservation Department at Columbia University and a Research Scientist at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Elizabeth S Goins is an associate professor at Rochester Institute of Technology in the Department of Performing Arts and Visual Culture