Scientists recently developed a new preventive coating for building stones mixing a water repellent and an eco-friendly biocide.
The durability of stone monuments is a constant problem as their decay through weathering is irremediable and endless. Fortunately, coatings are becoming more and more efficient and tailored to specific alterations of the stone material. A new study aimed at developing an eco-friendly coating with both hydrophobic and biocide properties based on a silane/siloxane emulsion as a water repellent combined with chitosan and silver nitrate as biocides.
Chitosan was first added at different concentrations to the water repellent and its efficacy was tested in laboratory conditions by the inoculation of axenic suspension of the green algae Chlorella vulgaris on a building porous limestone. Chlorophyll a fluorescence analysis displayed the chitosan acted on the photosystem of algae and limited their development but its effect was not optimal and higher dose modified the aspect of the stone.
Combinating with silver nitrate
Low concentration of silver nitrate achieved a good performance thanks to the combination with the chitosan and the water repellent. The properties of coated stones and the efficacy of the formulation were assessed at two different doses of coating. The results showed that the lowest dose gathered all requirements to both preserve the stone monument with a weak colour change over time and to reach optimal biocide effect and a good hydrophobicity.
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