Stone consolidation: a critical discussion of theoretical insights and field practice
Keywords:Stone consolidants, Conservation, Testing, Compatibility, Guidelines
Stone consolidants have been extensively used for the preservation of historical structures since the 19th century. However, their true effectiveness in practice is often a source of debate, largely because of known cases where badly chosen treatments were unsuccessful, or even caused an accelerated degradation of the substrate. Researchers have therefore strived to better understand, and possibly predict, the behavior of consolidants on-site, in order to assist practitioners in their decision making. Despite the large number of publications available on the subject, however, the contribution of scientific research for practical applications remains scarce.
Reasons for this include the limited accessibility of scientific publications and the lack of documentation or preparatory studies from the field. This unfortunately compromises the knowledge exchange between researchers and practitioners, which we consider to be a main challenge that this field must overcome.
The target of this letter is to reconnect the critical problems identified on-site through practical experience with the conceptual research outcomes that could help solve them. For this, we present an informed evaluation of the most needed research, along with a synthetic overview of the insights that scientific research can offer in terms of consolidant selection, application and monitoring.
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