Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Filling the gap; blocking pores in construction materials

Construction material of a porous nature are susceptible to damage induced by moisture being trapped in the material's pores.
Filling the gap; blocking pores in construction materials
Blocking the pores of stone and other construction materials is essentially the only remedy to prevent moisture accumulation and subsequent damage. The current standard used for this purpose is a silica-based agent, with low viscosity. One of the key disadvantages associated with the current method is the formation of fractures in the silica material, during drying. The reason is the high capillary pressure placed on the gel-like structure while drying.

A Spanish-based group has devised a new method for the consolidation of porous construction material, based on a novel agent with a unique property profile. The new material consists of larger-sized pores and a higher porous volume than its currently available counterparts. These characteristics result in a lower number of fractures during the drying process and can totally block all pores thus excluding all moisture.

This new mesoporous gel uses an alcoxysilane molecule as a precursor agent along with a non-ionic surfactant. The polymer that results is of a uniform pore-size, larger in comparison to the ones currently obtained; these larger pores greatly reduce the pressures the gel-like structure is subjected to during the drying process. The end-result is a crack-free material.

Using the new material does not significantly affect the permeability of the materials, thus allowing residual moisture removal from buildings. At the same time, however, pores are successfully blocked preventing moisture accumulation.

The developers of this technology are seeking to enter into license agreements or other forms of collaboration with industrial partners mainly from the chemical sector. The new process may find application in building restoration but further possibilities might be possible.

Related information

Record Number: 82636 / Last updated on: 2006-06-27
Domain: Industrial Technologies