Hydroxyapatite-based consolidant and the acceleration of hydrolysis of silicate-based consolidants

Sonia Naidu, Chun Liu, George W. Scherer

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52 Scopus citations


Limestone, composed of the mineral calcite, is susceptible to environmental weathering processes that cause weakening from disintegration at grain boundaries. This paper discusses the effectiveness of hydroxyapatite (HAP) as an inorganic consolidant for physically weathered Indiana Limestone compared to a commercially available silicate-based consolidant (Conservare® OH-100). A double application is also investigated, in which samples are coated with HAP followed by Conservare® OH-100. Finally, a technique to accelerate the hydrolysis reaction of the initially hydrophobic Conservare® OH-100 is also developed. The motivation for using HAP is its low dissolution rate and crystal and lattice compatibility with calcite. To artificially weather limestone, so that the damage found in nature could be mimicked in the lab, a reproducible thermal degradation technique was utilized. Then, a mild wet chemical synthesis route, in which diammonium hydrogen phosphate (DAP) salt was reacted with limestone, alone and with cationic precursors, was used to produce HAP microfilms to consolidate the grains. The effectiveness of Conservare® OH-100 is investigated by applying it alone, and by following up with an ethanol-water rinse to accelerate the hydrolysis reaction. Samples that were to be rinsed were left to hydrolyze naturally over two and seven weeks before being reacted in the ethanol-water mixture. The dynamic elastic modulus (a measure of stiffness) and water sorptivity of the treated stones were evaluated. HAP was found to be an effective consolidant for weathered Indiana Limestone, as it restored the modulus of damaged stones to their original values and exhibited superior performance to Conservare® OH-100. Rinsing the Conservare® OH-100-treated stones increased stone hydrophilicity significantly, although not to the level of DAP-treated stones, as determined by water sorptivity. The formation of the consolidants in the pores and at grain boundaries was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy-dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy (EDX).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)94-101
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Archaeology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Conservation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


  • Calcite
  • Consolidation
  • Dynamic elastic modulus
  • Hydroxyapatite
  • Limestone
  • Silicate
  • Sorptivity


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