Consolidation treatments applied to ceramic tiles: are they homogeneous?
Keywords:Ceramic, Mechanical properties, Characterization, DRMS, Consolidation
The mass consolidation treatment of azulejos is necessary when ceramic biscuits show signs of disaggregation. Such treatment is often used as a complementary conservation technique to the reestablishment of weakened glaze-ceramic bonds. In this research, two commonly used consolidants (ethyl silicate and acrylic resin) were tested on artisanal ceramic tiles via mass consolidation and the resulting impregnation profiles were evaluated. The results indicated that after consolidation, hard zones frequently formed due to localized consolidant concentration after the polymerization and curing processes. These inhomogeneous hard zones subsequently influenced the results obtained through conventional mechanical strength testing (i.e. flexural and compression), creating a false impression of success. This research demonstrated that by using the Drilling Resistance Measuring System, impregnation characteristics such as penetration depth and distribution of consolidant could be observed that otherwise could not be discerned through the more common testing methods. As such, a more extensive evaluation of consolidation effects was achieved.
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