Determination of the efficacy of two water repellents applied to granite
We evaluated the efficacy of two water-repellents applied to three types of granitic rock widely used in building construction and restoration in Galicia (NW Spain). The depth of penetration of the water-repellents was determined by measuring capillary absorption by the treated rock. The efficacies of the water-repellent were evaluated in terms of two parameters characteristic of surface wet: water-rock contact angle and the time taken for absorption of microgroplets. The effects of the treatments on the rocks' surface color and permeability to water vapor were also determined. The results indicate that neither water-repellent effectively penetrates the rock surface, and both induce undesirably high reductions in vapor permeability. Notwithstanding, both agents effectively improved the rocks' resistance to surface wetting, without altering its surface color. Overall, determination of water-rock contact angle and the time taken for absorption of microdroplets, together with colorimetric characterization of the treated rock, constitutes an useful approach to evaluation of the effects of water-repellents on granitic rocks. Nonetheless, it should be borne in mind that the marked heterogeneity of this type of rock, and the associated mineralogy and dominant type of fissuration are sources of considerable variation in the measurement parameters.
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