Research project BL/39/FWI 26 (Research action BL)
Objectives of the networking and long term perspective regarding research cooperation
Heritage stone Monitoring and Remediation: knowledge exchange placements (KNOWMORE)
The challenges facing stone-built cultural heritage are complex and numerous. Conservation interventions require interdisciplinary approaches that are informed by scientific investigations in laboratory and field settings. The processes underpinning stone weathering and conservation can be understood as material change (at micro- and macro-scales) in the context of diverse environments. The partners are at the forefront of understanding the processes that determine stone weathering in the context of cultural heritage through a range of approaches.
However, methodologies often address the issues and challenges in isolation: the opportunity for this network lies in identifying cross-scale opportunities for knowledge exchange and collaborations and linking laboratory and field investigations. Within this, there is a need to identify relevant monitoring and documentation procedures. These investigations and procedures should be set in the context of uncertain changes in climate in the UK and Belgium, which face similar issues of more intense and frequent severe rainfall and extremes of temperature and relative humidity. This network will connect researchers from partner instituions to enable the opportunities mentioned in the context to be identified. This will be done through short-term international placements and the organization of an international workshop/ doctoral summer school/ conference, with an emphasis on early-career professionals. P1, P2 and P4 will host a researcher of P3 for the duration of maximum 1 month for participation in the research activities, round table discussion and initiation of the organization of the workshop. Afterwards, a researcher of P2 will be invited to P3 for the duration of maximum 1 month for participation in the research activities. At the end of these visits researchers from P1, P2 and P4 will visit P3 to discuss the research carried out and the finalization of the workshop program and preparation of joint initiatives.
By the end of august 2019, a workshop/ doctoral summer school / conference will be organized by the partners, that focusses on the participation of early-career scientists and practitioners in the field of stone conservation and preservation. This workshop/ doctoral summer school / conference is based on the following topics: laboratory multi-scale testing, field testing and monitoring, remediation and documentation with an added focus on non-destructive testing. Through the proposed activities, researchers will gain insight into the state of the art in laboratory and field investigations at a range of physical and temporal scales. Opportunities for future collaboration will be identified that push the boundary of current approaches by implementing analyses across these scales. As an added benefit, the current understanding of climate risks and analysis methodologies in the UK and Belgium can provide symbiotic benefit. At Ghent University, researchers from P1, P3 and P4 can get acquainted with the use of X-ray computed microtomography for the study of dynamic weathering and conservation processes in natural stone. In addition, the researchers will get a demonstration of the running projects on a.o. freeze-thaw weathering, the impact of wetting on multi-phase flow in porous rocks, the study of in-pore biofilms and a study on the impact of the urban heat island on building stone weathering. P1 will present their on-site and laboratory activities at the time. Such as, the influence of salts in monuments, sculptures and archaeological sites, the investigation of salt mixtures in changing climatic conditions, the use of Ion Chromatography, XRD, Raman, Thermodynamic Modelling (ECOS-Runsalt) and salt reduction treatments (poultice and electrochemical desalination), the use of drilling resistance measurement system (DRMS) for the consolidation of historic masonry, determination procedures for the characterization of stone materials linked to deterioration mechanisms, long term climate monitoring linked to the deterioration mechanisms with future predictions (modelling) and identification methods for mortars and stone. The work presented allows an understanding of the interpretation of scientific data for practical implementation of conservation strategies and management in practice. In Oxford (P3), the researchers of P1, P2 and P4 will be introduced in the newest developments for moisture measurements and material properties (e.g. hardness) in stone facings