Sustainable bio-nano composite coatings for the protection of marble surfaces
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Water repellency on natural stone surfaces is the most important issue in the protection of stone monuments from effects of atmospheric pollutants. In this study, effectiveness of a bio-nano composite coating, composed of a biodegradable polymer (poly-L-lactide [PLA]) and montmorillonite clay (MMT) was investigated for the protection of marble surfaces from pollution. The clay dispersion in polymer matrices was analyzed by using Scanning Tunnel Electron Microscopy (STEM) and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), while protection performance was investigated by the measurement of surface roughness, wettability, water vapor permeability, capillary water absorption, and color changes on the marble surfaces. As a result, no alteration on the color of coated marbles was observed, significant improvement was obtained for hydrophobicity of the surface and inhibition of sulfation reaction on the exposed marble surfaces under acidic atmosphere. It could be said that PLA based nanocomposites seem to be promising materials as protective coating agents in reducing the effects of water and atmospheric pollutants on marble surfaces.