FWO scholarship on hydrophobation


FWOFWO scholarship on hydrophobation. Water is by far the largest cause for premature deterioration of building materials. For porous materials such as natural stone and bricks frost damage can be induced by the combination of low temperatures and critical moisture contents. Hydrophobic treatments can render these materials water repellent, but might simultaneously increase the vapour diffusion resistance factor, in turn reducing the drying potential. Moreover, it is currently not well understood how different treatments work and how effective they are.

In this research project micro-CT scans will be used to gain more insight in the physical properties of treated materials. Next to that, the X-ray scans also allow to quantify the liquid conductivity of these materials. It has been established that these treatments are not perfect, and some liquid moisture transport can still occur. By combining the CT-scans with hygrothermal simulations it is possible to understand which treatments can be applied safely for specific materials and exposures.