Researchers test new industrial cleaning system

By February 4, 2011Articles

Researchers test new industrial cleaning system

Commercial Cleaners could soon be using a new system that moves away from traditional sand-blasting.

Researchers at Leeds University’s Faculty of Engineering have trialled an alternative method of industrial cleaning for historic houses.

They used diluted acid and super-heated steam to clean ancient stonework surfaces, with the acid opening up the surface and steam forcing out soot and dirt.

“Images from the optical microscope confirmed that the process cleaned away the black-grey patina from the weathered York stone effectively,” the scientists’ report revealed.

“The acid only removed a small amount of cement – less than one grain’s depth of material (less than 100 µm) – from between the stone grains. The stone grains themselves were not damaged at all when the acid was used at low concentrations, and only minimal damage was seen at higher concentrations.”

Should the new system become mainstream, contract cleaners may take it up when providing their cleaning services to old buildings.

Posted by Teodora Ivanova

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