Given the lack of satisfying treatments for consolidating marble affected by thermally induced grain detachment (the so-called "sugaring"), the use of aqueous solutions of diammonium hydrogen phosphate (DAP) has recently been proposed. The idea is to form a new binding mineral (hydroxyapatite, HAP) as the reaction product between the DAP solution and the calcitic substrate. In this study, we investigated the effects of adding small quantities of ethanol (EtOH) to the DAP solution, with the aim of favoring HAP formation. The results of the study indicate that, when a 0.1 M DAP and 0.1 mM CaCl2 solution in 10 vol% EtOH is used, complete coverage of marble surface with a crack-free coating with reduced porosity is achieved (whereas no coating is formed without EtOH addition). This is thought to be a consequence of the weakening of hydration shells of phosphate ions in the DAP solution, thanks to the presence of ethanol molecules. When used to restore mechanical properties of weathered marble, the treatment with 10 vol% EtOH was found to significantly improve the dynamic elastic modulus after a single application and to completely restore it after a second application.
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