Stone is currently one of the relatively high-end materials in the field of decoration. Its pure natural texture, combined with various surface treatment effects, can elevate the decoration effect of indoor and outdoor decoration by several levels. At the same time, compared to other decorative materials that are difficult to clean when stained or easily crushed when hit by heavy objects, stone is obviously much more solid. It not only has a hard structure that can resist heavy object impact but also has a smooth surface that can resist the invasion of ordinary dirt. It can be said that it is a highly cost-effective decoration material.
But this does not mean that the stone is flawless. In the practical application of stone, there are still many destructive factors that can cause erosion in the environment. So, don’t think that as long as you choose stone as the decoration material, you can become a shopkeeper. To extend its service life as much as possible, we still need to have a simple understanding of the destructive factors that affect the lifespan of stone materials and take corresponding care of them.
03. Acid rain
From ancient China to ancient Babylon in the Two River Basin, to ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome along the Mediterranean coast, a large number of stone imprints have been left on humanity’s long journey from barbarism to civilization. As a result, there are many great stone buildings and carvings preserved to this day around the world. But the vast majority of the relics, the details of which are still dirty and blurry, are the main culprit of acid rain.
The combination of oxides such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide in the air with rainwater can enhance the acidity of water and make it more corrosive. This acidic liquid causes great damage to stone, especially carbonate stone. When acid rain falls, the calcium carbonate in the stone will react chemically with the acid rain containing sulfur dioxide, producing calcium sulfate. Some of the calcium sulfate will enter the gaps between the stone particles, deposit on the surface of the marble in the form of crusts, and gradually fall off, causing an impact on the stone curtain wall. The residual soluble salts may further corrode the stone through recrystallization or hydration.
04. Industrial smoke
Smoke is a mixture of moisture, dust, and various chemical fuel combustibles. Smoke and dust, like a sponge, absorb various gases and mix with water to form an acidic solution. Severe industrial pollution, automobile exhaust emissions, and blocked atmospheric circulation are the main reasons for the formation of industrial smoke. Smoke is not only harmful to organisms but also has a strong stain and corrosion on stone buildings and decorative stones.
Generally speaking, compared to other destructive factors, stone erosion directly caused by organisms or their metabolites is much smaller. However, the erosion and destruction of stone by organisms, especially microorganisms, cannot be ignored. The products of biological metabolism include oxygen, carbon dioxide, and organic acids, which dissolve in water and increase its corrosiveness. Meanwhile, during the process of organic transformation, organisms also promote the redox reaction of minerals, consume minerals, and promote the decomposition of rocks. In addition, the excrement of birds and other animals can also cause certain damage to the stone.
Unprotected new stones often have surfaces that are more easily occupied by organisms such as algae, bacteria, lichens, etc. Once these organisms occupy the surface of the stone, biodegradation will continue to develop in-depth, causing irreversible damage to the stone itself. In addition, some plants, such as ivy and ivy, can also grow into cracks in stone, directly causing stress damage.
Of course, the various factors that lead to stone corrosion are not isolated but are simultaneous and mutually reinforcing. Therefore, in the actual use process, we need to carefully analyze the local climate and geological conditions, and use the most suitable methods to maintain the stone, in order to avoid erosion of the stone.