Laboratory Testing and Analysis

Visual observations do not always reveal the information necessary to make treatment decisions. Often those simple assessments need to be augmented by analyses and performance-related testing to guide conservation recommendations. ICR designs, executes and assesses technical studies, both in our laboratory and in the field. Some of the tests we conduct and review are identified below.

Laboratory Studies Include:

  • Finishes analysis (chromochronology and color matching)
  • Mortar analysis (aggregate ID/size distribution and development of replica mixes)
  • Water vapor transmission rate
  • 24 and 48 hour water absorption (brick and stone)
  • Depth of consolidation by resistance drilling and water drop absorption tests
  • Timed capillary suction
  • Development of compatible stuccos, patch mixes, and crack filling formulations
  • Coating adhesion (direct pull-off and peel) testing
  • Accelerated weathering (QUV, freeze/thaw, and wet/dry cycling)
  • Splitting tensile strength
  • Reflectance colorimetry and gloss measurement
  • Stereobinocular microscopy
  • pH and conductance measurement
  • Qualitative and semi-quantitative ion analysis
  • Cyclical salt crystallization and hydration
  • Vicat set time (needle) and consistency measurement

In collaboration with a number of other small laboratories, ICR augments its research capabilities, to offer additional services to its clients. These include: petrography, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), x-ray diffraction (XRD) and x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis, FTIR (for pigment and media identification), and compressive and flexural strength testing.  ICR also works with engineering firms providing non-destructive evaluation and corrosion studies, particularly with respect to masonry anchoring systems and concrete reinforcement.