The magnitude of the thermal stresses that originate in an acrylic-based repair material used for the reprofiling of natural sandstone is analyzed. This kind of artificial stone was developed in the late 1970s for its peculiar property of reversibility in an organic solvent. However, it displays a high thermal expansion coefficient, which can be a matter of concern for the durability either of the repair or of the underlying original stone. To evaluate this risk we propose an analytical solution that considers the viscoelasticity of the repair layer. The temperature profile used in the numerical evaluation has been measured in a church where artificial stone has been used in a recent restoration campaign. The viscoelasticity of the artificial stone has been characterized by stress relaxation experiments. The numerical analysis shows that the relaxation time of the repair mortar, originating from a low T g , allows relief of most of the thermal stresses. It explains the good durability of this particular repair material, as observed by the practitioners, and provides a solid scientific basis for considering that the problem of thermal expansion mismatch is not an issue for this type of stone under any possible conditions of natural exposure.
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