In May 2009 the Getty Conservation Institute organized a workshop at the Getty Center on "Injection Grouts for the Conservation of Architectural Surfaces." The objective of the workshop was to provide an overview of the characteristics, properties, and uses of injection grouts for the conservation of plasters, wall paintings, and mosaics, with a focus on the desirable properties and parameters for their use in conservation.
The workshop was developed in the context of the GCI project Injection Grouts for the Conservation of Architectural Surfaces: Research and Evaluation, an ongoing interdisciplinary study between conservators and scientists at the GCI to evaluate injection grouts used in the conservation of wall paintings, plasters, and mosaics. Since the first injection grouts for the conservation of architectural surfaces were developed at the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) nearly thirty years ago, a large number of commercial and custom-mix grouts have become available and are in use by conservators in the field. However, little systematic research has been done that could allow conservators to evaluate and compare different grouts in the laboratory and field. Moreover, few test methods have been developed specifically for injection grouts.
The GCI project aims to prepare guidelines and protocols for evaluating hydraulic lime-based grouts, combining laboratory testing and field study. The results of the project to date were disseminated in this workshop through a combination of lectures and laboratory activities with hands-on exercises and demonstrations that covered basic components of grouts, desirable working properties and performance characteristics, laboratory testing, selection of grouts, and practical application of tests in the field.