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Cavicchioli, A and de Faria, D L A and Nevesa, C A and Antunes, M T (2008) Automatic devices for monitoring environmentally induced auto-oxidative degradation of artistic materials in conservation sites. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, 131 (2). pp. 462-469. ISSN 09254005

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This paper describes an automatic device for in situ and continuous monitoring of the ageing process occurring in natural and synthetic resins widely used in art and in the conservation and restoration of cultural artefacts. The results of tests carried out under accelerated ageing conditions are also presented. This easy-to-assemble palm-top device, essentially consists of oscillators based on quartz crystal resonators coated with films of the organic materials whose response to environmental stress is to be addressed. The device contains a microcontroller which selects at pre-defined time intervals the oscillators and records and stores their oscillation frequency. The ageing of the coatings, caused by the environmental stress and resulting in a shift in the oscillation frequency of the modified crystals, can be straightforwardly monitored in this way. The kinetics of this process reflects the level of risk damage associated with a specific microenvironment. In this case, natural and artificial resins, broadly employed in art and restoration of artistic and archaeological artefacts (dammar and Paraloid B72), were applied onto the crystals. The environmental stress was represented by visible and UV radiation, since the chosen materials are known to be photochemically active, to different extents. In the case of dammar, the results obtained are consistent with previous data obtained using a bench-top equipment by impedance analysis through discrete measurements and confirm that the ageing of this material is reflected in the gravimetric response of the modified quartz crystals. As for Paraloid B72, the outcome of the assays indicates that the resin is resistant to visible light, but is very sensitive to UV irradiation. The use of a continuous monitoring system, apart from being obviously more practical, is essential to identify short-term (i.e. reversible) events, like water vapour adsorption/desorption processes, and to highlight ageing trends or sudden changes of such trends.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental monitoring; Artworks; Preventive conservation
Subjects: English > Monitoring
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Depositing User: Anna Samuelsson
Date Deposited: 08 May 2008 07:32
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 09:22

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