Uncovering of scalar oxidation within naturally aged varnish layers

Theodorakopoulos, Charis and Zafiropulos, Vassilis (2003) Uncovering of scalar oxidation within naturally aged varnish layers. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 4 (1). pp. 216-222. ISSN 12962074

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1296-2074(02)01200-1

Abstract

The present work originates by a recent study on the uncovering of a scalar trend for the spectral characteristics related to the oxidation/crosslinking in an artificially aged resin film. It has been found that by moving from the surface of the aged resin towards its interface with the paint layer, crosslinking decreases. In the present work, the existence of this trend is tested on original samples, three 19th century Byzantine icons covered with natural aged varnish layers of different type and thickness. The varnish layers have representative problems due to aging and preservation. The verification of the deterioration trend was possible by measuring the solubility of the material at subsequent depth-steps created within the same varnish layer. The realization of a number of satisfactory homogenous depth-steps, with enough space to perform the necessary solubility tests, has been possible through UV photo-ablation using a KrF excimer laser. The results of the chemical tests revealed that there is, indeed, an exponential gradient of the deterioration across the film thickness, which is directly related with an equivalent gradient in the solubility within the same varnish layer. Consequently, the deeper one goes into a varnish layer, progressively more dilute solutions of the appropriate solvent in an inert medium are required to remove it. The benefits of a combination of chemical with laser cleaning of resin-based varnishes are demonstrated, and at the same time, lasers are established as a complementary and useful tool in conservation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Naturally aged varnish, naturally aged resin, laser cleaning, laser ablation, scalar properties, gradient of oxidation
Subjects: F100 Chemistry
F300 Physics
W100 Fine Art
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Arts
Depositing User: Charis Theodorakopoulos
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2013 14:08
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 10:57
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/14011

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