Wiping away the dirt-a safe option for plastics?

Yvonne Shashoua, Kathrine Segel, Janet Bridgland (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Modern and contemporary collections are characterized by the diversity of materials present. Although plastics were once thought to be an indestructible product of the 20th century, museum professionals are now challenged by their conservation. One pressing challenge is cleaning plastics´ vulnerable surfaces. This article presents the results of extensive research into the risks associated with cleaning flexible and rigid plastics. Mechanical cleaning tools were evaluated for their potential to damage plastic surfaces. Examination of PMMA, PVC, HDPE, HIPS, CA and EPS before and after cleaning using optical and microscopic techniques, changes in surface energy and gloss, suggested that the ten least damaging mechanical cleaning materials for all plastics were cotton bud, cotton cloth, microfiber cloth, spectacle cloth, leather chamois, sable hair brush, feather duster, synthetic feather duster, yellow Akapad sponge and canned air.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventICOM-CC 16th: Triennial Conference in Lisbon “Cultural Heritage / Cultural Identity: The Role of Conservation” - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 19 Sep 201123 Sep 2011
Conference number: 16

Conference

ConferenceICOM-CC 16th
Number16
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period19/09/201123/09/2011

Keywords

  • POPART
  • plastic
  • polymethylmethacrylate
  • polyvinyl chloride
  • cellulose acetate
  • high impact polystyrene
  • high density polyethylene
  • mechanical cleaning

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