Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research commitment to save the Vasa

20.11.2008
How should the humidity, temperature, and light be set to preserve the royal warship Vasa for posterity? How much and how quickly are the ship's wood and preservative breaking down, and how is the ship's stability being affected by this?

Researchers are now going to study the degradation processes and test new methods for determine their speed, including the monitoring of how much oxygen is consumed. They will also trying out new methods for removing iron and neutralizing acids to stop the degradation. A major co-financed project will provide SEK 18 million.

Press release from the Swedish Research Council Formas, the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research, the Swedish Research Council, and VINNOVA (the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems), 2008-11-19

The royal warship Vasa is one of Sweden's best known and most frequently visited tourist attractions. The ship and the objects it carried are a source of knowledge about the living conditions, culture, and technology of the 17th century.

"It is urgent and important to contribute to research that can enable us to preserve the ship for posterity," says Rolf Annerberg, director general of the Swedish Research Council Formas, one of the financiers behind the new research project.

A total of SEK 18 million will be committed to the project. Formas will provide SEK 1.6 million, the Foundation for Strategic Research SEK 2 million, VINNOVA SEK 2 million, and the Swedish Research Council SEK 0.9 million. The bulk of the funding, SEK 11.6 million, will come from the Swedish National Maritime Museums, SMM.

The ship which weighs about 1,000 tons, contains some 2 tons of sulfur, 2 tons of iron, and 50 tons of preservative. To a depth of 5-10 millimeters the wood is depleted of cellulose, which bacteria on the bottom of the bay consumed over the 333 years the ship lay there. Sulfur compounds from the brackish water and from the sewage of the city were absorbed by the wood and now exists in various chemical forms, either free or bound to iron or to components of the wood. Iron compounds come from iron bolts that have rusted away and from cannonballs, and they are widely diffused in the wood.

The project will address the issues that remain unanswered: To what extent and how quickly are the various components of the wood and preservative breaking down. How is this degradation affected by access to atmospheric oxygen, the moisture of the wood, the presence of iron compounds and sulfur compounds, and temperature? How can these processes be stopped? How are the properties of the wood and thereby the entire ship's stability impacted by these processes? Among other things, the project will test new methods for analyzing wood, metering gas diffusion, and monitoring oxygen consumption. This is a comprehensive project, and the several thousand objects sometimes require other methods for preservation than those used for the hull.

The project will be carried out in 2009-2011 under the direction of SMM, with the participation of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, STFI-Packforsk, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Emilie von Essen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.formas.se

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

nachricht A new indicator for marine ecosystem changes: the diatom/dinoflagellate index
21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>