Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Nanoparticles for Cultural Heritage Conservation

10.09.2010
New Concepts and Materials for the Consolidation and Protection of Wall Paintings

The conservation of Mayan wall paintings at the archaeological site of Calakmul (Mexico) will be one on the subjects touched upon by Piero Baglioni (based at the University of Florence) in his invited lecture at the 3rd European Chemistry Congress in Nürnberg in September.

In a special issue of Chemistry—A European Journal, which contains papers by many of the speakers at this conference, he reports on the latest developments on the use of humble calcium and barium hydroxides nanoparticles as a versatile and highly efficient tool to combat the main degradation processes that affect wall paintings.

La Antigua Ciudad Maya de Calakmul is located in the Campeche state (Mexico) and is one of the most important cities of the Classic Maya period (AD 250–800). The excavation of this site (set up in 1993) involves, under the supervision of the archaeologist Ramon Carrasco, archaeologists, architects, engineers, conservators and epigraphists, besides other specialists. Since 2004, the Center for Colloid and Surface Science (CSGI) at the University of Florence (CSGI), and currently directed by Piero Baglioni, has been an active partner, being involved in the study of the painting technique and in the development of nanotechnology for the consolidation and protection of the wall paintings and limestone.

Over the last decades, polymers, mainly acrylic and vinyl resins, have been widely used to consolidate wall paintings and to confer protection and hydrorepellency to the painted layer. However, contrary to the expectations, polymers used for the protection of wall paintings have induced further degradation of the works of art and their chemical modifications, such as cross-linking, strongly hampers their removal. Hence, there has been a need to develop new methods of conservation.

In Florence, Piero Baglioni and his group have pioneered the use of calcium hydroxide nanoparticles to restore wall paintings, the degradation of which is basically due to the transformation of calcium carbonate into gypsum. Nanoparticles of calcium hydroxide efficiently interact with carbon dioxide to reform calcium carbonate and replace the degraded original ligand, leading to the re-cohesion of the paint layer. However, when large amounts of soluble sulfates (i.e., sodium or magnesium sulfates) are present in a wall painting, consolidation with calcium hydroxide nanoparticles might not produce durable results. In fact, sulfate ions can react with calcium hydroxide to give a double-exchange reaction, producing the slightly soluble gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate). Barium hydroxide nanoparticles represent a really useful alternative and a complementary tool to hinder this process. Hence, mixed formulations can be used for the pre-consolidation of surfaces largely contaminated by sulfates.

In Calakmul, Mayan paintings have been successfully treated by using a mixture of calcium and barium hydroxide nanoparticles as a dispersion in 1-propanol. The consolidation effect was significant already after one week. The result of the application is that the paintings are now stable and do not show ongoing degradation processes. Thus, nanoscience has opened up enormous potential for Cultural Heritage conservation, due to the unique properties that the reduction in particle size confers to nanomaterials compared to their micrometric counterparts.

Author: Piero Baglioni, Università degli Studi di Firenze (Italy), http://matsci.unipv.it/CSGI/proc/People.aspx?ID=35

Title: Nanoparticles for Cultural Heritage Conservation: Calcium and Barium Hydroxide Nanoparticles for Wall Painting Consolidation

Chemistry - A European Journal, Permalink to the article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/chem.201001443

Piero Baglioni | Wiley-VCH
Further information:
http://www.wiley-vch.de
http://matsci.unipv.it/CSGI/proc/People.aspx?ID=35
http://pressroom.chempubsoc.eu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Complementing conventional antibiotics
24.05.2018 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)
23.05.2018 | Institute of Industrial Science, The University of Tokyo

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Could a particle accelerator using laser-driven implosion become a reality?

24.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Hot cars can hit deadly temperatures in as little as one hour

24.05.2018 | Health and Medicine

Complementing conventional antibiotics

24.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>