Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Long-lasting paper documents

03.04.2007
Although there be great historical, artistic or archaeological interest in preserving them, paper documents have a limited life. Prolonging this life is the goal of the European Papertech project.

Taking part in the consortium carrying out the project, besides laboratories from Italy, France, Portugal, Morocco, Jordan and Egypt, is the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) through the multidisciplinary Consolidated Group made up of the Environmental Analytic Chemistry Group of the Science and Technology Faculty and the Restoration team of old documents at the Fine Art Faculty.

The project has three basic goals. The first is the diagnosis of the state of conservation of the old paper documents of archaeological, historical and artistic value. The second is conservation using classical methods analysing, above all, biological-type degradation processes that occur on cellulose media. The final goal is to test a new technology to reconstruct what has been lost from the cellulose-based paper medium.

When paper degrades due to chemical action it is basically because of oxidation of the cellulose of which the paper is composed. This reaction throws up a series of functional groups on which the new technology can act. As a result, a new polymeric structure amongst these degraded functional groups is formed and a series of materials that are introduced into the paper. This occurs in such a way that it forms a second coating with very similar properties to the original cellulose, but more stable. It is like new skin covering a wound.

... more about:
»Cellulose »UPV/EHU »aglutinant »documents

From papyri to more modern papers

The part of the research undertaken by the UPV/EHU focuses on the analysis of the paper material, i.e. on the samples from different periods and locations, from papyri to ancient maps, official papers, newspapers from the end of the XVIII century, painted paper, and so on.

They have perfected methods for characterising these papers and what is printed/written on them. Moreover, they have been able to define and measure the processes of degradation suffered by the paper material. Currently, they are analysing to see if the new processes of conservation are really effective or not.

To carry out the analysis, the UPV/EHU researchers do no touch the samples. They employ a series of non-destructive techniques that enable analyses to be carried out without damaging the samples. The process is always similar, independently of the nature of the sample; the samples pass through the same equipment.

Three kinds of equipment

The first is the Raman portable spectrometer with a microprobe and which is equipped with a micro-videocamera to focus the laser beam on what is to be analysed, being capable of resolving to 10 micras and obtaining the corresponding spectrum. The idea is to ascertain the molecular form of the various, fundamentally inorganic compounds, in the sample of paper.

Molecular-level information is obtained with this apparatus, but with X-Ray microfluorescence the aim is to obtain an analysis of the elements in order to identify the composition of the products of the medium being analysed, thus differentiating between the original components and those extra ones that have come in to the system through some activity caused by external contamination.

Finally, an optical microscope is fitted to a micro-FTIR, in order to “see” the molecular shapes of the organic compounds. Fundamentally, the degradation suffered by the cellulose medium is verified and the nature of the aglutinants used in the writing inks or the different pigments to colour the work are analysed. Obtaining the infrared sample completes the information obtained by the other two techniques.

Once the complete information from the three techniques is obtained, the results are interpreted. To date, new methodologies on how to treat these delicate materials have been proposed. At the same time, they have made advances in the identification of the aglutinants used in inks and pigments – no easy task, by any means. We can say that the great advantage with respect to other older methods is that the damage to the sample is non-existent or minimal. Given that the UPV/EHU researchers use the infrared spectroscopic technique, which is highly sensitive with less than 0.2 milligrams of sample thickness, they can ascertain the family of aglutinants used. Knowing precisely the aglutinant used 600 years has been practically impossible until now.

Working at this microscopic scale enables identification of materials that perhaps might never have been imagined as degradation products. The problem is usually one of interpreting how these materials came to be in or on the original material. This work is undertaken applying a thorough knowledge of the impact produced by the environment or by micro-organisms and by the chemical reactivity through the use of suitable programmes of chemical balance simulation in heterogeneous phases.

Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Gelaxka=1_1&hizk=I&Berri_Kod=1263

Further reports about: Cellulose UPV/EHU aglutinant documents

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht For a chimpanzee, one good turn deserves another
27.06.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

nachricht New method to rapidly map the 'social networks' of proteins
27.06.2017 | Salk Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Touch Displays WAY-AX and WAY-DX by WayCon

27.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Drones that drive

27.06.2017 | Information Technology

Ultra-compact phase modulators based on graphene plasmons

27.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>