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 Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>