The EU-funded Papertech project has taken up the delicate challenge of finding techniques to prolong the lives of these valuable works. It has developed a triangle of innovations which could become the de facto protocols for the diagnostic, restoration and conservation of paper-based artefacts.
Juan Manuel Madariaga from the University of the Basque Country, one of the partners in the project, told CORDIS News: 'There are three innovations to evolve out of the project which we hope will become protocols the world over for the restoration and conservation of paper based works of cultural value.'
The first of these three innovations developed by the team is a non destructive diagnostic technique to characterise the properties of the paper and measure the level of degradation suffered by paper materials.
So, the diagnostic began with known image analysis techniques, including spectroscopic (FT-IR, RAMAN) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) measurements, as well as an innovative, especially developed mobile Nuclear Magnetic Resonance instrument (NMR MOUSE) for detecting the 'in situ' characteristics of the ancient paper object.
The researchers then turned their attention to restoration and conservation.
They synthesised new specific polymeric materials with excellent photo-oxidative stability and strong adhesive properties for sticking to cellulose substrates. Like new skin covering a wound, these polymers were grafted onto the cellulose substrate to form a second stable layer which would improve the degraded paper.
This innovative technique serves the two functions of both stopping the degradation of the artefact object and restoring it to a clean bill of health.
Finally, the researchers wrapped up their restoration research by developing a new cleaning technology using laser beams to preserve the state and quality of the newly restored works of art.
Dr Madariaga said: 'The project is proving to be a real success. We have received praise from the European Commission and expectations are running high. Now we have to test and evaluate the innovative processes of conservation before we can proceed to patenting our innovations.'
The evaluation process will involve submitting the sample model materials and technologies to strong photoxidative, chemical and biological attacks to test their stability. If these satisfy standards of efficiency and durability, only then will the materials and technologies be tested further on selected ancient paper items.
These items will then be organised into an exhibition to showcase the methods used to solve different conservation problems.
If successful, the project could result in countless works of historical and cultural value being finally allowed out of storage and onto the walls of museums around the world for people to enjoy.
The Papertech project is funded by the EU's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and includes partners from such Mediterranean countries as Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Morocco, Jordan and Egypt.
Virginia Mercouri | alfa
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences