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Publication Detail
Cross-infection effect of polymers of historic and heritage significance on the degradation of a cellulose reference test
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Curran K, Mozir A, Underhill M, Gibson LT, Strlic M
  • Publisher:
    Elsevier
  • Publication date:
    2014
  • Pagination:
    294, 306
  • Journal:
    Polymer Degradation and Stability
  • Volume:
    107
  • Status:
    Published
  • Addresses:
    Katherine Curran
    University College London
    Centre for Sustainable Heritage
    14 Upper Woburn Place
    London
    WC1H 0NN
    United Kingdom

    Alenka Mozir
    University of Ljubljana
    Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology
    Aškerčeva cesta 5
    1000 Ljubljana
    Slovenia

    Mark Underhill
    University College London
    Centre for Sustainable Heritage
    14 Upper Woburn Place
    London
    WC1H 0NN
    United Kingdom

    Lorraine Gibson
    University of Strathclyde
    Department of Pure and Applied Chemistry
    Thomas Graham Building, 295 Cathedral Street
    Glasgow
    G1 1XL
    United Kingdom

    Matija Strlic
    University College London
    Centre for Sustainable Heritage
    14 Upper Woburn Place
    London
    WC1H 0NN
    United Kingdom

    Tom Fearn
    University College London
    Department of Statistical Science
    Gower Street
    London
    WC1E 6BT
    United Kingdom
Abstract
The cross-infection effect of 105 polymer samples was studied, using cellulose as a reference test material. In total 14 polymer types were studied, comprising “modern materials” commonly found in historic and artistic collections including: cellulose acetate (CA), cellulose nitrate (CN), poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), polyurethane (PUR) and a selection of specialised packaging materials used in art and heritage conservation. Polymer samples were placed in glass vials containing a piece of the cellulose reference and vials were sealed before being heated to 80 C for 14 days. The cross-infection effect on the reference cellulose was measured using viscometry to calculate the degree of polymerisation relative to that of a control reference and a classification system of the cross-infection or preservation effect is proposed. Solid phase micro-extraction (SPME)-GC/MS was used to detect and identify the emitted volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from a select number of polymer samples. CN was identified as the polymer with the most severe cross-infection effect while others e.g. polycarbonate (PC) had no effect or even a beneficial effect. Acetic acid was found to be the most characteristic emission detected from the most severely cross-infecting materials.
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