Joined: 16 Mar 2004
|Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:58 am Post subject: Nanotechnology to Restore Renaissance Wall Paintings
|Oil-in-Water Nanocontainers as Low Environmental Impact Cleaning Tools for Works of Art
Scientists in Italy are reporting development and use on Renaissance masterpieces of a simple, less-expensive method for the world's most delicate cleanups — on precious paintings and other works of art. The methods use oil-in-water nanocontainers to restore artwork dulled by centuries-old buildups of grime and damaged from floods and failed past attempts at preservation, according to a study scheduled for the May 22 issue of ACS' Langmuir, a bi-weekly journal.
In the study, Professor Piero Baglioni and colleagues describe tiny droplets of cleaning agents suspended in water to form microemulsions. These nanocontainers have several advantages over traditional methods, which may involve the use of pure organic solvents. The microemulsions have a milder cleaning action, for instance, less likely to damage fragile surfaces. In addition, they use up to 95 percent less organic solvent and have less of an environmental impact than traditional cleaning methods. "These innovative systems are very attractive for the low amount of organic solvent. . . and the very efficient and mild impact of the cleaning procedure on the fragile painted surfaces," the report states.
Baglioni concludes that the excellent results obtained in the “real cases” (e.g. a wall paint by Vecchietta in Santa Maria della Scala Sacristy, Siena, Italy) suggest that these new oil-in-water nanocompartimentalized systems can be adopted in the near future for conservation of cultural heritage, achieving, at the same time, the possibility of using a methodology with very low environmental impact and high performance for the cleaning of painted surfaces.
Story posted: 14th May 2007