Nanoscience for the Conservation of Works of Art
CHAPTER 16: Inorganic Nanomaterials for the Deacidification of Waterlogged Wood
Published:24 May 2013
Special Collection: 2013 ebook collection , 2011-2015 materials and nanoscience subject collectionSeries: Nanoscience & Nanotechnology
This chapter focuses on the main conservation issues of archaeological and waterlogged wood, providing both an overview and specific case studies that involve the usage of nanotechnology as an innovative approach to solve preservation problems. Essential information on wood's composition, structure, degradation and traditional conservation methods is provided as a background before discussing novel materials for the protection and consolidation of wood artworks and major objects. New tools such as nanolatexes, nanoparticulate silica sols, and dispersions of alkaline earth hydroxide nanoparticles are introduced and discussed in the context of evaluating real possibilities for protective coatings, consolidants and deacidifying agents for wood. Two case studies are presented, involving the conservation of historical waterlogged shipwrecks (the Vasa and the Mary Rose), and the neutralization of acidic volatile organic compounds emitted from wooden substrates. Both cases highlight the potential of inorganic nanomaterials for solving the problem of the acidity of wood, either developed within the fibres or emitted from the object's surface, which represents one of the main concerns when dealing with the preservation of wooden artefacts.