FTIR techniques applied to the detection of gelatine in paper artifacts: from macroscopic to microscopic approach
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In order to render paper hydrophobic for ink and thus adequate for writing, gelatine has been largely used. To this day, it is still employed in conservation workshops as an adhesive or a sizing agent, for instance, during the treatment of iron gall ink manuscripts. Various types and concentrations of gelatine are recommended, depending on the desired effect, but little information is available regarding to the physical distribution of gelatine in the paper. This aspect is however determinant for a better control of conservation treatments.
In this work, we investigate the possibilities offered by FTIR microscopy for the measurement of the gelatine distribution in paper. Laboratory papers were preliminary treated with different types of gelatine and then embedded in a resin and cut in thin slices. Mapping techniques enable to compare the penetration of different types of gelatine in a semiquantitative way. The performance of conventional laboratory equipment and synchrotron radiation experimental setup are discussed.
KeywordsDMAE Paper Surface FTIR Microscopy Beam Aperture Gelatine Solution
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