Characterisation and evaluation of the environmental impact on historical parchments by differential scanning calorimetry
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- Badea, E., Della Gatta, G. & Budrugeac, P. J Therm Anal Calorim (2011) 104: 495. doi:10.1007/s10973-011-1495-8
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Our recent developments concerning the assessment of parchments deterioration using DSC are reported. Measurements performed on samples in excess water conditions, in static air and gas flow provided qualitative and quantitative information on parchment ageing and deterioration at microscopic and mesoscopic level, when assembly of fibres/fibrils is weakened, partially and eventually completely lost, and at molecular level, when triple helix uncoiling occurs. A damage ranking scale based on a large collection of DSC parameters obtained by investigating artificially aged samples was set up. Deconvolution of the DSC thermal denaturation peaks in excess water enabled evaluating and discriminating stability of parchments with similar damage levels. Further experimental evidences such as softening of the crystalline fraction of collagen, thermal-oxidation and collagen gelatinisation were detected by DSC measurements in gas flow and static air, and related to specific deterioration patterns. DSC measurement of wet samples provided an objective and reliable method for evaluating parchment shrinkage temperature overcoming the limitations of conventional methods.