Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 21, Issue 23, pp 13252–13263 | Cite as

Cleaning painted surfaces: evaluation of leaching phenomenon induced by solvents applied for the removal of gel residues

Chemistry in a sustainable society

Abstract

Cleaning is one of the most important, delicate, and at the same time controversial processes in the conservation treatment of paintings. Although a strict definition of cleaning would be the removal of dirt, grime, or other accretions (surface cleaning), in the conservation field, cleaning is used in the broader meaning to include thinning/removing altered or “unwanted layers” of materials without damaging or altering the physicochemical properties of the surfaces to be preserved. The cleaning of unvarnished paintings is one of the most critical issues that are currently discussed. Several studies exist regarding different cleaning tools, such as gels, soaps, enzymes, ionic liquids, and foams, as well as various dry methods and lasers, but only a few have been performed on the risk associated with the use of water and organic solvents for the cleaning treatments in relation to the original paint binder. The aim of the study is to verify analytically the behavior of water gelling agents during cleaning treatments and the interaction of the following elements: water or organic solvents applied for the removal of gel residues with the original lipid paint binder. For this purpose, the study was conducted on a fragment of canvas painting (sixteenth to seventeenth century) of Soprintendenza per i Beni Storici, Artistici ed Etnoantropologici del Friuli Venezia Giulia (Superintendence for the Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage of Friuli Venezia Giulia), Udine by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy.

Keywords

Cleaning surfaces Painting Gelling agents FTIR spectroscopy Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry Scanning electron microscopy 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonella Casoli
    • 1
  • Zaira Di Diego
    • 1
  • Clelia Isca
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di ChimicaUniversità degli StudiParmaItaly

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