43rd Annual Meeting – RATS Session, May 15, "New Inorganic Consolidants for the Restoration Market: Results From Nanomatch EU Project" by Adriana Bernardi

Dr. Adriana Bernardi was the presenter for this co-authored talk.  She is affiliated with Padua University, a senior researcher at CNR-ISAC (Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate of the National Research Council of Italy), and head of the ISAC Unit of Padua.  First, Dr. Barnardi explained that 13 partners from 7 European countries were involved in the Nanomatch project.  This was a large-scale collaborative project with the aim of developing better consolidants for stone, wood, and glass artifacts.  Discussions of wall painting consolidation were included as well.  The developed consolidants had to be sustainable, react well with the substrate, and be safe to use.  This talk discussed the testing and results of several new consolidants.
For stone and wood the class of consolidants that Dr. Barnardi described were calcium alkoxides.  For glass, the consolidants were aluminum alkoxides (A18).  Dr. Bernardi talked about the strategy for developing these consolidants.  A mix of lab experimentation and field exposure was used in their development and testing.  Mock-ups were made of wall paintings, wood, glass, and stone artifacts for testing purposes.  Field tests were also done in several EU countries and Dr. Bernardi mentioned historical samples being tested as well.
The results of the Nanomatch Projcect were quite positive.  There was too much detailed information to include everything in this blog post, but here are some of the highlights:

  • Stone – developed consolidant had good workability and use, was comptablible with stone, and there was no color change.
  • Wall painting – good workability and ease of use, good aesthetic results but decreased concentration needed for some colors.
  • Wood – acid neutralization in alkoxide treated wood.  The consolidant acts as an alkaline supply.
  • Glass – consolidant A18 is highly compatible with glass (transparent, similar refractive index), good adhesion to glass, can penetrate cracks.

Dr. Bernardi showed videos during her presentation that demonstrated the use of the consolidants on stone, wood, and glass during Nanomatch training workshops.  In conclusion, the newly developed limestone, wall painting, and glass consolidants all seemed effective as consolidating materials, while the wood “consolidant” was more effective in acid neutralization.  If you’d like to know more about this project and the composition of the consolidants, visit the Nanomatch website for more information.