Securing the flaking-off pieces

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There are many methods used to secure the falling of pieces right in the beginning , before we start with other treatment procedures of conservation. These methods are extremely helpful as they

  1. allow the conservators work with more confidence while removing the surface accumulations that are damaging as well as obscuring the art work and other relevant details.
  2. allow safe movement of the artifact while treatment or its transport from one place to another

These preconsolidation methods/procedures have to be totally reversible and should not leave any undesirable residue. CDD (Cyclododecane) is one such material that completely sublimes and provides the required binding for exactly enough time to carry out the initial conservation procedures without losing the loose particles of the original artifact. We also used facing with CMC (Carboxy methyl cellulose) or BEVA and Japanese tissue paper.

Following information from an article, “CYCLODODECANE: TECHNICAL NOTE ON SOME USES IN PAPER AND OBJECTS CONSERVATION” is quite interesting

In 1995, Hans Michael Hangleiter, Elisabeth Jägers, and Erhard Jägers published an article on a material that they proposed might be important in conservation treatments. The authors described their search for a binding agent that could be applied as a temporary consolidant during treatments. The ideal agent would have

  1. good film-forming properties,
  2. low melting point,
  3. insolubility in water,
  4. solubility in organic solvents,
  5. and little or no toxicity
  6. Most important, its application would be easily reversible.

Their investigation led them to a series of alicyclic hydrocarbons, compounds of a waxlike consistency that can be melted at temperatures ranging from 35 to 65°C. These materials have as their most important common characteristic the ability to sublime, i.e., to volatilize slowly from a solid directly into a gas under ordinary room-temperature conditions. This characteristic eliminates the need for other chemical or physical means of removal necessary with most other consolidants.

Four similar substances with the above noted characteristics, all differing mainly in their melting point temperatures and also in the rate or speed of their sublimation, were discussed by Hangleiter and his coauthors. These are camphene (mp 45–46°C); camphene-tricyclene, a mixture of two hydrocarbon types (mp 35°C); menthol (mp 31–35°C); and cyclododecane (mp 58–61°C).

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