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Friday, June 1 • 11:00am - 11:30am
(Collection Care) Evaluating the Potential of A-D Strips for Assessing the Safety of Materials for Museum Objects

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This presentation will deliver the results of experiments designed to evaluate how A-D Strips, originally developed to quantify the condition of cellulose acetate film, can be applied to detecting other forms of acidic off-gassing as well. Organic carbonyls are found in a variety of materials including adhesives, wood and laminates, flooring, paints, and textiles used in the storage, display, and transport of objects. Acetic and formic acids are believed to be the primary risks to cultural heritage materials from organic carbonyl pollutants, whether directly emitted from a source or oxidized from the aldehyde forms acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. These pollutants are particularly damaging to metals such as lead and copper and calcareous materials (in the form of Byne’s Disease), but can also affect a range of other acid-sensitive materials.

Monitoring for the presence of organic carbonyls is currently limited because the methods for doing so (primarily diffusion tubes) can be expensive to employ. A-D Strips though provide a relatively quick, easy, and inexpensive way and because of this, they have been used in a wide variety of applications: for monitoring of collections, to check the effectiveness of mitigation measures, to evaluate housing seals, and to confirm whether or not products are off-gassing in a version of an Oddy-like test.

In order to use the strips informatively where other acids aside from acetic are present, experiments will be conducted to develop a scale describing the response of the strip to the presence of formic acid. While A-D Strips will continue to react in the presence of any acid so that it will not be possible to identify whether the color changes are due to acetic, formic, or another acid, experiments into their reaction to formic acid will help to add to our scientific understanding of how the strips should be applied in contexts where another organic carbonyl is the concern. With additional testing, this tool can be appropriately used to perform preliminary screening of materials to be used in collection spaces as a complementary procedure to Oddy testing, as well as potentially inform their utilization in a broader range of applications for collections degradation and pollutant monitoring. 


Kelly McCauley Krish

Preventive Conservation Specialist, Image Permanence Institute
Kelly McCauley Krish, Preventive Conservation Specialist, joined IPI in May 2016 as part of the environmental management consulting team and to provide other preventive services. Kelly earned her MS in Art Conservation from the Winterthur- University of Delaware Program and a BA in... Read More →

avatar for Jean-Louis Bigourdan

Jean-Louis Bigourdan

Senior Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology
Jean-Louis Bigourdan is a senior research scientist at the Image Permanence Institute (IPI), Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York, USA. He has a background in Chemistry, photography and conservation of photographic materials. He received his diploma in the conservation... Read More →

Friday June 1, 2018 11:00am - 11:30am MDT
Meyerland Meeting Room Marriott Marquis Houston