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Issue 9, 2010
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Removal of acrylic coatings from works of art by means of nanofluids: understanding the mechanism at the nanoscale

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Abstract

Conservation of works of art often involves the inappropriate application of synthetic polymers. We have proposed the use of alternative methodologies for conservation and formulated innovative cleaning nanostructured systems to remove previously applied polymer films and grime from painted surfaces. In particular, a novel “micellar system” composed of water, SDS, 1-pentanol, ethyl acetate and propylene carbonate was recently formulated and successfully used to remove acrylic and vinyl/acrylic copolymers from Mesoamerican wall paintings in the archeological site of Cholula, Mexico. This contribution reports on the mechanism of the interaction process that takes place between the nanostructured fluid and the polymer coating at the nanoscale. The structural properties of the “micellar solution” and of the polymer film are investigated before, during and after the interaction process using several surface and solution techniques. Rather than a classical detergency mechanism, we demonstrate that micelles act as solvent containers and interact with the polymer film leading to its swelling and detachment from the surface and to its segregation in a liquid droplet, which phase-separates from the aqueous bulk. After the removal process the micelles become smaller in size and undergo a structural re-arrangement due to the depletion of the organic solvents. These findings can be framed in an interaction mechanism which describes the removal process, opening up new perspectives in the design and formulation of new cleaning systems specifically tailored for intervention on particular conservation issues.

Graphical abstract: Removal of acrylic coatings from works of art by means of nanofluids: understanding the mechanism at the nanoscale

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Apr 2010, accepted on 25 May 2010 and first published on 07 Jul 2010


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00255K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2010,2, 1723-1732
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    Removal of acrylic coatings from works of art by means of nanofluids: understanding the mechanism at the nanoscale

    M. Baglioni, D. Rengstl, D. Berti, M. Bonini, R. Giorgi and P. Baglioni, Nanoscale, 2010, 2, 1723
    DOI: 10.1039/C0NR00255K

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