Cultural Heritage Artefacts and Conservation: Surfaces and Interfaces
This chapter introduces the concept of interface, outlining the background that supports the following parts of this book. Theoretical parts are integrated with practical examples, so as to cover a wide range of aspects and implications. The definitions of surface, interface and surface tension are provided, and the concepts of adhesion and cohesion, as well as their theoretical implications in the cleaning of works of art, are introduced. Surface wettability and contact angle are then discussed, and a case study is presented, concerning the conservation of the doors of the Florence Baptistery. Capillarity and its implication in conservation issues are introduced, as well as a theoretical approach to chemisorption and physisorption of gases onto solid surfaces. Finally, the definitions of the initial spreading coefficient and the interfacial tension of several solvents with water are provided.