Investigation of long term storage solutions for rubber garments

Marei Hacke, Jo Willey, Gemma Mitchell, Iain David Rushworth, Catherine Higgitt, Lorraine Gibson

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Abstract

A collection of 1980s Mexican rubberised cotton garments was investigated in order to assess conservation treatment options, to improve their long term storage conditions and to investigate the origin of the strong odour associated with the garments. Chemical and mechanical deterioration of the rubber was confirmed by FTIR and SEM analyses. Recommendations for remedial conservation were made after trials to re-shape a garment by the application of gentle heat. Passive diffusion tube sampling was carried out to assess the levels of acids, aldehydes and VOCs emitted from the garments. Very high concentrations of acetic acid off-gassing were confirmed and deemed a risk to the cotton fabric. Test set-ups in sealed ambient and anoxic conditions with and without the inclusion of MicroChamber® paper showed the effectiveness of this pollutant sorbent in reducing acetic acid levels as well as general odour emitted by the garments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-196
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Institute for Conservation
Volume37
Issue number2
Early online date3 Sep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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Keywords

  • rubber
  • cotton
  • acetic acid
  • anoxia
  • VOC
  • MicroChamber
  • rubberised cotton garments

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