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    Nanomaterials for the cleaning and pH adjustment of vegetable tanned leather

    Baglioni, M. and Bartoletti, A. and Bozec, L. and Giorgi, R. and Odlyha, Marianne and Pianorsi, D. and Poggi, G. and Baglioni, P. (2016) Nanomaterials for the cleaning and pH adjustment of vegetable tanned leather. Applied Physics A 122 (2), pp. 1-11. ISSN 0947-8396.

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    Leather artifacts in historical collections and archives are often contaminated by physical changes such as soiling, which alter their appearance and readability, and by chemical changes which occur on ageing and give rise to excessive proportion of acids that promote hydrolysis of collagen, eventually leading to gelatinization and loss of mechanical properties. However, both cleaning and pH adjustment of vegetable tanned leather pose a great challenge for conservators, owing to the sensitivity of these materials to the action of solvents, especially water-based formulations and alkaline chemicals. In this study the cleaning of historical leather samples was optimized by confining an oil-in-water (o/w) nanostructured fluid in a highly retentive chemical hydrogel, which allows the controlled release of the cleaning fluid on sensitive surfaces. The chemical gel exhibits optimal viscoelasticity, which facilitates its removal after the application without leaving residues on the object. Nanoparticles of calcium hydroxide and lactate, dispersed in 2-propanol, were used to adjust the pH up to the natural value of leather, preventing too high alkalinity which causes swelling of fibers and denaturation of the collagen. The treated samples were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (FE SEM), controlled environment dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA-RH), and infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). The analytical assessment validated the use of tools derived from colloid and materials science for the preservation of collagen-based artifacts.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): historical leather, nanoparticles, calcium lactate, hydrogels, microemulsions, pH control, cleaning
    School: School of Science > Biological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2016 14:51
    Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 21:03


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