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    Controlled environment neutron radiography of moisture sorption/desorption in nanocellulose-treated cotton painting canvases

    Bridarolli, A. and Odlyha, Marianne and Burca, G. and Duncan, J.C. and Akeroyd, F.A. and Church, A. and Bozec, L. (2021) Controlled environment neutron radiography of moisture sorption/desorption in nanocellulose-treated cotton painting canvases. ACS Applied Polymer Materials 3 (2), pp. 777-788. ISSN 2637-6105.

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    Nanocellulose-based materials have recently been used to consolidate degraded cotton painting canvases. Canvas-supported paintings consist of materials that are sensitive to moisture and especially susceptible to environmental fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity (RH). These environmental fluctuations occur in uncontrolled environments found in historic houses and palaces and can lead to hydrolytic degradation and mechanical damage to canvases. To simulate this situation in an experimental setting, canvas samples were mounted in a custom-made closed-cell and subjected to programmed cycles of RH at a controlled temperature while exposed to the neutron beam. Results are presented for both untreated samples and those treated with a polar consolidant, cellulose nanofibrils (CNF(aq)) in water, and an apolar consolidant, a composite of persilylated methyl cellulose with surface silylated cellulose nanocrystals (MC+CNC(h)) in heptane. They were then compared with changes in ionic conductivities as measured by dielectric analysis (DEA) with the same cyclic RH program and temperature. Although the samples were exposed to the same experimental conditions, they presented treatment-specific responses. CNF-treated canvas showed higher hygroscopicity than the untreated sample and facilitated moisture diffusion across the sample to areas not exposed to the environment. A sample treated with MC+CNC(h) retarded moisture diffusion during the increase in RH and could, therefore, afford protection to moisture absorption in uncontrolled environments. Thus, the experimental setup and resulting data provide a pilot study demonstrating the potential of neutron radiography in following and comparing real-time moisture diffusion dynamics in untreated and nanocellulose-consolidated cotton canvases and assisting in validating the overall benefit of the treatment


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Marianne Odlyha
    Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2021 13:30
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:07


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