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The Use of Menthol as a Temporary Consolidant in Art Conservation

Naturwissenschaften und Technologie in der Kunst
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Schillerplatz 3
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1010 Wien
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Vortrag von Dr. Han Xiangna (Institute of Cultural Heritage and History of Science & Technology, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China) im Rahmen der ChemArt (Gesellschaft österreichischer Chemiker, Arbeitsgruppe Erforschung und Erhaltung des kulturellen Erbes) organisiert vom Institut für Naturwissenschaften und Technologie in der Kunst (Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien) und vom Institut  Chemie – Science Visualization, Abt. Archäometrie (Universität für Angewandte Kunst).

Menthol, a natural organic compound from plant extract, due to its unique aromatic smell and cooling effect, has wide applications in food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. By taking advantage of its volatile ability at room temperature, this compound has the potential to be used as a temporary consolidant in the field of art conservation. In this presentation, the basic research of menthol used in archeological urgent conservation is presented, including the performances of temporary consolidation, safety issues, and optimal application protocols. Finally, several field cases will be shown. The results prove that menthol is a safe and effective temporary consolidant.

Dr. Han Xiangna studied materials physics and chemistry at Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, receiving an engineering doctorate degree in 2013. She has two years’ post doc experience at the department of chemistry in Zhejiang University. She joined the Institute of Cultural Heritage and History of Science & Technology, University of Science and Technology Beijing in March, 2016. She focuses on archaeological excavation site conservation, mainly about how to extract or transport fragile objects form archaeology field to a lab or exhibition hall. She also doses effectiveness evaluation studies of protective materials used on stone, terracotta, wall painting, earth relics or other silicate culture heritages.