Work package 2
Work package Leader: CSGI
Work package title: New tools for cleaning
Namely, the aim of this WP was the development of novel systems with enhanced or new properties specifically designed to address the challenges associated with cleaning modern and contemporary art. These systems represented a significant step forward for the field of preservation. At the heart of this breakthrough is the ability of this interdisciplinary project team to design, formulate and test nanostructured residue-free cleaning fluids, through the use of self-degrading surfactants (as detailed in Task 2.1) or even surfactant-free systems. Enzymes have been widely used (often with poor results) for the removal of specific target substances. They are usually applied from aqueous solutions (including salts, pH buffers, other additives) and at controlled temperature, which is detrimental on sensitive substrates such as painted layers. Confinement of enzyme solutions in highly retentive gels or nano- /meso-porous silica nanoparticles for controlled release and substantially increased enzyme shelf life was one of the key targets of the project. The development of novel classes of gels was addressed, including systems for the confinement of cleaning fluids and enzymes, and systems for mechanical removal of soiling (e.g. peelable gels). Even though these new tools are conceived as ‘residue-free’, it is essential that the suitability of these cleaning systems are tested using accelerated testing techniques, ensuring no adverse effect on the real objects.
Task 2.1 - Environmentally friendly nanostructured fluids for residue-free removal of unwanted materials
Task 2.2 - Enzyme solutions
Task 2.3 - Highly-retentive gels for the confinement of nanostructured fluids or bio-cleaning systems (enzyme solutions)
Task 2.4 - Assessment and validation of the new tools for cleaning