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J Colloid Interface Sci. 2017 Oct 1;503:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcis.2017.04.094. Epub 2017 May 2.

Interactions of natural resins and pigments in works of art.

Author information

1
Università degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Chimica, Via Giuria 7, 10125 Torino, Italy. Electronic address: tommaso.poli@unito.it.
2
Centro Conservazione e Restauro "La Venaria Reale", Via XX Settembre 18, Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy. Electronic address: anna.piccirillo@centroresataurovenaria.it.
3
Centro Conservazione e Restauro "La Venaria Reale", Via XX Settembre 18, Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy. Electronic address: marco.nervo@centroresataurovenaria.it.
4
Università degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Chimica, Via Giuria 7, 10125 Torino, Italy. Electronic address: oscar.chiantore@unito.it.

Abstract

The degradation process involving the formation of metal soaps in drying oils is a well-known problem due to cations from pigments reacting with free fatty acids from the oil. The aggregation of these carboxylates in semi-crystalline structures can lead to eruptions through the paint layers and 'blooming' on the surface. In this work, the metal soaps formation in presence of natural resins has been assessed and studied by means of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy with experiments concerning the ageing of drying oil and different natural resins (shellac, dammar and colophony) in the presence of common historic pigments (smalt, ochre, umber, azurite, lead white, zinc white and titanium white). Mixtures of resins and pigments have been exposed to photo-ageing in solar box up to 1000h, thermal ageing at 50°C up to 1100h and 6month of room conditions exposure as reference. The decrease in the intensity of the carbonyl band in the spectra, as well as the contemporary increase of the metal carboxylates (in the range from 1500 to 1650cm-1) absorption bands, were used as the main indicators of metal soap formation. It has been observed that some pigments, particularly zinc white and smalt, present a 'catalytic' effect favouring the simultaneous formation of associated oxalates. The formation of oxalates and different degradation products from natural resins in the presence of pigments is particularly important, as it deeply affects the removability of varnishes and, more generally, the cleaning processes. Moreover, it permanently modifies the interface between painting and varnish layers as well as the aesthetic aspects of the painted surfaces. The influence of natural resins reactivity with pigments and their role in the oxalate formation is an issue still unexplored.

KEYWORDS:

FT-IR; Metal soaps; Natural resins; Oxalates; Pigments

PMID:
28500934
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcis.2017.04.094

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