Design and contemporary art

The characterization of aged standard polymeric materials

The research activity is about the characterization of standard polymeric materials used in design and contemporary art in order to study patterns and mechanisms of degradation. The multi-analytical diagnostic tests are carried out on selected materials preliminary artificially aged under mild solar conditions. Such process aims to reproduce the museum environment and thus replicating the degradation observed in real samples. (Project concluded in 2015)

Contact person: Daniela Saviello

  • D. Saviello, E. Pouyet, L. Toniolo, M. Cotte, A. Nevin, "Synchrotron-based FTIR microspectroscopy for the mapping of photo-oxidation and additives in acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene model samples and historical objects" 2014, in press on Analytica Chimica Acta
  • F. Toja, D. Saviello, A. Nevin, D. Comelli, M. Lazzari, M. Levi, L. Toniolo, "The degradation of poly(vinylacetate) as a material for design objects: a multi-analytical study of the effect of dibutyl phthalate plasticizer.Part 1." Polym Degrad Stab 2012; 97-11: 2441-2448
  • F. Toja, D. Saviello, A. Nevin, D. Comelli, M. Lazzari, G. Valentini, L. Toniolo, "The degradation of poly(vinyl acetate) as a material for design objects: a multi-analytical study of the effect of dibutyl phthalate plasticizer. Part 2." Polym Degrad Stab 2013 Vol. 98, Issue 11, Pages 2215-2223
Multi-analytical investigation of design objects and contemporary artworks

The research provides methods of micro-and non-invasive investigation for the study of the preservation state of design objects and contemporary artworks. The conservation of plastic artefacts is complex and challenging due to several factors such as their short lifetime, the wide variety of ageing processes, the different exposure conditions, and individual requirements of storage. A thorough investigation including spectrophotometric and spectroscopic techniques allows a useful and accurate assessment. (Project concluded in 2015)

Contact person: Daniela Saviello

  • D. Comelli, F. Toja, C. D'Andrea, L. Toniolo, G. Valentini, M. Lazzari, A. Nevin, “Advanced non-invasive fluorescence spectroscopy and imaging for mapping photo-oxidative degradation in acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene: A study of model samples and of an object from the 1960s”, 2014, Polym Degrad Stabil
  • Toja F., Nevin A, Comelli D, Levi M, Cubeddu R, Toniolo L. “Fluorescence and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy for the analysis of iconic Italian design lamps made of polymeric materials” Anal Bioanal Chem. 2011;399(9):2977-86.
Conservation strategies for the preservation of plastic artefacts

Yellowing, loss of mechanical and optical properties, are just some of the damage suffered by polymeric materials with ageing. It is very important to try to develop new conservative methodologies able to retrieve the properties of materials, slow degradation processes or even prevent them. This research includes innovative methods for reducing the yellowing and for the recovery of mechanical properties through post- additivation and cleaning procedures. (Project concluded in 2015)

Contact person: Daniela Saviello