Sample preparation and testing methods for the evaluation of microcrystalline waxes for the seismic protection of art objects

Anne Crowley, Debra Laefer, Mairead Fanning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Use of microcrystalline waxes for the protection of ceramic art objects from seismic events is an inexpensive and relatively popular technique. Unfortunately, because of the high porosity of some ceramics and the fragility of their glazes and paints, the surface of many art objects may be vulnerable to damage from the microcrystalline wax. Thus, a conservative application approach is needed-applying only as much as is actually required for predicted levels of ground movement. Determining this quantity and verifying the best application technique (e.g., hot versus cold) has yet to be established. This paper presents the development of testing techniques to optimize the application of microcrystalline waxes; specifically, the pioneering of tensile and shear sample preparation. These procedures were applied to 70 tensile and 175 shear tests on paraffin wax, beeswax, and four microcrystalline waxes. Static testing methods demonstrated the clear superiority of certain products and average performance capabilities of up to 167 kN/m2 in tension and 89 kN/m2 in shear, under light loading.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Testing and Evaluation
Volume36
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

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Waxes
Paraffin waxes
Testing
Glazes
Paint
Porosity

Keywords

  • Art objects
  • Microcrystalline wax
  • Museums
  • Seismic protection
  • Shear
  • Tension
  • Thermoplastic acrylic resin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Sample preparation and testing methods for the evaluation of microcrystalline waxes for the seismic protection of art objects. / Crowley, Anne; Laefer, Debra; Fanning, Mairead.

In: Journal of Testing and Evaluation, Vol. 36, No. 1, 01.2008, p. 24-33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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