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Conservation materials for stained glass windows - assessment of treatments, studies on reversibility, and performance of innovative restoration strategies and products


Since about 1950 various materials have been propagated for the conservation of stained glass, including epoxy resins, acrylates and polyurethanes. For all conservation materials on stained glass there is a substantial lack of assessment of treatments after decades of natural weathering. Since most of the applied materials cause problems nowadays, the introduction of innovative and promising new preservation strategies and materials are necessary. The aim of this project is to secure the conservation of stained glass windows as an important part of our European cultural heritage.

Therefore, the proposal has been conceived with the following objectives:
- to evaluate a representative variation of conservation materials on selected original objects after natural weathering;
- to optimise and apply advanced non-destructive analytical methods and molecular biological tools for understanding long-term effects of conservation treatments and biodeterioration;
- to investigate the degree of reversibility of ancient materials; - to propose remediation strategies based on treatments and re-treatability tests with modern materials and to improve preservation strategies by introducing innovative conservation materials based on nano-porous glass phases, derived from colloidal silica sols and stabilised by glass fibre components (glass-in-glass consolidants).

The pilot objects have been chosen in five different European countries, providing different restoration history and including both, medieval windows as well as objects from the 19th/20th century. Apart from classical analytical methods (optical microscopy, IR, SEM) advanced non-destructive methods (confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy, microfocus and phase contrast X-ray tomography, mCT) and biochemical methods will be applied. The project team consist of eleven partners from seven countries, including research institutes, universities, public authorities and SMEs.

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Participantes (10)