All art materials are prone to degradation; in particular, the introduction of new creative manufacturing techniques in the 20th century art has yielded artworks with short lifetime expectancy. Fading, yellowing and discolouration are the most common degradation effects that result from the exposition to UV and visible light and oxidizing agents. The result of the degradation is the irreversible alteration of the appearance of contemporary artworks, which is a patrimony of mankind. This PoC project aims to develop innovative, multi-functional graphene-based products (graphene ‘veils’ and inclusions) that provide UV shielding, de-acidification, oxygen and humidity barriers for the protection of old and modern paintings and artworks. Recent advances in the understanding of the mechanical integrity of large graphene membranes as well as of innovative graphene-transfer processes through the current ERC Tailor Graphene has made possible the emergence of this application of strong societal value. The transparent protective graphene veil can be easily removed so it does not constitute an irreversible intervention on the art object. Moreover, for such an application the price of graphene does not hamper its business potential since the quantities are minimal. Two different classes of products are envisaged; CVD graphene membranes directly deposited to artworks for which transparency is required and graphene flakes that will be dispersed to colour paints and varnishes so as to bestow enhanced UV, oxidation and humidity resistance. The latter paves the way to extend this application to the huge market of architectural paints. A multi-disciplinary approach will be pursued for the implementation of this PoC and involves experimentation with CVD graphene sheets of various morphologies and sizes and the dispersion of nanographene as additives in paints. Finally, the development of a Business Plan will be undertaken in collaboration with business developers and patent specialists.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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