Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Protecting murals via acoustic waves

A portable instrument for the detection and measurement of detachment extension in mural paintings has been developed.
Protecting murals via acoustic waves
In order to assess the efficiency of protection treatments of mural paintings and mosaics, it is vital to obtain precise damage definition and measurement prior to and following restoration. Thus far, the most common techniques restorers employ to detect separation zones in frescos are either too empiric and destructive or too complex to interpret.

The new technique, which involves a portable instrument to detect and measure detachment in mural paintings, provides a means of assessing the separation zones without damaging the work of art. It provides a physical indicator of the separation zones with a novel technique for revealing detachments via acoustic imageries.

These imageries are connected to the acoustic energy that is absorbed while the painting is insonified by a proper non-invasive acoustic wave. The acoustic wave excites the surface and the sensor then detects the signal from an appropriate distance.

This method can expose both large and small deviations related to the degree of detachment concealed in the interface within the layers located between the plaster and the wall. The results of the measurements are displayed via a planar or by 3-D distribution.

This new technique can provide an important contribution to a vital part of the conservation of cultural heritage. The proponents seek technical collaboration with companies that can move the prototype to the industrial level.
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