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Title: The chemical characterisation of binding media in 20th century art
Author: Cappitelli, Francesca
ISNI:       0000 0001 3519 3680
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2002
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This dissertation describes the application and optimisation of an analytical technique, named thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation - gas chromatography / mass spectrometry [THM.-GCMS]. THM.-GCMS is a modification of pyrolysis - gas chromatography / mass spectrometry [Py-GCMS] which involves an on-line derivatisation process known as thermally assisted hydrolysis and methylation. The method is based on the high temperature reaction of tetramethylammonium hydroxide with macromolecular materials containing functional groups susceptible to hydrolysis and methylation. During this research THM.-GCMS was used for the chemical characterisation of the most frequently-used binding media in 20th century art: oils, acrylics, alkyds and poly(vinylacetates). The major classes of binding media used in 20th century paints have been previously studied in conservation using a range of techniques, the most important being GCMS, Py-GCMS and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy [FTIR]. However, this project was novel in that it demonstrated the possibility of chemically characterising a wide variety of both natural and synthetic binders found in modem works of art using a single technique, THM.-GCMS. Standard samples of oils, egg yolk, acrylics, poly(vinylacetates) and alkyds as well as samples containing these materials from nine painted works of art were successfully studied using THM.-GCMS. Among the art works studied, those by Marcel Duchamp and Pablo Picasso were investigated for the first time.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available