4.7 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and its Possible Application to Art Conservation

University of Washington
The Getty Conservation Institute

Mark Douglas Ensminger
William S. Ginell
Period of Activity: 2/87 to 4/87

Project Abstract
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) is truly one of the most widely used analytical tools available to chemists and material scientists. The Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has yet to make extensive use of NMR in its investigation into polymeric materials for preservation or into its identification of organic materials in artifacts. Realizing that NMR may have application to those areas, as well as to areas such as stone permeability, a literature survey of NMR's application to art and archaeology, polymeric materials, and stone permeability, and a survey of equipment capabilities and prices were commissioned. This project produced a report presenting those surveys.

Primary Publications
Ensminger, M. D., "Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and Its Possible Application to Art Conservation," Final Report to the Getty Conservation Institute, April 16, 1987.

ABSTRACT-See Project Abstract.

Doehne, E., and D. C. Stulik, "Dynamic Studies of Materials Using the Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope," Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology II, Vol. 185, 1991, Proceedings of the Materials Research Society, Spring Meeting, San Francisco, California, April 16-20, 1990.

ABSTRACT-Dynamic studies allow the observation of microscopical changes of material over time as environmental factors alter an object. Using this methodology, processes important for art conservation such as the wetting and drying of consolidated and unconsolidated building materials or the corrosion of metals from air pollution can be studied in situ and in tempora. The development of the Environmental SEM has made it possible to videotape these dynamic processes at nearly the same resolution limits as traditional SEM technologies without elaborate sample preparation. The first dynamic lead corrosion experiment due to formaldehyde exposure will be presented and discussed in light of the new E-SEM technology.