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Subject: Epoxy for outdoor granite sculptures

Epoxy for outdoor granite sculptures

From: Meaghan Eley <meaghan.eley<-at->
Date: Wednesday, August 1, 2012
In October 2011, the City of Thunder Bay installed a series of 10
small granite sculptures in the shapes of balloon animals in a
public park at the marina. Since that time several of the animals
have suffered damage. While some damage is clearly vandalism, some
of the heads have become separated from the bodies with no signs of
human intervention.

The sculptures are all about 1.5 - 2 feet tall, carved from granite,
and joined with stainless steel pins and epoxy. The epoxy used was
Tenax Rivo 15.

Thunder Bay has a wide temperature range from an average low of -21
deg. C to an average high of 24 deg. C, though it can get as low as
-40 deg. C and as high as 39 deg. C. The concern is that the epoxy
used might not allow for seasonal expansion and contraction of
materials, causing the art to loosen at the joints and making it
easier for pieces to be twisted off. There are no obvious marks of
damage and the stainless steel pins seem to have held up--though
perhaps they could be made longer.

The City has approached a local artist to do the repair who has
recommended another epoxy product called E6 Flexible Epoxy - Quick
Setting, by SmartAdhesives. I have raised concerns about the fact
that it apparently dries translucent orange, but I do not have any
personal experience with this product.

Does anyone have experience with either of these epoxies? Or, this
type of failure after such a short time exposed to the elements? Do
you have any recommendations for another type of epoxy that might
stand up to the seasonal changes more effectively? Any other ideas
or recommendations for the repair of these sculptures would be
greatly appreciated.

Meaghan Eley
Private Objects Conservator
Thunder Bay, ON Canada

                  Conservation DistList Instance 26:11
                 Distributed: Saturday, August 4, 2012
                       Message Id: cdl-26-11-012
Received on Wednesday, 1 August, 2012

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