JAIC 1994, Volume 33, Number 3, Article 1 (pp. 227 to 245)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1994, Volume 33, Number 3, Article 1 (pp. 227 to 245)

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIZ SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH, HENRY FLORSHEIM, & DUSAN STULIK


ABSTRACT—Polyester resins have been commonly used in art conservation for embedding paint cross sections prior to microscopic and analytical studies. These resins set rapidly without heat, are clear, polish readily, and microtome easily. While they work well for embedding most paint samples, they pose problems for some specific samples. The polyester embedding media have been found to dissolve wax, some organic colorants, and fresh natural resin layers in cross sections. The embedding resin also wicks into porous samples of low binder content. At times, infiltration can be desirable for its consolidating effects, but it can also interfere with the determination of the type of binder in the sample by producing blotchy, uneven staining results and by obstructing infrared analysis. Alternate embedding materials and procedures are discussed in this paper. One method to prevent the infiltration of embedding media is presented in which the samples are precoated with a thixotropic acrylic gel before embedding. Optimal microtoming techniques are also presented.

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. EMBEDDING MATERIALS
3. EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS SECTIONS WITH POLYESTER RESIN
4. DISCUSSION
5. CONCLUSIONS
6. EXPERIMENTAL
a: Materials , References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 1994 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works