JAIC 1998, Volume 37, Number 1, Article 6 (pp. 69 to 87)
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Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1998, Volume 37, Number 1, Article 6 (pp. 69 to 87)





1.1.1 Density

The dimensions of the samples were measured with a metric dial caliper, 0.05 mm–130 mm, Type 6910. The samples were weighed on a Model 333 Acculab electronic digital scale with a minimum sensitivity of 0.1g. The density of the samples was calculated in grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3).

1.1.2 Water Sensitivity

All dry, conditioned samples and controls were weighed (as described in section 1.1), then immersed in a distilled-water bath using one plastic screen on the bottom and one on the top of each sample. The screen was necessary to weigh down the extremely lightweight samples of Globe-o-sil, Microspheres, and Eccospheres (these floated on top of the water) and allow sufficient absorption of water from the bottom of the dish.

After 48 hours of immersion, the samples were removed from the bath, dried by blotting with a dry cloth, and then immediately weighed to the nearest 0.0001 g. For this purpose a Mettler H20T balance with a weight indication of 0.01 mg to 160 g was used. The specimens were weighed in the same order every time, at intervals of 6, 12, 19, 26, 33, 48, and 72 hours after immersion. The samples were left on a plastic lattice to air dry. A sample was considered dry when three successive measurements yielded the same reading. The first of these readings is indicated as dry state. The percentage absorption was calculated using a standard absorption formula for water (ASTM 1995a).

1.1.3 Color

The colorimetry of the visible spectrum was carried out on a Macbeth Series 1500 Spectrophotometer using the CIE L∗a∗b∗ 1976 color system (ASTM 1995b). CIELAB 1976 color space is an analytical color measurement system for comparing or reproducing colors. In this system the scales on the three orthogonal axes (L∗ lightness, a∗ green-red, b∗ blue-yellow) are relatively uniform in comparison to other chromatic systems.

Pulsed-xenon CIE65 was used as illumination with average daylight 6500°K illuminants, which included UV. A white standard (No. 051025) was used for calibration. The middle area of the largest surface was tested on each sample. The instrument displayed all L∗,a∗,b∗, and DE∗ values.

Wet colorimetry samples were immersed as described in section 1.1. Readings were obtained using the spectrometer as described above.

1.1.4 Stress-Strain Behavior (Elasticity and Plasticity)

Most of the samples were tested using a Unite-O-Matic compressive testing machine with a load of 0.00002–10,000 lbs. For samples of 1.0% concentration, a Wykeham Farrance Compressive machine equipped with a millivolt reader was used. Compressive strength and strain tests were conducted at the Engineering Department at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada.

The samples “stood” in the machine in order to have the long dimension of the samples parallel to the axis of the compressive force. This meant that in the case of the natural stone samples the compressive force was parallel to the bedding. Compressive strengths were calculated using the standard formulas (ASTM 1995c).

The maximum speed of the loading head was 0.05 in./min. for the first and 0.045 in./min. for the second machine.

Readings were taken at every 5 or 10/1000 of an inch load movement, depending on the strength of the sample.

The percent strain was calculated as follows:


Standard deviation values were calculated as follows:


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Sikadur 35, Hi-Mod LV

Sika Canada, Inc., 601 Delmar Ave., Pointe Claire, Quebec H9R 4A9 Canada, (514) 697-2610 (Canada), (800) 933-7452 (U.S.)

Akemi Marmorkitt 1000/Akemi Marble Filler 1000, Transparent/Clear Flowing

Akemi Plastics, 1611 Hault Dr., Eaton Rapids, Mich., (800)365-8191 ext. 112


Stone Boss, 26-04 Borough Place, Woodside, N.Y. 11377, (718) 278-2677

Calcium Carbonate (marble fill) 151C

Hastings Plastics Co., 1704 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, Calif. 90404, (310) 829-3449, (310) 828-6830 (fax)

Cab-o-sil (Fumed Silica)

Cabot Corporation, 75 State St., Boston, Mass. 02109, (617) 345-0100

Fresh white natural marble

Spada Tile Inc., P.O. Box 431, K7L4W2, Kingston, Ontario KOM 1S0 Canada, (613) 546-9373

Bolender's Ltd., P.O. Box 329, Haliburton, Ontario KOM 1S0 Canada

Decayed white calcite marble

Obtained by the author and originated from a broken decayed gravestone in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Globe-o-sil “G”

Hastings Plastics Co., 1704 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, Calif. 90404, (310) 829-3449, (310) 828-6830 (fax)

Microspheres 409, Low Density

Gougeon Brothers, Inc., P.O. Box 908, Bay City, Mich. 48707, (517) 684-7286, (517) 684-1374 (fax)

The production of this product has been discontinued. Similar products are available from:

3M Scotchlite Glass Bubbles (e.g., Glass Bubbles K37 or S32)

3M Specialty Additives, 3M Center Bldg., 220-8E-04, P.O. Box 33220, St. Paul, Minn. 55144-1000, (612) 736-4133


Emerson & Cuming Composite Materials, Inc., 59 Walpole St., Canton, Mass. 02021, (617) 821-4250, (617) 821-0737 (fax)


KMG Division, P.O. Box 729, Kings Mountain, N.C. 28086, (704) 739-1321, (704) 739-7888 (fax)

Renaissance Micro-Crystalline Wax

Pi-Creator Enterprises Ltd., 44 Park View Gardens, London NW4, U.K., (44) 181-202-3435


ELEONORA E. NAGY graduated in 1984 from the Hungarian Academy of Fine Art, Budapest with an M.A. in sculpting. She then earned an M.A. in objects conservation from the Art Conservation Program at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She specializes in the conservation of sculptures. She has worked as a conservator at the Conservation Center for Quebec and at the Canadian Conservation Institute, Ottawa, and as a private conservator. In 1995 she joined the Conservation Department of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, where she is assistant sculpture conservator, responsible for the care of the sculpture collection and sculpture conservation-related issues of loans and exhibitions. Address: 620 W. 47th St., New York, N.Y. 10036.

Copyright © 1998 American Institute of Historic and Artistic Works