CYCLODODECANE: TECHNICAL NOTE ON SOME USES IN PAPER AND OBJECTS CONSERVATION
IRENE BRÜCKLE, JONATHAN THORNTON, KIMBERLY NICHOLS, & GERRI STRICKLER
4 SUMMARY AND SUGGESTED FURTHER RESEARCH
As suggested in the conservation literature, cyclododecane appears to have potential for a variety of applications in different conservation specialties. The authors explored a few of these uses in paper and objects conservation. In both cases, they found that cyclododecane applied molten was more useful than when applied dissolved in an organic solvent, though there may also be potential for refinement of solvent application methods that also may be aided by solvent-saturated atmospheres (Hansen et al. 1993). While the test treatment results were not completely flawless in all cases, the purpose of the tests was to establish a range of possible practical applications of the material that will improve existing treatment methods. Future studies may consider a closer look at the process of cyclododecane sublimation from different substrates.
In paper conservation, future work may elucidate the way in which cyclododecane interacts with a greater variety of media and papers than were investigated here. It will be important, for example, to understand how cyclododecane interacts with deteriorated iron gall ink that is susceptible to flaking and/or is associated with paper embrittlement (van Gulik and Kersten-Pampiglione 1994; van der Windt 1997). Different cycloalkanes may be tested for comparison. Potential microscopic changes in the physical structure of the cyclododecane film during treatment should be checked under high magnification, such as scanning electron microscopy.
Other uses of cyclododecane not yet suggested in the literature pertain to diverse objects conservation problems. Cyclododecane might be used to prevent the imbedding of white fill materials into adjacent rough and porous surfaces, a phenomenon generally referred to as “ghosting.” It could be used to create detachable plaster and polymer fills in ceramics and glass conservation, a procedure previously accomplished with other isolating resins. Porous corrosion products could be impregnated with cyclododecane to allow the localized and topical use of acidic or basic cleaning reagents. It could be used as a masking material during aesthetic compensation of missing painted detail, particularly when using an airbrush.