JAIC , Volume 39, Number 3, Article 4 (pp. to )
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC , Volume 39, Number 3, Article 4 (pp. to )




Cyclododecane has been used with increasing frequency since 1995, when it was proposed for use in conservation by Hans Michael Hangleiter, Elizabeth Jägers, and Erhardt Jägers. Cyclododecane has been used in Central Europe, particularly in Germany, as a temporary treatment for weak or friable materials, including textiles, paintings, paper, architectural elements, painted wood, and various objects. Because cyclododecane sublimes at room temperature with continued air exposure, it has been used in short-term applications, functioning as an adhesive, release agent, barrier layer, or consolidant. Sublimation negates the need for later removal of the adhesive, and temporary treatment with cyclododecane should not interfere with subsequent study, analysis, or treatment.

The hydrophobic solid has been applied as a barrier layer over water-sensitive design materials on textiles, paper, and wall paintings to protect them during aqueous cleaning. Gudrun Hiby (1997) illustrated the use of cyclododecane as a local barrier over water-soluble dyes on textiles. Hangleiter (1998b) described the application of cyclododecane over water-sensitive pigments and media in medieval wall paintings to permit aqueous cleaning of the surrounding plaster. Irene Brückle et al. (1999) and Cornelia Bandow (1999) tested cyclododecane as a barrier over water-sensitive media during aqueous cleaning of paper. Hiby (1997) also employed cyclododecane in the cleaning of soiled glue-bound paint layers, which were rendered more nonpolar by the consolidant and were therefore not affected by a moderately polar cleaning solvent.

Cyclododecane has been used as a facing adhesive or temporary consolidant to stabilize fragile paintings, architectural plasters, and stone objects in preparation for handling or transport (Hangleiter et al. 1995; Hiby 1997). Hiby (1999) tested the use of cyclododecane as a temporary consolidant during transport, using test samples of paintings and underbound polychrome wood sculpture. Cyclododecane has been used to facilitate the excavation of archaeological materials, permitting permanent consolidation to take place away from site in a controlled laboratory environment. Gary McGowan (1999) applied cyclododecane to unbound earth sculptures and then excavated and transported the stabilized sculptures to a laboratory where treatment proceeded after sublimation of the temporary consolidant. Cyclododecane has been tested on low-fire unglazed ceramics to limit the penetration of release agents applied during mold-making and has also been suggested as a barrier layer on painted or porous substrates to prevent retention of fill compounds on surfaces surrounding losses (Brückle et al. 1999).