ALVAR AND BUTVAR: THE USE OF POLYVINYL ACETAL RESINS FOR THE TREATMENT OF THE WOODEN ARTIFACTS FROM GORDION, TURKEY
KRYSIA E. SPIRYDOWICZ, ELIZABETH SIMPSON, ROBERT A. BLANCHETTE, ARNO P. SCHNIEWIND, MAURAY K. TOUTLOFF, & ALISON MURRAY
8 CONCLUSION—USE OF BUTVAR B-98 AS AN APPROPRIATE CONSOLIDANT FOR DRY ARCHAEOLOGICAL WOOD
The treatment of the Gordion wooden objects is now complete (Simpson and Spirydowicz 1999). Four of the most ornate pieces of furniture have been reconstructed and are currently on display at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara. All of the remaining wooden objects in the collection have been repaired and placed in protective storage in the museum.
The results of scanning electron microscopy studies have shown that the use of a 10% w/v solution of Butvar B-98 is effective in coating cell walls and thus significantly improving the stability of severely degraded wood. Needle hardness testing has demonstrated a marked increase in strength in a limited number of test samples. Exposure of films of Butvar B-98 to intense environmental conditions has indicated that the resin is able to withstand harsh test conditions with few chemical changes occurring. In the opinion of the authors, the use of Butvar B-98 as an effective consolidant for the treatment of ancient wooden artifacts has been demonstrated. The useful properties of polyvinyl butyral resins, including strength, low viscosity, and versatility, have led to their acceptance as a standard treatment for the conservation of dry archaeological wood.
The contribution of Dr. H. F. Shurvell, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry at Queen's University, with regard to the Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy is gratefully acknowledged.