Materials Evaluation and Testing, CRCC, May 13-18, 2013


Report of the seminar (May 13th-18th 2013) at the CRCC

for Tatiana Sayatina, Marina Kozlova and Natalia Laytar  

Instructors: Bertrand Lavédrine, Léon-Bavi Vilmont and other CRCC scientists

 Monday 13th May


- PAT testing, preparation of the samples and measurement after ageing.


- Introduction to Fiber Analysis

Tuesday 14th


- Practical Fiber analysis


- Presentation of on-going work of Dunhuang manuscripts fiber identification by Dr Shouji Sakamoto

- Pratical Fiber analysis

Wednesday 15th


- Practical Fiber analysis

- Introduction to ATR-FTIR Analysis


- Practical Analysis by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy : Characterization of photographic coatings & organic components ; Identification of polymers in conservation materials

Thursday 16th


Meeting at the Salon de l’innovation organized by the French National Council for the Scientific Research (CNRS). Visit of the lighting show by using LEDs for intensifying faded colors of artefacts.


Testing light stability of ink jet print. Preparation of samples, measurement, ageing in Atlas light ageing oven, measurement of density after ageing.


Friday 17th   


Visit of the conservation studios for the French museums in Versailles (Visit organized by Mrs Natalie Coural, curator)


Visit of the on-going conservation at the Château de Versailles (Salon de l’Abondance). Visit of the castle. (Visit by Dr Mathieu Da Vinha, scientist)



                                                 Programme details (as it was scheduled)


Day 1 : Material identification in Photographic Materials and Enclosures.


Learning Objectives of the Sessions (1) & (2)

 Microscopy is a valuable tool in the examination of paper fibers. The morphology of a fiber can be observed using a stereomicroscope and a light microscope. Examination of unknown specimen proceeds by analysing fiber characteristics and the specimen’s identification is made by comparison using reference known fiber atlases. Specific morphological characteristics are enhanced through polarized light microscopy. A wide range of fiber types will be studied including natural fibers (vegetable and animal) and man-made fibers (synthetic)

Session (1) Fiber Analysis


Identifying fibers in paper materials found in photographs collections and in conservation materials (sleeves, boxes).The knowledge of the fiber composition and/or conservation condition in the materials could participate in a decision making process for setting preservation conditions

 Content Outline

Introduction to fibers possibly present in paper materials :

Natural : Plant (bast,wood, grass), animals (Wool)

Artificial : Cellulose acetate

Synthetic : Polyolefins, Polyesters, Polyamides, Polyacrylates

Principles of Fiber Characterization – Vocabulary – Standards

Fiber Analysis Techniques :

Invasive Sampling methods

Staining Methods

Optical Light Microscopy (Bright Field, Dark Field, Polarized light)

Non invasive : Digital Microscopy overview

Criteria for fiber comparisons and the interpretation of results.

Fiber shape, fiber dimension, wall width, fiber’s surface (striations, pits, etc.), dislocations

ISO & Tappi Standards


Morning: Lectures

Introduction and overview of fiber microscopy

Woody and non-woody vegetable fibers

Animal fibers (wool)

Regenerated and synthetic fibers

Staining methods

Methods for observation : light microscopy, digital microscopy

Shape and structure of fibers in longitudinal view.

Afternoon:  Practical Work in Lab

Preparation of staining solutions

Sample preparation

Microscopic Observation of papers under different lightings



Day 2 : Material identification in Photographic Materials and Enclosures.


Session (2) Fiber analysis (continued)




Morning: Practical Work in Lab


Identification of a variety of paper samples with different fiber composition

Identification of fiber composition for historical photographic materials

Discussion on identification issues

Afternoon:  Practical Work in Lab

Identification of fiber composition on Materials used for conservation identification of historical enclosures

Discussion on identification issues


Day 3 : Material identification in Photographic Materials and Enclosures.-

Session (3)

Learning Objectives of the Session

FTIR ATR Spectroscopy Spectrometry is a useful technique for identification of photo components, in which specific wavelengths are selectively absorbed into the substance molecules producing absorption lines (spectrum) characteristic of its component.  Fournier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) is a valuable tool to aid with photographic materials and also for a variety of materials such as enclosures, containers used for photographic collections. The purpose of this session is to allow the collection manager to easily identify the symptoms and sources of deterioration.


Content Outline

Introduction to ATR FTIR analysis

Analysis of photographic samples

Analysis of the conservation materials



Morning: lectures

Introduction to FTIR Analysis by Attenuated total reflection (ATR) ; introduction to spectral interpretation

Afternoon: practical

Characterization of organic components of photographs

Characterization of photographic coatings

Identification of polymers in conservation materials

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