Naturwissenschaften und Technologie in der Kunst; Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien; Schillerplatz 3; 1010 Wien
Research > Projects > Degradation and Stability of Materials > Light Stability of Materials Print

Stability of binding media in contemporary paintings

The complex chemical composition of the modern synthetic binding media as well as paints, which are also characterized by the presence of various additives to improve their chemical properties, as well as their stability to light exposure, required continuously new studies, especially on their identification and their stability to different ageing agents such as light in combination with oxygen, temperature, moisture and air pollutants. Natural or artificial light can cause some chemical changes in the microstructure of the materials, which can facilitate or induce the deterioration of the material itself.
In order to understand the fast photoxidative deterioration of modern painting materials and to investigate their chemical behavior when they are exposed to the UV light, ageing studies of these materials are carried out. For this aim a selection of pure synthetic materials but also mixed with different inorganic pigments were cast on glass plates. After drying at room temperature all glass plates, except standard samples for the unaged composition, were arranged in the UV chamber for different periods of time.
For the identification and characterization of these samples before and after UV exposure, analyses with PY/GCMS have been carried out. By means of Pyrolysis, polymeric materials can be broken into volatile fragments and these fragments can consequently be separated by gas chromatography and detected by Mass Spectrometry. This is a potential technique for the analysis of polymers and particularly the thermal and photoxidative decomposition products of polymers.

Another powerful technique for the investigation of different ageing states of synthetic materials is FTIR-ATR spectroscopy is a method whereby the light source does not pass through the samples but is reflected from the surface of the sample into the detector.

Poster 1
Poster 2


V. Pintus, S.Wei, M. Schreiner:
UV ageing studies: evaluation of lightfastness declarations of commercial acrylic paints
Anal Bioanal Chem DOI 1007/s00216-011-5369-5

V. Pintus, S. Wei, M. Schreiner:
Ageing studies of modern paint materials by Py-GC/MS Double-Shot technique
Accepted, Proceedings AIar Ferrara Meeting Science for Contemporary Art