Naturwissenschaften und Technologie in der Kunst; Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien; Schillerplatz 3; 1010 Wien
Research > Projects > Material Analysis > Material Analysis for Contemporary Art Print

Binding Media Analyses of Modern Paintings by Py-GC/MS and FTIR/ATR

Since the second half of the 20th century many different synthetic materials have been developed. Due to their good properties such as resistance to yellowing and their high stability they have also been used as binding media by several artists. Nowadays acrylic, alkyd and vinyl resins are the main synthetic binding media used in contemporary art.
In order to identify and characterize these modern materials, a selection of synthetic binding media have been choose, especially acrylic resins as PRIMAL AC 33, Plextol D 498 and ROHAGIT SD 15. After being casted on glass plates and drying at room temperature, all samples were analyzed by pyrolysis gas chromatography in combination with mass spectrometry (Py-GC/MS) method. 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.

These investigations are supplemented with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-attenuated total reflectance (FTIR-ATR), which is another powerful technique for the investigation of different synthetic materials and 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.


V. Pintus, M. Schreiner:
Characterization and identification of acrylic binding media: influence of UV light on the ageing process
Anal Bioanal Chem 399 (2011) 2961-2976