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Rapmus

Reduced Ageing and Active Preservation of Plastic Items Stored in Museums ans Art Collections

Project Duration: 2017 - 2020

Project Description:

The main objective of the project is to develop methods and strategies for conservation of art, design and other objects in museums and collections where polymer materials are used.

Program: Oslofjordfondet

Project duration: 2017 – 2020

Project owner: Vestfoldmuséene

Project Partners:

  • The National Museum
  • The Norwegian Museum for Science and Technology
  • Public Art Norway (KORO)
  • Norsk Industriarbeidermuseum (NIA)
  • The Museums in Trøndelag (MIST)
  • The Norwegian Petroleum Museum

Museums and art collections represent and administrate our common memory. The collections acquire and contain an increasing extent of materials and material combinations of different polymer materials. These materials have limited longevity, and they constitute major conservation challenges in an eternity perspective.

Conservation of objects made of polymer materials in public and private museums, in addition to art and design collections, is a young research field which is not yet well developed. It has only been paid attention to during the last 25 years. There are still many basic challenges, especially when it comes to active treatment of the objects. The consequence of these unsolved duties has been and still is that objects literally disintegrates and will be lost in the magazines. These challenges can best be solved in collaboration between polymer scientists and technologists, museum conservators and administrators.

In the RAPMUS project, methods that traditionally are used in the industry will be used. Degradation mechanisms for various polymer materials will be studied at different conditions, and the results used for estimation of life time of the different materials.

Active conservation by repair and/or mechanical intervention in the objects is an undeveloped and complicated field. When degradation of polymer materials has started it is very difficult to stop it. Longevity and storage conditions are different for polymer materials. A main part of the challenge is to develop well suitable methods which does not change the object visually, and which are not harmful to persons who perform the treatment, or to the environment in general.

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