UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage


Polymers in Art and History – Degradation and Stabilization

1 September 2014

pdst 1

A special issue of the journal Polymer Degradation and Stability, on the topic of “Polymers in Art and History – Degradation and Stabilization” has recently been published. “Historic plastics” can sound like an oxymoron but modern synthetic and semi-synthetic polymers are found in a wide range of heritage institutions, for example in 20th century social history collections, in modern art museums or in photographic and cinematic archives. However, these materials pose significant conservation problems, as their degradation can be both rapid and abrupt. This is an area of significant active research, which aims to understand better the composition, deterioration mechanisms and appropriate storage and display conditions for modern polymers in heritage collections. Given the interest that this topic is currently generating, a journal issue devoted to this research area is timely.

Polymer Degradation and Stability is the leading journal for researchers who study the degradation reactions of polymers. This special issue “Polymers in Art and History – Degradation and Stabilization” showcases current research in polymer degradation in heritage collections, opens up this subject to a wider readership within polymer technology and leads to opportunities for discussion, debate and the exchange of ideas between heritage scientists and the wider practitioner community.

The issue was guest-edited by Professor Matija Strlic and Dr Katherine Curran.

For further information on the special issue please go to this website.