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The mist-lining technique: a look into the mechanical performance and the adhesive bond strength of selected lining materials

L. Bertomeu Contreras, L. Fuster López and A. Vicente Escuder

Abstracts

Linings pursue the reinforcement of a weak canvas painting, generally by the adhesion of a new fabric. As referred in the specialised literature, among the technical requirements of such a treatment the new structure must present high stiffness and elastic recovery, as well as the use of non-hygroscopic, isotropic and highly reversible materials. This study is intended to evaluate the aspects that govern the adhesion strength of the mist-lining method, a Dutch technique developed in the last decades consisting in spraying an acrylic dispersion a new fabric and its subsequent reactivation by solvent vapours.

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Full text

Thank to D.J. Yusà Marco, S. Vicente Palomino, K. Seymour, J. van Och,Prof. Vishwa R. Mehra, Dr. René Hoppenbrouwers (SRAL), Gwendoline Fife (SRAL), Marya Albrecht (UvA), Saskia van Oudheusden (UvA), Melissa Daugherty (UvA), Stijn Lenaerts (SRAL), Dr. Ana Pereira (SRAL), Michael Correia (SRAL), Lise Steyn (UvA), Julia Balerdi (UPV).

Experimental

1In this research, several mock-ups have been tested. On the one hand, two old fabrics with remnants of former wax-resin lining adhesives (historically used in the North European lining tradition) were re-lined with the mist-lining technique. In addition, a primed commercial Belgian linen fabric (unsized, plain weave with oil priming simulating a traditional painting) was also lined following the same method. In all three cases a beige polyester canvas (spun-yarn, plain weave, 0.42mm thick and 258 g/m2 weight) was used as lining fabric, and a common acrylic dispersion (mixture of acrylic polymers and methyl-methacrylate and ethyl-acrylate copolymers) was used as adhesive. The adhesive was sprayed, let dry and then reactivated by means of controlled solvent-vapour action. Solvents such as ethanol and a couple of xylene-ethanol mixtures in different proportions (80:20 and 20:80) were selected and the influence of polarity and solvent action in the resulting adhesive bond strength was evaluated.

2This research has focused in the study of the mechanical properties of the materials used in the mist-lining technique (considered an alternative to other traditional lining techniques that have been showing structural drawbacks over the years). The aim was to evaluate if the mist lining fulfils the mechanical requirements expected for any support (and adhesive) used to reinforce an old canvas painting. For this purpose, tensile and peel tests were carried out to understand the cohesion, stiffness and adhesiveness of the new lining structure. This research also includes the evaluation of the degree of reversibility of the new lining materials, understood as either the amount of adhesive residue left after removal in the fabric interstices of the canvas painting as well as the easy detachment of the lining fabric without any structural interference with the original canvas that could compromise the future stability of the work of art. For this purpose Light Microscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy analysis were carried out to study the adhesive-canvas interface in detail.

Fig.1 Microphotographs

Fig.1 Microphotographs

Microphotographs of the lining in cross-section with OM (x40) and SEM (x350)

Fig.2  Control fabric

Fig.2  Control fabric

Claessens® after peel T-tests in OM at x10

Conclusions

3Wax-resin linings have evidenced some drawbacks throughout history mainly derived from the irreversible impregnation of the painting structure, which limits further re-treatability. Apart from being compatible with the existing residues of former wax-resin linings, the mist-lining technique has proved to provide the stiffness, strength and dimensional stability required in such a treatment.

4First results evidenced the relevance of selecting one or another reactivation solvent. The use of polar solvents as ethanol results in more adhesive bonds (and therefore, a higher ultimate tensile strength and stiffness of the lined structure), meanwhile hydrocarbons have shown to produce more flexible linings. Mechanical testing has also shown the importance of choosing a stiff reinforcement material that acts as support of the actual painting. To finish, this research evidenced that further research is needed to find methods, strategies and materials that provide the requirements expected in each single case-study.

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Attachment

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List of illustrations

Title Fig.1 Microphotographs
Caption Microphotographs of the lining in cross-section with OM (x40) and SEM (x350)
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/5137/img-1.jpg
File image/jpeg, 280k
Title Fig.2  Control fabric
Caption Claessens® after peel T-tests in OM at x10
URL http://ceroart.revues.org/docannexe/image/5137/img-2.jpg
File image/jpeg, 154k
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References

Electronic reference

L. Bertomeu Contreras, L. Fuster López and A. Vicente Escuder, « The mist-lining technique: a look into the mechanical performance and the adhesive bond strength of selected lining materials », CeROArt [Online], HS | 2017, Online since 02 June 2017, connection on 25 July 2017. URL : http://ceroart.revues.org/5137

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About the authors

L. Bertomeu Contreras

L. Fuster López

A. Vicente Escuder

Departemento Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Camino de Vera s/n, 46022. Valencia (Spain); Instituto Universitario de Restauración del Patrimonio, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Camino de Vera s/n, 46022. Valencia (Spain); Instituto de Tecnología de los Materiales, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia. Camino de Vera s/n, 46022. Valencia (Spain); Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg. Avenue Céramique 224, 6221 KX. Maastricht (Netherlands). Contact author:  luiberco@alumni.upv.es

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Copyright

Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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