Almost every museum in the world is confronted with plastics in its collections. Research initiatives and knowledge concerning the conservation of heritage objects made of plastics have proliferated over the last twenty-five years, necessitating this up-to-date, comprehensive resource. Intended as a highly practical guide for the conservation community, this authoritative book offers information essential to understanding plastics, polymers, and rubber/elastomers and their behaviours in the cultural heritage context. Numerous graphs, diagrams, and illustrations allow readers to compare the mechanical, physical, thermal, and optical properties of these substances during conservation. Aimed at the hands-on museum practitioner, Properties of Plastics will assist professionals in choosing the appropriate materials for cleaning, adhering, and consolidating plastic objects-with the result that collections will benefit from a longer lifespan. Complementing the main chapters, fifty-six illustrated "fact sheets" summarize, at a glance, the properties of those plastics most commonly found in museum collections. Six informative case studies present real-world examples of current conservation approaches to works of art and design made of plastics and rubber/elastomers. Under the expert authorship of Thea B. van Oosten, conservation scientist, educator, and internationally regarded authority on the behaviour and properties of plastics, this instructive volume is destined to become an invaluable resource for the field.
Thea B. van Oosten is a conservation scientist, educator, and internationally regarded expert on the behaviour and properties of plastics.