MENDING BROKEN PIECES RESEARCH INTO METHODS AND MATERIALS FOR ADHERING BROKEN UNSATURATED POLYESTER ARTWORKS
BY THEA VAN OOSTEN, ANNA LAGANÁ
Research into adhering broken transparent unsaturated poly- ester (UP) objects started when two artworks made of cast transparent polyester resin, seriously damaged and yellowed, were submitted to the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) in order to investigate a suitable conservation treatment. The two artworks, both untitled, made by the Dutch artist Mathilde ter Heijne in 1993, are part of the art collection of the company Océ.
Investigation into the best suitable adhesive has led to the in- vestigation into the refractive index, applicability and performance of the epoxy adhesives Hxtal NYL-1, Fynebond and the acrylic adhesive Paraloid B72.
The selected adhesives were tested for applicability and appear- ance on new polyester as well as naturally aged yellowed polyester, similar to the two yellowed polyester frames of the artworks. These naturally aged yellowed polyester objects, paperweights with objects cast inside, were collected in order to serve as dummies.
Tensile strength tests were performed on adhered joints and in all aspects, epoxy adhesive Fynebond performed best.
Fynebond will be finally tested on a polyester study object with a comparable size and weight as the two artworks to be re- stored. When successfully applied, this will give good insight into how adhering broken pieces of yellowed transparent polyester will return the object to its original state so that it can be appre- ciated as it was originally meant. Finally the adhesive will be used for the restoration of the two artworks of Mathilde ter Heijne.