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The degradation of polyester polyurethane: preliminary study of 1960s foam-laminated dresses

The degradation of polyester polyurethane: preliminary study of 1960s foam-laminated dresses
The degradation of polyester polyurethane: preliminary study of 1960s foam-laminated dresses
Four 1960s dresses that form part of the costume collection at the Museum of London (UK) are made from a laminated fabric, which consists of a layer of foam sandwiched between two knitted fabrics. As the foam deteriorates, it breaks up into small particles that escape through the knitted fabric as dust. The foam was identified as one of two types of polyurethane (PUR): polyester polyurethane or PUR(ES). The foam dust was found to be acidic and accelerated corrosion tests confirmed volatile organic acids as end-products of PUR(ES) foam breakdown. Accelerated aging tests, performed on samples of new PUR(ES) in a variety of environmental conditions, suggest that hydrolysis rather than oxidation is the dominant mechanism for deterioration and that objects containing PUR(ES) should be stored at low relative humidity and away from acid-sensitive items, and emphasize the importance of correct identification of this synthetic material in museum collections.
foam foam-laminate polyurethane deterioration
0954816900
100-104
IIC
Lovett, Doon
dc0f9587-af12-4c4a-8063-2cb0c50c2333
Eastop, Dinah
c4825cd3-784e-4035-9be9-958f0a60b5f0
Roy, Ashok
Smith, Perry
Lovett, Doon
dc0f9587-af12-4c4a-8063-2cb0c50c2333
Eastop, Dinah
c4825cd3-784e-4035-9be9-958f0a60b5f0
Roy, Ashok
Smith, Perry

Lovett, Doon and Eastop, Dinah (2004) The degradation of polyester polyurethane: preliminary study of 1960s foam-laminated dresses. Roy, Ashok and Smith, Perry (eds.) In Contributions to the Bilbao Congress [of IIC]. IIC. pp. 100-104 .

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Four 1960s dresses that form part of the costume collection at the Museum of London (UK) are made from a laminated fabric, which consists of a layer of foam sandwiched between two knitted fabrics. As the foam deteriorates, it breaks up into small particles that escape through the knitted fabric as dust. The foam was identified as one of two types of polyurethane (PUR): polyester polyurethane or PUR(ES). The foam dust was found to be acidic and accelerated corrosion tests confirmed volatile organic acids as end-products of PUR(ES) foam breakdown. Accelerated aging tests, performed on samples of new PUR(ES) in a variety of environmental conditions, suggest that hydrolysis rather than oxidation is the dominant mechanism for deterioration and that objects containing PUR(ES) should be stored at low relative humidity and away from acid-sensitive items, and emphasize the importance of correct identification of this synthetic material in museum collections.

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More information

Published date: 13 September 2004
Additional Information: This publication was selected by IIC as a model of good practice for its 2006 conference. It was made available via the IIC website as a pdf file.
Venue - Dates: IIC Bilbao Congress (2004), Bilbao, Spain, 2004-09-12
Keywords: foam foam-laminate polyurethane deterioration

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 28843
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/28843
ISBN: 0954816900
PURE UUID: e3c6d2f5-4578-45e4-b5d8-ca43823c83cc

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 08 May 2006
Last modified: 22 Jul 2020 16:50

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Contributors

Author: Doon Lovett
Author: Dinah Eastop
Editor: Ashok Roy
Editor: Perry Smith

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