Factors Affecting the Mechanical Properties of Modern Paints

Hagan, E., Charalambides, M., Learner, T. J.S., Murray, A. and Young, C. (2007) Factors Affecting the Mechanical Properties of Modern Paints. In: Modern Paints Uncovered Symposium, London, UK, 16-19 May 2006, pp. 227-235. ISBN 9780892369065

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It is well known that modern artists use many types of paint in their work, and they frequently experiment with products outside of those sold by art supply retailers. As a result, museums acquire paintings that are highly variable in composition. It is useful to understand trends in the mechanical properties of both artist-grade and household paints to properly care for objects containing such materials. For this study, a selection of white paints commonly used in the United Kingdom was prepared for chemical and mechanical analysis. The aim was to identify their compositions and relate this information to their respective mechanical properties. Several materials were included in the analysis: an artists' emulsion, household (matte, eggshell, silk) emulsions, an artists' alkyd, household alkyds, a traditional oil, and a water-mixable oil. Pigment and filler ingredients were identified by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, and in some cases inorganic components were verified by energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). Binder resins were identified for the solvent and waterborne paints using pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (PyGC/MS). Mechanical properties were determined through measurements of stress-strain curves under controlled environmental conditions. Results showed a wide range of properties due to different levels of pigment and filler in the paint systems. This was especially true for the household emulsions, which are manufactured with many different pigment volume concentrations (PVC) to modify optical properties. Tensile tests were also performed on specific materials to illustrate the plasticizing effect of water. These data were complemented by measurements of hygral expansion strains caused by attraction of water to hydrophilic formulation ingredients.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Young, Professor Christina
Authors: Hagan, E., Charalambides, M., Learner, T. J.S., Murray, A., and Young, C.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Culture and Creative Arts > History of Art
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