Contributors: Melissa Price, Caroline Roberts
Buckling takes place when a structure has given away due to stress or great amounts of pressure. It also describes the uneven surface or rippling effect occurring on a material, such as canvas or paper.
Synonyms in English
distort, bend, crumple, twist, collapse, bulge, yield, warp, sag
Buckling takes place on a variety of materials and surfaces including walls, stone, wood, paper, paintings, and photographs. In the case of walls in older buildings, buckling is common when wall height is too great for its proportional thickness. Bowing and buckling can be seen in marble gravestones and architectural cladding (Vergès-Belmin 2008). Wood floors are also apt buckling under too much weight, as is also common in older buildings (Beckmann and Bowles 2004). Buckling occurs quite frequently in paintings and photographs. This is evidenced by a rippled or uneven surface on the material. Changes in humidity or moisture content usually cause buckling in this instance. Evening out buckling of paintings can be done with humidification treatment as well as application of heat or pressure (Hammer Art Conservation). Buckling is also a common issue when working with paper (Kiely 1927). Paper expands and contracts when there are changes in temperature and humidity (Fremstad 2003). Absorbing and losing moisture weakens the structure and bends it out of shape. To control or prevent buckling, keep objects at an appropriate relative humidity (Mecklenburg et al. 1998).
Beckmann, Poul and Robert Bowles. 2004. Structural Aspects of Building Conservation. Oxford: Elsevier
Fremstad, Greg. 2003. Why Paper Art Buckles in a Frame. Fremtek Incorporated. http://www.frametek.com/HTML/Articles/Buckling.html (accessed 04/27/14).
Hammer Art Conservation. Art Conservation. http://www.hammerartconservation.com/conservation.html (accessed 04/27/14).
Kiely, Helen U. 1927. The Effect of Moisture on Paper. American Writing Paper Company. http://cool.conservation-us.org/byauth/kiely/moisture.html (accessed 04/27/14).
Mecklenburg, Marion F., Charles S. Tumosa, and David Erhardt. 1998. Structural Response of Painted Wood Surfaces to Changes in Ambient Relative Humidity. In: Painted wood: history and conservation (Part 6: Scientific Research). The Getty Conservation Institute: 464-483. http://www.getty.edu/conservation/publications_resources/pdf_publications/pdf/paintedwood6.pdf (accessed 04/27/14).
Vergès-Belmin, V., ed. 2008. Illustrated glossary on stone deterioration patterns. English-French ed., Monuments & Sites no. 15. Paris: ICOMOS and (ISCS) International Scientific Committee for Stone. http://www.icomos.org/publications/monuments_and_sites/15/pdf/Monuments_and_Sites_15_ISCS_Glossary_Stone.pdf