Materials Testing Results
Contributors: Samantha Springer, Colleen Snyder, Liz Homberger, Ozge Gencay-Ustun, Christian Hernandez, Robyn Hodgkins, Jason Tran, Kelly Schulz, Bodil Unckel, Siti suhailah Salim, Nor Aini Omar, Lynn Chua, Eric Breitung, Catherine Stephens, Bella Buscarino, Michele Derrick, Emma Guerard, Natasha Kung, Mikaela Marchuk, Emily Frank, Yan Choi, Adelheid Hansen, Alayna Bone, Alexis North please contribute and see your name added here!
Disclaimer[edit | edit source]
Testing results are provided for informational purposes. Neither AIC nor participating institutions endorse particular products, businesses, or services. It is recommended that all materials be re-tested before use as proprietary formulas and manufacturing processes can change without notice. Protocols and, when available from contributors, photographs or descriptions of test results are included to aid users in the interpretation of results. Test results are not peer-reviewed or vetted. Use the information at your own discretion and assess results in conjunction with the tester's protocol.
- More information to guide your assessment and selection of materials is available on the Choosing Materials for Storage, Exhibition & Transport pages.
About this Resource[edit | edit source]
The Materials Testing Results pages include testing Protocols and test Results. Contributions are compiled from individuals, institutions and publications. As this resource is focused on materials tested to determine their safety for use with collections during storage, exhibition, and transport it includes such materials as fabrics, boards, fasteners, adhesives, tapes, paints, and sealants. The majority of the results listed in the resource are Oddy Tests. However, other methods, either alone or in combination, are used to assess materials and all testing methods used to assess a material at that time are listed. Other testing methods includ the Photographic Activity Test, instrumental analysis (GC-MS), and microchemical tests. The results for materials deemed Suitable for use, Unsuitable for use, and suitable for Temporary use are listed.
All results that were ever shared or contributed are available. We strive to maintain a comprehensive resource of tested materials as it is useful for:
- seeing trends in material use and testing;
- identifying materials that have been tested repeatedly;
- comparing results for materials that have been tested more than once; and
- assessing materials sourced at the same time.
NOTE: we accept current and historical results for this purpose. Check the test date for the most up to date results and to determine which results are most relevant for your use.
Other useful information for using this resource:
- Results are provided in two views. TABLE view provides the classic table view with sortable columns. CARD view is a new way of viewing the results since 2023 with a robust advanced search;
- Results are sortable by any column or field. In the Card view
- There are links to CAMEO for many of the materials that can provide more context about their composition, applications, risks, and properties. We are looking for help with creating these links. Please contact the Materials Testing Results Manager if you are interested.
- Each result links back to the appropriate protocol by clicking on the tester for that result.
How to Use the Table View[edit | edit source]
- All testing results area available here in the classic table view with sortable columns.
- Sort any column by clicking the double arrow in the column header. The most useful columns to sort are Test Result, Tester, and Date Tested.
- Decide how many results you want to see at a time using the pulldown in the upper left. You may select 10, 20, 50 or 100 results at a time.
- Carry out a basic search using the SEARCH field in the upper right to filter results by any term. For example, type in "Volara" to see any entry that contains that word. Scroll to the bottom of the page (bottom left) to see the total number of search results you turned up for that term.
- Jump ahead to a different page at the bottom right.
How to Use the Card View[edit | edit source]
- All testing results are accessible using this view.
- Entries or Results are viewed as cards. This is a mobile friendly view for accessing results on the go.
- Cards can be sorted using the field/column headers by clicking on the term in the left margin. The most useful columns to sort are Date Tested, Test Result, and Tester
- You may only view 10 results at a time.
- Carry out a basic search using the SEARCH field at the upper right to filter entries by any term. For example, type in "Volara" to see any entry that contains that word.
- Carry out an advanced search using the Custom Search Builder by adding condition at the upper left. Click on the Add Condition button to filter by any of the Fields, select a Condition, and enter a Value by which to narrow your results. Add a second condition and narrow your results by selecting AND. Broaden your results by selecting OR.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page (bottom left) to see the total number of search results you turned up for that term. And jump ahead a page at the bottom right.
Background[edit | edit source]
This section of the AIC Wiki was created as a common "safe" place to share results. By associating test results with protocols and result images or descriptions, conservation scientists and collections care professionals can make informed decisions about their own testing methods, materials to test themselves, and materials to use. Since the pages were started in 2012 they have become a valued resource in the conservation community and many others who work with cultural heritage objects, such as exhibit designers, mount-makers, case fabricators or manufacturers, and art handlers/preparators.
There has been historical resistance to making materials test results public, particularly from the Oddy Test. These reasons include the following:
- There are various protocols making it is impossible to ensure standardization of results and therefore their comparison.
- The Oddy Test is only one method for testing and evaluating the suitability of a material for a particular use and shouldn't be used out of context.
- Products change over time so there is no guarantee that results will relate to the product over time.
- A fear that product manufacturers or suppliers would find the information problematic.
The first three concerns are certainly true, but even with these caveats Oddy Tests continue to be performed and their results informally shared. To create greater context for test results and allow for users to make better informed decisions, contributors share protocols and images or descriptions of results. Users can consider the results themselves for their own purposes. For example, a product that fails an Oddy test may be approved for use in certain circumstances and so this page should be considered merely as an additional tool when researching products.
There is additional information about the Oddy Test on this wiki. The British Museum Occasional Paper Number 111 is also an important resource for a comprehensive materials testing methodology for selecting storage and display materials. Finally, the Choosing Materials wiki page can be used to learn about all the factors that may go into a material choice.
The pages have been presented at two conferences. Colleen Snyder and Samantha Springer presented at the Conservation and Exhibition Planning Conference in 2015 held at the Lunder Center. An updated version of the presentation "Putting the Wiki Platform to Work: Sharing Material Testing Results" was given by Springer at the 2017 Annual WAAC Conference in Salt Lake City.
Testing Protocols[edit | edit source]
To provide context for the results listed in this resource, the testing protocol used by each Tester is provided on the Oddy Test Protocols page.
Other Resources[edit | edit source]
Links to other lists of tested materials- test results found here have been incorporated into the tables above. If you are aware of other resources that should be listed below, please contact the Materials Testing Results Manager with the relevant information.
- Getty Conservation Institute Database (Results on this document are also incorporated into the appropriate results tables above)
- British Museum Database of Materials for the Storage or Display of Museum Objects (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to download the excel spreadsheet of materials they have tested over the past 5 years.)
- National Archives of Australia Photographic Activity Tested Materials (Results on this site will be added to the appropriate Results Tables)
- 2013 article "Photographic Activity Tests of Various Adhesives Suggested for Use on Water-Sensitive Photographs" in Topics in Photographic Preservation, Volume 15.
- CCI Products Used in Preventive Conservation – Technical Bulletin 32 2018
Become a contributor[edit | edit source]
If you test materials and would like to add your results to the tables please see the discussion page for instructions on how to do so.
If you use the tables and would like to help or get involved, we are looking for volunteers to assist with building links between the tables and CAMEO. Please contact the Materials Testing Results Coordinator and cc the AIC e-editor if you are interested.