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 photographs or descriptions of test results are included where possible for users to make their own assessments of the shared results. Test results are not peer-reviewed or vetted and should be used at your own discretion and should be assessed in conjunction with the provided protocol.
- More information to guide your assessment and selection of materials on the Choosing Materials for Storage, Exhibition, and Transport.
About the Result Tables[edit | edit source]
The Materials Testing Results pages include testing Protocols and result tables for Fabrics, Case Construction Materials, Adhesives & Tapes, Paints & Sealants, and the Combined Results from all the other tables. While the majority of the results are from Oddy Tests, the tables include materials tested with a variety of other methods, including the Photographic Activity Test, instrumental analysis (GC-MS), and microchemical tests.
All results that were ever shared or contributed are present on the tables. 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;
- compare results for materials that have been tested more than once; and
- assessing materials sourced at the same time.
Please check the test date for the most up to date results, as older results are not as relevant.
Materials are separated into four categories to make searching for the desired material results easier. The table of combined results is available if you aren't sure which table to search or to look at larger trends across the history of test results available. NOTE: we accept current and historical results for this purpose.
Other useful information:
- The tables are sortable by any column that has a double arrow.
- 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.
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 inform the results found on the following tables, the specific protocol used by contributors will be added to Oddy Test Protocols.
Results Tables[edit | edit source]
The tables include results from accelerated aging tests such as the Oddy Test, microchemical tests, the photographic activity test (or PAT test), and instrumental analysis.
- Case Construction Materials (including storage, packing, and mountmaking materials)
Other Resources[edit | edit source]
Links to other lists of tested materials- test results found here have been incorporated into the tables above.
- 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.
Links to resources, webpages, and articles about materials testing and choosing materials for use with cultural heritage objects and artifacts:
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.