Hydrogel for Damage-Free Tape Removal

  • Author: Charlotte Koschnick
  • Published: 08 June 2018
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America/National Academy of Sciences
thumbnail image: Hydrogel for Damage-Free Tape Removal

Adhesive tapes are widely used in conservation, restoration, and securing of paper artworks such as paintings and historic manuscripts. Unfortunately, these tapes undergo a complex degradation process over time leading to the formation of dark, oily by-products that can discolor and damage the underlying material. Current methods to remove the adhesive are often difficult and destructive. Consequently, there is great interest in non-destructive methods to remove these adhesive tapes from artifacts of historic importance.

Piero Baglioni, University of Florence, Italy, and colleagues have developed a semi-interpenetrating p(HEMA)/PVP (2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate/poly(vinylpyrrolidone)) hydrogel network loaded with a microemulsion of EAPC (ethyl acetate, propylene carbonate). The hydrogel containes a suspension of EAPC droplets that are approximately 13 nm long ellipsoids which act as an organic solvent. The confinement of the organic solvent within the continuous water phase permitted controlled penetration of the solvent into the adhesive and prevented spreading into the underlying support. Further, the highly connected hydrogel prevented lateral diffusion of the liquid phase across the substrate.

When applied to the surface of an adhesive, the hydrogel penetrated the adhesive facilitating removal without damaging the surface of the artifact. This technique shows great promise in art restoration and, beyond this, could be useful in cleaning very sensitive scientific instruments.


Article Views: 1597

Sign in Area

Please sign in below

Additional Sign In options

Please note that to comment on an article you must be registered and logged in.
Registration is for free, you may already be registered to receive, e.g., the newsletter. When you register on this website, please ensure you view our terms and conditions. All comments are subject to moderation.

Article Comments - To add a comment please sign in

If you would like to reuse any content, in print or online, from ChemistryViews.org, please contact us first for permission. more

Follow on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on LinkedIn Follow on Instagram RSS Sign up for newsletters

Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH