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Tuesday, May 17 • 11:30am - 11:45am
(Objects) Acne Gel for Green Ear Syndrome? A study on copper corrosion stain removal from poly(vinyl chloride)

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The removal of copper corrosion stains from plasticized poly(vinyl chloride) are of concern to both conservators and the collectors of popular vinyl dolls. Early Barbie™ dolls in the 1960’s and 1970’s were sold with earrings inserted into the ear, and Dawn® dolls sold in the early 1970’s featured bendable knees with internal metal and dense plastic armatures. These components are comprised of copper alloys which over time may create corrosion stains on and within the plastic. The conservation field is still relatively hesitant to implement invasive treatment of plastics, while public collectors are actively trying treatment methods to reduce the staining. Currently the most common method used by collectors employs common over-the-counter acne topical gels. Two acne topical gels were tested using methods described by private collectors to determine the effectiveness and any potential irreversible damages caused by these removal methods of the corrosion staining. Neutrogena® gel contains salicylic acid as the primary acting compound and the other by Clearsil® contains benzoyl peroxide. Normal and fluorescence induced illumination documented the visible change of the samples during testing. The samples were weighed to determine possible loss of plasticizer or material. X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy (XRF) was employed to follow movement of the stain by presence of the copper αβ K-lines. It was determined the salicylic acid gel removed copper from the sample while the benzoyl peroxide acted primarily as a bleaching agent. Pyrolysis - Gas Chromography -Mass Spectroscopy (py-GC-MS) was also used to characterize the PVC samples, gels and removed residues to determine the materials extracted during the tests.

avatar for Dr. Rebecca Ploeger

Dr. Rebecca Ploeger

Assistant Professor of Conservation Science, focusing on polymer science and preventive conservation, SUNY Buffalo State College, Art Conservation Department
Ph.D., Chemical Science: University of Torino, Italy M.Sc.Eng., Engineering Chemistry: Queen's University, Kingston, Canada B. Sc. Eng., Engineering Chemistry: Queen's University, Kingston, Canada Rebecca Ploeger joined the Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State College in January 2014 as Assistant Professor in Conservation Science. Before moving to Buffalo, she was a Charles E. Culpeper Advanced Training in Conservation Science fellow... Read More →

Dawn MP Wallace

Objects Conservator, National Museum of American History
Dawn is an object conservator and recent graduate of the Buffalo State, SUNY Art Conservation MA and CAS program. She completed her third year graduate internship at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History and continues her work there in the objects lab. She has enjoyed past positions at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Air and Space Museum, and the National Museum of Natural History, as well as... Read More →

avatar for Dr. Aaron Shugar

Dr. Aaron Shugar

Professor in Conservation Science, focusing on inorganic chemistry, SUNY Buffalo State College, Art Conservation Department
Ph.D., University College London M.S., University of Sheffield B.A., York University Aaron N. Shugar joined the Art Conservation Department at SUNY Buffalo State College in January 2006 as a conservation scientist, focusing on inorganic chemistry. Aaron comes to Buffalo State from the Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute, where he was a visiting scientist. He also served as Co-Director of the Archaeometallurgical Laboratory at Lehigh... Read More →

Jonathan Thornton

Professor, Art Conservation Department/ SUNY Buffalo State
Jonathan Thornton has been the professor of objects conservation at Buffalo State College for over thirty-five years. He designed the BSC curriculum around a thorough understanding of the materials and techniques of artifact production, as well as conservation. He has published on a wide range of topics including ivory, glass, ceramics, adhesives, gilding and picture frames, historic woodworking, molding and casting and conservation technique... Read More →

Tuesday May 17, 2016 11:30am - 11:45am
Room 710 B

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