Mapping Environmental Conditions That Prevent Plastic Deterioration While Contributing to Sustainable Preservation Environmental Management

September 15, 2022

Mapping Environmental Conditions That Prevent Plastic Deterioration While Contributing to Sustainable Preservation Environmental Management

The Image Permanence Institute received a National Leadership Grant for Museums from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the amount of $711,598 to support a three-year research project that will study the relationship between equilibrium moisture content (EMC) and the physical stability of plastics and plastic composite artifacts found in museums.

The experimental design for this project builds on previous research on moisture and plasticizers conducted by Emma J. Richardson, IPI Director of Research, and the EMC work of Jean-Louis Bigourdan, IPI Research Scientist Emeritus. Grant funding will support extending laboratory capabilities with new instrumentation and include recruitment of a two-and-a-half year Post-Doctoral Researcher. The appointed researcher will conduct research using advanced thermomechanical analytical techniques and data analytics to quantify the impact of changing environmental conditions on the mechanical properties of plastic composites, with a view to identifying safe storage, display, and handling conditions for historic plastics. A search for the Post-Doctoral Researcher position will begin this month.

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