First Advisor

Tami Lasseter Clare

Date of Publication

Summer 8-11-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Chemistry






Nanocomposites (Materials), Metal-work -- Conservation and restoration -- Materials, Protective coatings -- Effect of environment on, Corrosion resistant materials



Physical Description

1 online resource (xxv, 231 pages)


Protective coatings are commonly used to protect culturally significant works, such as outdoor sculptures and architectural elements. Given the valuable nature of such metalworks, there is a surprising lack of environmentally sustainable coatings available for their conservation. High performance clear coatings are not developed or thoroughly tested for compatibility and longevity on outdoor sculptures. This can make the implementation of both methods and materials, no matter how promising in a lab, a significant hurdle for the conservation science community. This dissertation work initially aims to replace high-VOC formulations such as acrylic lacquers and waxes currently used as protective coatings for bronze with a waterborne coating by investigating the film formation differences between coating types. Such differences likely have implications for initial film barrier properties as well as long-term performance.

For coating any large-scale metal object, cost-effectiveness limits applicable coatings to commercially available resins with some minor adjustments. Additional requirements for protective coatings for artwork require they must also be transparent, reversible, easily applied and environmentally sustainable. The chemical and physical properties of polymeric coatings with nanoclays modifiers were investigated as they may offer superior weatherability and act as better barriers to water absorption than commonly used lacquers and waxes. This work ultimately finds that nanocomposites with poly(vinylidene fluoride) latex and chemically stabilized nanoclays significantly improved performance and may be a viable option in the protection of material cultural heritage. Protection of high value objects where aesthetics is also important, such as airplanes, buildings, and sculptures are among the possible applications for this research.


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