—A whiff of plastic art reveals degradation “Chemists use volatile organic compound analysis to assess how polymer-based art and artifacts are holding up” Art can be timeless, but no piece of art can resist time’s ravages: Stone crumbles, paint cracks, and plastics break down, chemical bond by chemical bond. Polymer decomposition can be invisible to the naked eye, so conservators who work with plastic pieces don’t always know how much an object has degraded until it’s too late to do anything to protect it. Chemists have now developed a noninvasive method to measure just how much particular polymers have degraded.
by Bethany Halford |
March 12, 2018