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Degradation and consolidation of polyurethane resins/paints and latex

Degradation and consolidation of polyurethane resins/paints and latex

Programme start: 2007

CICRP: Alain Colombini

Partnership(s): the National Forensic Institute and the Marseille physico-chemical laboratory

The purpose of this research programme on the degradation and consolidation of polyurethane resins/paints and latex-rubber is to optimise consolidation methods of these two materials, allowing the display and easier handling of works, as well as prolonging their ‘life expectancy’.

The results from the study on the mixed artistic technique (acrylic paint applied together with latex on a polyurethane foam support) was presented in 2009 to the French Section of the International Institute for Conservation: ‘Art of today – Heritage of tomorrow: Conservation and restoration of contemporary works’, Paris.

For natural and synthetic rubber, this programme has drawn on work carried out by restorer Gwenola Corbin under a grant from the National Centre of Plastic Arts (CNAP) relating to the degradation of rubbers and for which the CICRP was the designated laboratory. Various treatments were tested combining the use of consolidants and antioxidants rarely used in the field of heritage conservation and restoration.

The research was carried out in 2012 with the identification of consolidating materials compatible with rubber and associated to a treatment providing protection against oxidation reactions and ozonolysis, without modifying the appearance of the works. It will provide a deeper knowledge of natural rubber (identification in collections, degradation processes etc.) and a closer relationship with the industrial sector specialising in this polymer.


  • COLOMBINI, A., CORBIN, G., LEAL ROMERO, V., ‘Les matériaux en polyuréthanne dans les oeuvres d’art : des fortunes diverses. Cas de la sculpture Foot Soldier de Kenji Yanobe’, CeROArt No. 2, 2008.
  • ATTARD, M-C., COLOMBINI, A., ‘Dégradations d’une couche peinte composée de latex : cas d’une sculpture en polyuréthanne de Kenji Yanobe’, poster presented at Art d’aujourd’hui, patrimoine de demain, SFIIC Paris, June 2009.