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An evaluation of solid carbon dioxide (CO2) blasting as a cleaning method to remove soot from textiles after smouldering fire and fire, with the possibility to transfer the method to historical textiles within a museum context

Mari Grønlund

Abstracts

The main issue for the master dissertation was to evaluate if solid carbon dioxide (CO2) blasting as a cleaning method could be used to remove soot from textiles after smouldering fire, with the possibility to transfer the method to historical textiles. The experiments in the thesis were carried out with textile dummies. From the results, it was concluded the method in itself showed a potential, but the cleaning equipment was not appropriate.  

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Introduction

1Removing soot from textiles after a fire is a complex process, and traditional cleaning methods utilised today are limited in what they can achieve. Using solid CO2blasting as a method to remove soot has revealed promising results on a variation of materials. But the cleaning method has only been tested in a small degree on textiles, and a fundamental mapping of solid CO2blasting, also called dry ice, on textiles was therefore the focus of this dissertation.

Researching the effects of CO2 blasting on textile material

2The approach used to answer the research question “Can CO2-blasting be used on soot damaged historical textiles?” was a combination of theoretical investigation and practical experiments. A literature search was conducted to establish an overview of current cleaning methods which are in use today with regards to removing soot from textiles, as well as to provide an outline of the uses of solid CO2blasting in conservation. On the basis of literature sources a theoretical description of how the stages in a fire and soot creation impacts textiles were established. Further, it was explored how solid CO2 blasting can clean soot from textiles, and what effect the cleaning method had on the textile.

3The textile dummies used for the practical experiments were prepared by soot in a controlled fire in collaboration with the Kongsberg fire department. Three experiments were thereafter performed on the soot damaged dummies. The first experiment comprised of an assessment of solid CO2blasting and how the method removes soot from the material. The second experiment compared solid CO2blasting with two dry mechanic cleaning methods: soot vacuum cleaning and a soot sponge. The third experiment tested solid CO2blasting as a way of removing soot from a three dimensional textile-object. The experiments were evaluated using a selection of qualitative and quantitative analysis methods, such as visual observations, photography, micro-photographic analysis, microscope analysis, SEM-EDS analysis, colorimetric analysis, pH measurement, and textile tensile strength testing.

Fig.1 Before cleaning, cotton

Fig.1 Before cleaning, cotton

Cotton – Magnification x50

Credits Mari Grønlund

Fig.2 After cleaning, cotton

Fig.2 After cleaning, cotton

Cotton – Magnification x50

Credits Mari Grønlund

Results and conclusion

4In general, the dissertation concluded that damages were caused by all of the different cleaning methods that were tested on the textile dummies that were severely heat-damaged by the high temperature from the fire. Equipment used today carries a risk in terms of further damaging already weaken or damaged textiles. However, for textiles that were less heat-damaged, the experiments revealed that solid CO2blasting has a potential for removing soot. Therefore, further research into the development and adaptation of the solid CO2blasting is necessary before this method can be recommended for the cleaning of historical textiles.

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Attachment

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List of illustrations

Title Fig.1 Before cleaning, cotton
Caption Cotton – Magnification x50
Credits Credits Mari Grønlund
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceroart/docannexe/image/4277/img-1.jpg
File image/jpeg, 388k
Title Fig.2 After cleaning, cotton
Caption Cotton – Magnification x50
Credits Credits Mari Grønlund
URL http://journals.openedition.org/ceroart/docannexe/image/4277/img-2.jpg
File image/jpeg, 453k
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References

Electronic reference

Mari Grønlund, « An evaluation of solid carbon dioxide (CO2) blasting as a cleaning method to remove soot from textiles after smouldering fire and fire, with the possibility to transfer the method to historical textiles within a museum context », CeROArt [Online], HS | 2014, Online since 13 August 2014, connection on 13 December 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/ceroart/4277

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About the author

Mari Grønlund

Mari Grønlund. Graduated 2012: bachelor in culture and preservation knowledge at the University of Oslo. Graduated June 2014: Master in Object Conservation at the University of Oslo. Internship at Studio Västsvensk Konservering in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the present, working at the Haugaland museums in Norway. mgroenlu@gmail.com

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Copyright

Licence Creative Commons
CeROArt – Conservation, exposition, restauration d'objets d'arts est mis à disposition selon les termes de la licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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