Assessment of the Susceptibility to Biodeterioration of Selected Polymers and Resins
Robert J. Koestler and Edward D. Santoro
The prevention of deterioration of stone materials used in works of art and in construction is of widespread interest. While many studies have considered the physical and chemical mechanisms that contribute to this deterioration, fewer have focused on the particular problem of biological attack on these materials. The present study represents what may be the first large-scale attempt undertaken in the conservation field to screen preservative coatings for microbial susceptibility prior to their application on objects. It is clear that microorganisms exacerbate deterioration of stone and that any coating placed on the stone should not provide a medium upon which microbes may grow.
In this study 16 polymers and resins important in preserving art materials, particularly stone, were evaluated for their ability to support fungal growth. Growth of the organisms was ascertained by macroscopic, microscopic, and physicochemical changes of these materials over a 5-week testing period. Based upon their sensitivity to fungal deterioration, the polymers and resins tested were quantitatively ranked in order of least-to-most susceptible to bio-attack. The materials that were least affected were Rhoplex AC-234, Tegovakon V, arid AYAAi those most affected were AYAC, Conservare H40, Acryloid F-10, Imron 1928, and Damrnar.