Innovative Cleaning Concept for Art Objects and Cultural Assets


Liquid foams

The historical surfaces of artistic and cultural assets can be regarded as the 'faces' of those pieces of art. These surfaces are often soiled as a result of either wear and tear or long-term exposure to environmental influences. In the long run these soilings can cause serious damage to the original surfaces and therefore have to be removed. The most important reasons for soilings of historical surfaces are, for the most part, biogenic contamination, for example microbial activity, as well as - especially since the beginning of industrialisation - anthropogenic contamination. Cleaning these surfaces is quite a challenge when the works of art need to be restored because a tailor-made cleaning method (aqueous or solvent-containing systems which are commonly used in the form of gels) needs to be developed for each individual surface. The project at hand aims to develop new, innovative cleaning methods which are all foam-based. We seek to prove that foams can be material-preserving and environmentally friendly alternatives for the cleaning of historical surfaces, alternatives that can above all be used for large and hard-to-reach surfaces. By developing 'tailor-made' foam systems, we will contribute substantially to restoring and preserving artistic and cultural assets in an environmentally friendly manner because the use of conventional detergents can thus be reduced by up to 90%. The newly developed methods and concepts can later be transferred to the cleaning of other objects, for instance luxury goods.

This image shows Tamara Schad

Tamara Schad


Postdoctoral Research Associate

This image shows Cosima Stubenrauch

Cosima Stubenrauch

Prof. Dr.

Dean of Faculty

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