Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2012, Vol. 85, No. 1, pp. 132−135.
Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.
Original Russian Text © D.N. Emel’yanov, A.V. Tomilina, 2012, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi Khimii, 2012, Vol. 85, No. 1, pp. 138−141.
AND POLYMERIC MATERIALS
Physical Chemistry of the Conservation of Cellulose Fabric
with Water-Soluble Acrylic Copolymers
D. N. Emel’yanov and A. V. Tomilina
Lobachevsky Nizhni Novgorod State University, Nizhni Novgorod, Russia
Received April 12, 2011
Abstract—The possibility of using water-soluble copolymers of sodium acrylate with acrylic acid esters for
ﬁ eld conservation of cellulose-based textile materials by capillary impregnation was examined. Artiﬁ cial aging
of the composites obtained and its effect on the strength characteristics of the materials and on the conservation
reversibility was examined.
Field conservation is a critical step in the complex
of restoration measures. The main goal of ﬁ eld
conservation is preservation of an archeological item
from the moment of its ﬁ nding in a cultural layer before
its delivery into a restoration laboratory. During many-
century residence in soil, equilibrium in the item–
environment system is attained, and degradation of the
material practically stops.
In an intact cultural layer, the oxygen access to an item
is hindered, there are no sharp temperature changes, and
the humidity is more or less constant. When withdrawn
from the customary environment, an item starts to
intensely degrade. For example, archeological fabrics
immediately after digging out are often plastic, but
degraded ﬁ bers to not retain moisture, very rapidly dry
up, become brittle, break, and disintegrate.
To stop the new degradation processes and preserve
the items found, it is necessary to timely and correctly
treat them under ﬁ eld conditions, so as to temporarily
stabilize the state of the items and to impart to them
certain chemical stability and mechanical strength.
Common synthetic polymers are mainly soluble in
organic solvents and are unsuitable for conservation
under moist ﬁ eld conditions, because under the action
of moisture the polymer coagulates on the specimen
The goal of this study was to prepare water-soluble
copolymers of neutralized acrylic acid with its alkyl
esters and to test these substances in restoration works.
Copolymers of sodium acrylate (NaAA) with methyl
acrylate (МА) or with butyl acrylate (BА) were prepared
by radical polymerization in a 25 wt % aqueous solution
at 60°С, pH 7–7.5. The content of alkyl acrylate units
was varied from 2 to 10 wt % relative to NaAA. As
initiator we used potassium persulfate taken in an
amount of 10 wt % relative to the sum of the monomers.
The conversion determined gravimetrically was 96%.
The intrinsic viscosity of the polymer solutions was
measured at 23°С in a 0.2 N aqueous solution of NaOH.
The copolymer compositions and intrinsic viscosities
were as follows:
Copolymer composition, wt
[η], dl g
4 BA–96 NaAA 0.96
2 BA–98 NaAA 0.93
4 MA–96 NaAA 1.50
7 MA–93 NaAA 1.15
10 MA–90 NaAA 1.28
As investigation object we chose a cotton fabric,
coarse calico [GOST (State Standard) 29298–92],