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Embedding Paint Cross-Section Samples in Polyester Resins: Problems and

Solutions
Michele Derrick; Luiz Souza; Tanya Kieslich; Henry Florsheim; Dusan Stulik
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 33, No. 3. (Autumn - Winter, 1994), pp.
227-245.
Stable URL:
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0197-1360%28199423%2F24%2933%3A3%3C227%3AEPCSIP%3E2.0.CO%3B2-E
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation is currently published by The American Institute for Conservation of
Historic & Artistic Works.

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Fri Apr 4 09:39:59 2008

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN

POLYESTER RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

MICHELE D E R R I C K , LUIZ SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

ABSTRACT-Polyester resins have been commonly


used in art conservation for embedding paint cross
sections prior to microscopic and analytical studies.
These resins set rapidly without heat, are clear, polish
readily, and microtome easily. While they work well
for embedding most paint samples, they pose
problems for some specific samples. The polyester
embedding media have been found to dissolve wax,
some organic colorants, and fresh natural resin layers
in cross sections. The embedding resin also wicks
into porous samples of low binder content. At times,
infiltration can be desirable for its consolidating effects, but it can also interfere with the determination
of the type of binder in the sample by producing
blotchy, uneven staining results and by obstructing inbred analysis. Alternate embedding materials and
procedures are discussed in this paper. One method
to prevent the infiltration of embedding media is
presented in which the samples are precoated with a
thixotropic acrylic gel before embedding. Optimal
microtoming techniques are also presented.

1. I N T R O D U C T I O N
Polyester resins were introduced in the 1940s.
Because of their transparency and ease of
preparation, they were soon used for the
encapsulation of natural history objects (Purves
and Martin 1950). Although it was later
discovered that the long-term
life of the
polyester was not appropriate for museum
objects (Meurgues 1982), polyester resins are
still commonly used by schools, scientists, and
hobbyists for embedding and casting many
objects. Polyester resin is also routinely used as
a medium for embedding multilayer paint cross
sections from art objects (Plesters 1956;
Wolbers and Landrey 1987; Tsang and

Cunningharn 1991). In a recent detailed


comparison of 14 types of embedding media,
polyester resins were found to be the most
satisfactory for embedding cross sections
(Waentig 1993).
The preparation of cross-section samples has
become standard practice for the examination
of painted surtices in art conservation and forensic analysis. Laxge, sturdy cross sections can
ofien be polished and microtomed without embedding, that is, surrounding the sample with
another material. However, tiny or fragde
cross-section samples need to be embedded in a
supporting medium to hold them together and
in the correct orientation for examination. The
mounted cross section is a valuable source of information for a painting's layered structure, pigments, and technique. Relating the structure to
its materials can also provide indications of
relining, overpainting, or other restoration
procedures.
In the analysis of mounted paint cross sections for their pigment components using light
microscopy and scanning electron microscopy
with energy dispersive x-ray spectrometry
(SEM/EDS), no apparent problems have been
cited with polyester embedding resins. However, the determination of the types of binder
in a sample can require other techniques, such
as staining (fluorescent and noduorescent) and
infrared microspectroscopy. With these techniques, it has become apparent that polyester
resin and other polymeric embedding media
can interact with some specific types of samples
during the embedding process. This interaction
may produce interferences in the analysis of the

JAIC 33 (1994):22745

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

organic portion (binder and coatings) of the


sample, and caution must be used when any
results are interpreted.
Some samples may contain components that
are soluble in the liquid prepolymer. Godla
(1990) pointed out that polyester resin can dissolve some waxes in hrniture finish samples,
often making it di5cult to examine wax
finishes after embedding. Bischoff (1994) has
observed that some organic dyes on inorganic
carriers in modem (post-1850) pigments are
solubilized by polyester resin. In addition,
polyester resin was found to dissolve fresh (less
than one-year-old) natural resin samples of dammar, mastic, and copal (Demck et al. 1992).
Aged or oxidized resin layers on furniture finish
cross sections did not seem to exhibit the same
solubility problem.
Polyester resin has also been found to soak
into or infiltrate porous, low-binder samples, as
observed by Baker et al. (1989) for embedded
paper cross sections. In many cases, this impregnation is beneficial because it consolidates
the sample, making it less fragde and easier to
polish or microtome. However, embedding
media infiltration also has unwanted characteristics. It may change the appearance of the
sample and hinder infiared spectral analysis of
the sample components. Penetration of the
resin into the sample also interferes with the use
of stains (fluorescent and nonfluorescent) for
binder identification in cross sections by coating
the particles in the sample and thereby inhibiting interaction of the stain with the binder.
Thus, it is important to recognize that infiltration can occur with some embedded samples
and to be able to prevent infiltration whenever
it is undesirable. This paper will illustrate these
problems and discuss alternate embedding
materials and procedures.
2. EMBEDDING MATERIALS
An ideal embedding resin should meet the
requirements listed below when used for the
analysis of organic components in paint cross

JAIC 33(1994):227--45

sections obtained from works of art. Ditferent


criteria are used when samples are embedded
for other techniques such as petrography
(Reedy 1994) or SEM analysis.
1. The mounting medium and its solvent
should not react with, soak into, or otherwise interfere with the analysis of the binder
in the sample.
2. The medium should cure at room temperature. The curing process should not be exothennic, since heat may adversely afIect the
organic materials or binders in the sample.
3. For samples that are to be analyzed by infrared microspectroscopy, the resulting embedment and sample should be easy to section using- a microtome. Transmitted infrared
analysis requires a section of 1-10 pm in
thickness for an optimum spectrum.
4. The medium should be transparent to ensure
proper orientation of the sample for microscopic examinations as well as for positioning
the embedded specimen in the microtome
jaws.
5. The medium should not shrink upon curing,
because shrinkage will apply stress to the
sample and may cause problems during
microtoming.
The advantages and disadvantages for several
types of polymeric materials tested for embedding paint cross sections are summarized in
table 1. Figure 1 shows example blocks of each
of the polymeric media listed in table 1. Many
other types and brands of embedding media are
available; some are discussed in the text. Of the
four major types of embedding resins tested,
polyester was found to be the best for embedding and microtoming most types of art
materials.
One polyester embedding resin commonly
used in art conservation is Bio-Plastic. Similar
polyester resins are sold under the brand names
of Caroplastic, Castolite, Castoglas, and Vestopal W (see Suppliers). Polyester embedding
resins contain a polyester prepolymer dissolved
in styrene monomer to form a solution of ap-

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

229

TABLE 1

TYPES ANL, B I U N D NAMES OF POLYMERIC MEDIA TESTED FOR EMBEDDING

AND MICROTOMING OF PAINT CROSS SECTIONS

Exothermic cure reactions, transparent, shrinks more than polyesters,


cuts well, may infiltrate some samples, some are very toxic

Cures at room temperature, transparent, cuts well, minimal


shrinkage, may infiltrate some samples

propriate viscosity (Horie 1987). When combined with a methyl ethyl ketone peroxide
catalyst, a crystal clear, uniform, solid block is
produced that is readily polished and easily
microtomed. The resin cures overnight at
room temperature or in a few hours at slightly
elevated temperatures. It shrinks minimally
during curing at room temperature and slightly
more when cured with increased temperatures.
It is cheap, readily available, easily prepared,
and only moderately toxic. These many positive features give polyester resin several advantages over the other embedding resins on
the market (e.g., acrylics, and epoxies) and account for its popularity as an embedding
medium for paint cross sections.
W e the polyester resins typically are used
for paint cross sections in art conservation,
forensic scientists generally use epoxies, acrylics,
and cyanoacrylates. We found that the epoxies
tend to be yellow in color as well as too hard
and brittle to microtome sections at the thicknesses of 1-10 pm required for infixed
analyses. The acrylics were clear and colorless,
but they were very exothermic and shrank significantly upon curing. One acrylic embedding

material became so hot during curing that it


melted the 1 in. plastic mold. Both the epoxies
and acrylics had dissolution and infiltration
problems similar to those of the polyesters and
thus are not recommended over the polyesters.
One method found in forensic science is the
use of a drop of cyanoacrylate glue (e.g., Super
Glue or Krazy Glue) to mount a paint chip on
the end of a small wooden dowel (Cartwright
et al. 1977). While it was difficult to get the
sample oriented correctly, this method worked
well for microtoming the sample. However,
we still experienced infiltration problems with
some samples, and dissolution of components is
still a potential problem when the sample contains acrylic paints, waxes, or fiesh resin layers.
Krazy Glue gel, a thickened cyanoacrylate
specifically designed to remain on the surface of
porous substrates, also soaked into the outer
layer of all plaster samples we tested.
Gelatin is another material that has been used
successfdly in the forensic field for embedding
paint cross sections (Wilkinson et al. 1988).
The procedure used by Wilkinson involved
fieezing the sample in a gelatin block for
cryogenic microtoming. Afierward, the thin

JAIC 33 (1994):22745

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUW, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

section was warmed and the gelatin was washed


away, leaving just the thin section of sample.
This method should be effective for samples
that are not susceptible to water, such as wax
cross sections. However, we did not test this
method in our lab because gelatin could potentially interfere with the positive identification of
glue binder, albumin varnish, or other proteinaceous media. In addition, glue or gum binders
in the samples may be susceptible to damage or
alteration by the water solvent in the gelatin.
The biomedical field uses several types of embedding media (e.g., glycol methacrylate,
methyl cellulose, acrylamide, and epoxy) for
cytology studies by electron microscopy. These
studies often require ultrathin microtomy for
producing thin sections of less than 1 pm thick.
A low-viscosity embedding solution, usually
water-miscible, is used to allow easy penetration of the resin into the sample. For the
biomedical field and for many other purposes,
penetration is desirable since it will stabilize the
sample and help maintain the specimen's shape.
However, since we were trying to eliminate infiltration of the resin, we did not test any of
these low-viscosity media.
One embedding option is the use of low
melting-point waxes such as Paraplast. This
wax-polymer mixture melts at approximately
60'C and solidifies rapidly. The wax does not
pose any infiltration or dissolution problem to
the samples, but it is unlikely that sudce wax
layers would be detectable. While wax embedments are too sofi to be polished, they can be
microtomed easily. Wax is opaque, so it is critical to know the positioning of the sample
before microtoming. It is also important to
work quickly when pouring a mold with the
hot wax because delays can result in a block
that contains many bubbles. One method that
shows potential has been developed by Wolbers
(1993). A wax is mixed with an inorganic salt,
such as potassium bromide, thus increasing the
hardness of the wax and making the mixture
more transparent.

JAIC 33(1994):227-45

Similar to waxes are hot-melt adhesives,


which are primarily polyethylene-based
polymers. These adhesives range in transparency &om semiclear to opaque. They are hard
and rubbery at room temperature. Hot-melt
adhesives are not recommended for general embedding purposes because they s o l i w rapidly
(less than 60 seconds), making it m c u l t to
orient and manipulate the sample. These adhesives did not infiltrate the samples, but they
were slightly too sofi for easy microtoming and
had to be cooled in order to obtain thin sections. Optimally, this process requires a
cryogenic microtome, since cooling samples
prior to microtoming in a freezer or with a
cryogenic spray can result in water condensation on the sample.
Several silicone rubbers have been tried for
embedding samples. To date, we have not
found any that are hard enough to be microtomed or polished. However, we are still looking for other silicone materials that may work.
Since the use of nonpolymeric mounting
media would eliminate the dissolution and infiltration problems associated with the polymeric media, we tested several inert materials,
such as salts (BaF2, AgC1, KBr), cork, indium,
and gallium. The inorganic salts barium
fluoride, silver chloride, and potassium bromide
were powdered and then placed in a pellet die
with the sample. The salt was pressed into a
transparent pellet with no apparent distortion to
the sample. At this point, it was d8icult to
proceed further. We were not able to microtome any of the pressed pellets without the salt
crumbling into a powder. And while the salts
themselves could be easily polished, they did
not polish at the same rate as the sample and
tended to disintegrate.
Problems also occurred with cork embedments. A small slit was made in a piece of cork
with a razor blade, the sample was inserted,
then the sample area was sealed with cyanoacrylate adhesive (such as Krazy Glue). The cork itselfwas =cult to microtome because it was so

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

soft. It tended to move and compress with each


microtome slice. However, the area of cork
and sample coated with cyanoacrylate exhibited
some additional stif&ess that allowed it to be
microtomed into sections approximately 10 pm
thick. We were not able to polish the sample,
and it was necessary to use a fairly large sample
(1 x 2 mm) in order to position it correctly.
The same dissolution problems mentioned
above for cyanoacrylate would still apply.
Malleable metals, &um and indium were
tried for embedding. In this test, two small
pieces of metal were placed above and below
the sample. Then some pressure was applied to
compress the metal around the sample. The
metals held the samples well for microtoming,
but it was m c u l t to orient the samples properly because of the opacity of the metals. Since
the metals are also expensive and toxic, this
method was discarded.
Because an alternate embedding material was
not found that had as many advantages as the
polyesters, we focused our efforts on understanding the interaction of the polyester resin
with the sample in hopes of finding conditions,
samples, and methods for which the polyester
works well.

3. EMBEDDING P A I N T C R O S S
S E C T I O N S W I T H POLYESTER
RESIN
3.1 PROCEDURE
T o embed a typical paint sample in polyester
media (brands noted in table I), six drops of
catalyst (methyl ethyl ketone ether) are mixed
thoroughly with 10 rnl of liquid polyester/
styrene resin. The transparent resin is initially
light blue in color. It turns yellow when the
catalyst is well mixed and quickly becomes
colorless as the reaction proceeds (Ward's
Natural Science 1990). Excess catalyst will
speed up the curing process but will also make
the final mount more brittle and dif3icult to
microtome. A mold is initially half-filled with

231

the well-mixed embedding medium and cured


at room temperature for 3-6 hours. A representative portion of the sample containing all
the layers is transferred to the hardened base
layer in the mold with forceps or a probe and
positioned in the desired orientation. A label is
placed on the opposite end of the mold; then
both the label and the sample are covered
slowly with freshly prepared polyester embedding medium. The embedment is cured and
nontacky within 24 hours. When microtoming the sample for inbred microanalysis,
the best results are obtained by allowing the
embedment to set 36-48 hours before slicing.
The medium continues to cure slowly over
time (Demmler 1980). After one month, the
microtoming becomes noticeably more
m c u l t , and the samples tend to crumble. The
bottom and top halves of the block should be
prepared within a few days of each other to
prevent a hardness Herentid between halves
that interferes with microtoming.
Initially, plastic peel-away molds (1 in. cube,
fig. 1) were used for embedding. However, because the presence of excess medium stresses
the sample during microtoming, most of the
plastic around the sample has to be trimmed
away to reduce the contact area with the
microtome blade. A razor blade or diamond
saw is used to trim away all but a supporting
cone of plastic with at most 1 mm of embedding media surrounding the sample at the cutting surface. Since trimming can be very time
consuming, a switch was made to Pelco
silicone rubber embedding molds ( 7 x 1 5 ~ 3mrn,
fig. 1). These molds produce small embedments with trapezoidal tips that do not require
much trimming. These small embedments,
while good for microtoming, are G c u l t to
hold in a level position for polishing samples.

3.2 INFILTRATION
The penetration of the liquid embedding
resin into the interior of a paint sample can
occur when there are voids or open spaces in

JAIC 33 (1994):227-45

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,


HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

- p - A A . " , r r - - - - - -

- -

. .

------

_.,-_----.__,

Wax

ipoxies

Acrvlics
Break-awz
mold
Polyestf

m e rubber
.nold

Fig. 1. Example blocks of polyester, epoxy, acrylic, and wax embedding media for paint cross sections
corresponding to table 1. Break-away molds and small, flexible silicone rubber molds are shown.

the sample. Typical porous samples are stones,


pigments, papers, and textiles. Paints are
porous when the amount of binder is low
enough that it does not fill the void spaces
around the pigment particles (Hansen et al.
1993). The embedding resin can then seep into
the sample, fill these spaces, and, in this process,
coat the particles. Infiltration can occur with
matte or porous paints often found in wall paintings, polychrome sculptures, ethnographic objects, and glue gessos. Sample impregnation
consolidates the sample, producing a smooth
block that is readily polished and easily microtomed into intact thin sections. However, for
analysis of the binder or organic components in
the sample, idtration may be undesirable, and,
in some cases, steps should be taken to prevent
the idtration from occurring.
If several samples of a porous material are to
be embedded for analytical studies of the media,
it is prudent to test only one sample initially to
see ifidtration occurs and, more important,
whether it obstructs analysis of the sample.
Depending on the type of analysis is to be done,
it is possible that idtration of the media will
not cause a problem, but the analyst must recog-

JAIC 33(1994):227-45

nize that the resin may be in the sample and


take that into account in any interpretation. Inh e d spectroscopy is more sensitive to the
presence of the Mtrated resin than visual or
microscopic examination and thus, when IR is
used, it may be important to prevent the resin
from intiltrating.
Visual examination of a paint cross section
can often detect idtration of the embedding
resin due to the discoloration or darkening of
the sample. This idtration is particularly
noticeable for white paints and grounds.
Samples that visually appear very white and opaque before embedding can take on a darker,
transparent appearance &er resin penetration.
Due to the presence of embedding resin inside
and outside the sample, there is less contrast at
the sample edges, and the edges may seem poorly defined. For example, two small portions of a
sample from a polychrome sculpture were embedded separately, one in a thickened acrylic
medium and one in polyester (figs. 2,3). The
photomicrographs show that the sample in the
polyester medium experienced penetration of
the resin, while the sample embedded in the
acrylic did not. The acrylic embedded sample

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

&
-

Fig. 2. Photomicrograph of embedded paint cross


section that is not infiltrated with embedding
medium. The edges are well defined, the sample
appears opaque, and, except for pigment variation,
the colon are uniform.75~

Fig. 3. Photomicrograph of embedded paint cross


section from the same sample shown in figure 2.
However, in this example the paint is infiltrated m t h
embedding medium. 75x

Fig. 5. Photomicrograph of embedded paint cross


section containing 5 wt??glue in gypsum after
staining with FITC. This low binder content results
in a porous sample that rapidly wicks in embedding
resin. The resin coats the sample particles and causes
uneven fluorescent staining of the protein binder
with FITC. 37x

Fig. 6. Photomicrograph of embedded paint cross


section containing 40 wt%glue in gypsum after
staining with FITC. The high binder content results
in a nonporous sample that is not infiltrated by the
embedding resin. The FITC stains the protein in the
sample uniformly and fluoresces a bright yellow
color. 37x

JAIC 33 (1994):227-45

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM,AND DUSAN STULIK

has very well-defined edges, and the opaque


white ground remained white after embedding.
The polyester embedded sample exhibits a
more transparent, darker ground layer.
Infiltration of the embedding resin into the
sample is readily and conclusively recognizable
when infrared microspectroscopy is used to
analyze the sample. An i n h e d spectrum of a
cross section will contain absorption bands for
each component in the analysis area. Thus, ifa
paint sample is infiltrated, the spectrum will
show absorption bands that correspond to the
polyester, the binder, and the pigment. Since
the polyester resin absorbs strongly in the infiared region, and since the binder is likely to
be in a low concentration, it may be di5cult or
impossible to identify the binder due to the
large absorption bands overlapping and hiding
the smaller ones. Spectral subtraction may or
may not be successfid in removing the absorption bands due to the resin. Figure 4 shows an
infrared spectrum of an area of an infiltrated
paint cross section along with a reference
spectrum of a polyester resin (Caroplastic). Infiared spectroscopy confirms infiltration of the
resin by the presence of the polyester absorption bands in the spectrum for the sample.
Resin-infiltrated samples do not uniformly
retain fluorescent or nonfluorescent stains even
though the binder is uniformly distributed
throughout a layer. This characteristic is due to
the coating of the paint particles by embedding
resin, which inhibits the stain fiom reaching the
sample and results in a blotchy appearance.
Figures 5 and 6 illustrate that the infiltration
problem occurs with low binder content
samples. In a test sample prepared with a 40
wt'??glue/gypsum concentration, no indications
for penetration of the polyester embedding
resin were found. The paint cross section
stained uniformly and brightly with fluorescein
isothiocyanate (FITC) under fluorescent light
(fig. 6 ) . A corresponding sample prepared with
5 wt?A gluelgypsum was clearly infiltrated with

JAIC 33(1994):227-45

the polyester resin. Figure 5 shows its uneven


staining pattern with FITC.
Based on infrared analysis of a sequence of
mixtures, it was found that samples with concentrations of 20 &? or less of glue in gypsum
experience infiltration to varying degrees. This
finding veriiied that penetration occurs in low
binder content samples. The specific binder-topigment ratio at which infiltration occurs
depends on the type of binder and pigment
present in the sample.
3.3 CURE TIME
AfIer the polyester prepolyrner is mixed with
the catalyst, it has a fluidity similar to corn
syrup. The resin flows readily around the
sample, and any bubbles migrate to the surface.
However, since this fluidity may also enhance
the penetration of the resin into the sample, a
test was done to pennit the mixed resin to cure
partially before pouring the second half of the
mold. After 41 minutes cure time, the
polyester was so thick that it did not form a
uniform layer over the sample. However, infi-ared analysis of a paint sample coated with the
polyester after 39 minutes of curing showed
that the paint sample was infiltrated with the
embedding material (fig.7). Thus, it is not
practical to use cure time to prevent the M t r a tion of the resin.
3.4 BARRIER METHODS
Since polyester resins are the embedding
media of choice, several barrier methods were
investigated to encapsulate the samples and
prevent the polyester fiom infiltrating. These
methods use a noninterfering material to surround the sample with a thin, impenetrable
layer prior to embedding the sample in the
polyester, thus keeping the good qualities of the
polyester without allowing it to touch the
sample.
The barrier methods tried for treatment of
the samples before embedding in the polyester
resin are shown in table 2. Only the last two of
these methods were effective at preventing the

235

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Bodhisatva A2, blue layer

cb
Caroplastic

3996.00

3497.00

2998.00

2499.00

2000.00

1761.00

1522.00

1283.00

1044.00

805.00

Wavenumber (CM-1)

Fig. 4. Infiared spectrum of paint cross section sample (top) and Caroplastic brand polyester resin (bottom).
The spectnun for the paint sample contains absorption bands corresponding to the embedding resin (marked
with *). This spectrum shows that the embedding resin has soaked into the paint sample.

CAO42 embedded in
Caroplastic after 39 minutes

Caroplastic

Wavenumber (CM-1)

Fig. 7. Infked spectra of Caroplastic polyester resin (bottom) and paint cross section (top) for which the top
embedding layer of Caroplastic was poured over the sample 39 minutes after the catalyst was added to the resin
solution. Even though the embedding resin was extremely thick when it was placed on the top of the sample,
the resin still infiltrated the paint sample. This infiltration is shown by its infixed spectrum, which contains
absorption bands corresponding to the embedding resin (marked with *).

JAIC 33 (1994):227-45

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,


HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

Fig. 8. Photomicrograph of embedded paint cross


section that was coated with wax prior to embedding
in polyester resin. The wax did not prevent the
infiltration of the resin. In fact, the resin dissolved
the wax, creating the halo effect seen around the
sample. 37x

Fig. 9. Photomicrograph of fluorescent image of


FITC-stained sample shown in figure 8. The
nonuniform appearance of the fluorescent stain is due
to the infiltration of the polyester embedding resin
into the sample. 37x

F;,. -0.I ..,.omicrograph of embedded paint cross


section that was sputter-coated with gold before
embedding in polyester resin. The gold layer did not
prevent the infiltration of the resin, as can be seen by
the transparent darker edges in the ground layer of
the sample. 37x

Fig. 11. Photomicrograph of fluorescent image of


FITC-stained sample shown in figure 10. The
nonuniform appearance of the fluorescent stain is due
to the infiltration of the polyester embedding resin
into the sample. 37x

JAIC 33(1994):227-45

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Step 5. Polyester medium


Step 4. Rhoplexlsilicafilm
Step 3. Position sample

sample bottom

sample top

Step 2. Rhoplexlsilica layer


Step 1: Polyester base, cured

Fig. 12. Steps used for encapsulating a cross section sample with a banier material inside a polyester
embedding resin

=
Fig. 13. Photomicrograph of embedded paint cross
section (Catas Altas sample CA039) that was barrier
coated with Rhoplex thickened with Cab-O-Sil
prior to embedding in polyester resin. The acrylic
layer prevented the infiltration of the resin, as
indicated by the opaque white appearance of the
ground layer. 37x

Fig. 14. Photomicrograph of fluorescent image of


FITC-stained sample shown in figure 13. The
variations in the intensity of the fluorescence on the
bottom and middle layers of this sample are due to
different concentrations of protein in the gesso sottile
(bottom) and gesso grosso (middle) layers of the
sample. 37x

JAIC 33 (1994):227-45

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM,AND DUSAN STULIK

TABLE 2

BARRIER METHODS TESTED T O

PREVENT THE INFILTRATION OF

POLYESTER RESIN INTO THE SAMPLES

infiltration of the polyester resin. However, the


successful result was hard to achieve with the
toluene thickener, because the film would
sometimes remain rubbery rather than harden.
Using fimed silica as a thickening agent is
recommended as the best option tested.
Figures 8 and 9 show photomicrographs of
an unstained and FITC-stained paint cross section that had been coated in wax prior to embedding. The sample microtomed easily but
the wax did not prevent the infiltration of the
resin. In practice, the resin dissolved the wax
and created a halo image around the sample.
Shrink-wrap was tested for encapsulating
samples. However, the high temperatures re-

JAIC 33(1994):227-45

quired to shrink the material are not recommended for sample preparation; in a few attempts, the samples could not be prepared
without bubbles being trapped inside the plastic. The presence of bubbles keeps the sample
fiom being held uniformly and makes
microtoming difEcult.
The next-test used a SpUtter coater to coat
samples with greater than a 5-nm-thick layer of
gold. Several samples of two types (plaster and
paint facsimile with glue ground) were prepared
by this method. The results were inconsistent
within sample type; some were infiltrated by
the polyester, and some were not. It appeared
that the smoothness and lack of crevices in the
sample were important for success, since complete coating of all surfaces is necessary to keep
out the polyester. Additionally, carell handling of the sample after coating was required,
because, in some cases, a small portion of the
h g d e coating would attach to the forceps and
come off the sample. Figures 10 and 11 show
photomicrographs of an unstained and FITCstained paint cross section of a sputter-coated
sample that experienced resin infiltration.
Completely sealing samples in an aluminum
foil sandwich with crimped edges was also tried.
This method was extremely time-consuming
and resulted in an opaque, difticult-to-position
sample. Resin infiltration with this method was
inconsistent, and thus it is not recommended.
Several conservation treatments for papers
and painting relinings use nonpenetrating gellike solutions such as methyl cellulose (Baker
1984), acrylic dispersions thickened with
toluene (Keyser 1981; Mehra 1984), and acrylic
dispersions thickened with fimed silica (Byme
1984). Some of these methods were tested for
encapsulating the samples and found successfkl.
Many other thixotropic, quick-drymg solutions
may also work in the same manner. Of the gels
tested, the cellulose ether (Klucel G) film dissolved in the polyester resin. The toluenethickened acrylic (Rhoplex AC-33) was found
to retain toluene, resulting in a pliable film that

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Fig. 15. Inftared spectrum of


paint cross section shown in
figure 13. The spectrum shows
that the embedding resin did not
infiltrate the sample.

239

CA039, embedded In polyester


precoated with acryllc~slllca

Caroplastlc

3996

3497

2998

tended to stretch during microtoming. However, when the toluene-thickened gel was allowed to dry thoroughly (a day or more), a
tough, clear film was formed over the sample.
The acrylic (Rhoplex AC-33) thickened with
fumed silica produced a tough 6lm around the
sample that dried quickly. Both of these last
two gels, when dry,kept the polyester resin
fiom infiltrating.
Mixtures of l , 3 , and 10 wt?? of Cab-O-Sil
(coated fbmed silica) in Rhoplex AC-33
produced semiclear filmsthat dried in less than
2 hours. Approximately 3 wt?? of Cab-O-Sil in
the acrylic emulsion was optimum; however,
since the mixture thickens with time, it is best
to judge it by its consistency. The consistency
should be very viscous, that is, greater than that
of honey but less than that of butter. It should
be gel-like but should flow enough to seal at
the points where the solution meets itself It is
better to have the consistency slightly too thin
than too thick. If the mixture is too viscous, it

2499

2000
1761
1522
Wavenumber (CM-1)

1283

1044

805

will be hard to get a uniform, thin layer around


the sample, and it will not adhere to itself,
resulting in coverage gaps.
Tests were done using both pure fbmed silica
and Cab-O-Sil. Both materials work well for
thickening the acrylic dispersion, but they behave differently because pure fbmed silica is
hygroscopic while the Cab-O-Sil has been
coated to make it nonhygroscopic. Thus, CabO-Sil is not quite as effective at thickening the
solution, is harder to mix with the acrylic and
takes longer to dry. The optimum mix for pure
fkmed silica with Rhoplex AC-33 acrylic is approximately 1 wt??.
A five-step procedure was used to encapsulate the samples (fig. 12). The first step was to
prepare polymerized polyester resin in the bottom half of the mold. A small, thin, contiguous
area of the acrylic/silica gel solution was painted
at the tip of the mold, and the sample was positioned on it in the desired orientation (typically
with the top paint layer down and horizontal to

JAIC 33 (1994):227-45

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

the bottom of the embedment). The area of


the gel should be slightly larger than the size of
the sample. Once the sample was in place, a
small amount of the gel was painted thinly over
the top and sides of the sample using a finepoint paintbrush or a toothpick. We prefer a
toothpick since it is conveniently disposable.
The sample should be completely encapsulated
with the gel, since any open areas or cracks in
the film would defeat the purpose of encapsulation. To ensure sufficient drying time, the encapsulation films were allowed to dry overnight. Attempts to hastened the drying process
using a vacuum desiccator resulted in bubble
formation in the films. Once the gel has dried
to a film, the top layer of the polyester resin can
be prepared as usual and poured over the
sample. Upon curing, the embedded cross section can be polished or microtomed for analysis.
Two points should be kept in mind for success in using- this method. First, the
acrylic/silica encapsulation layer should not
have any bubbles. To minimize bubbles during
mixing, it is best to prepare only a small amount
of the gel at a time. Second, the amount of
acrylic/silica used to encapsulate should be kept
at the very minimum needed to surround the
sample completely, since thick (lmm) areas of
the mixture can result in microtoming problems.
Figure 13 shows a photomicrograph of a
paint cross section fiom a polychrome sculpture
that was encapsulated in the acrylic/silica mixture and then embedded in polyester resin.
The sample exhibits no visual signs of infiltration, and the glue-containing ground layer of
the sample stained uniformly with FITC. Figure 14 shows a photomicrograph of the FITCstained sample. The staining, though fiint due
to the low concentration of binder in the
sample, does produce a uniform color for the
glue ground layer portion of the sample. The
variations in the intensity of the fluorescence on
the bottom and middle layers of this sample are
actually due to different cbncentrations &'
protein in the gesso sottile (bottom) layer and

JAIC 33(1994):22745

the gesso grosso (middle) layer of the sample


(Souza and Demck 1994). Figure 15 shows the
infkared spectrum obtained fiom a thin section
of the embedded sample. Idared analysis confirmed that the ground layer of the sample did
not experience infiltration of the polyester or of
the acrylic media. Thus, the encapsulation of
the sample was successll.

4. DISCUSSION
Preventing infiltration of the embedding resin
into a sample will allow it to maintain its original
physical and optical characteristics. This may or
may not be desirable depending on the type of
sample and the type of analyses to be done.
In the case of a porous, powdery sample the
advantages of resin impregnation during embedding are that it will produce a solid, consolidated sample that may be highly polished to
a flat, smooth surface. These qualities are usell
for photomicrography, pigment identification,
and SEM/EDS analysis. If needed, the sample
should microtome well into intact thin sections.
However, interpretation of any staining or infiared analysis would be difficult due to the
presence of the resin within the sample. One
viable option would be to perform i d a r e d
analysis on particles fiom a corresponding nonembedded portion of the sample.
Conversely, ifthis sample were not infiltrated with resin, the resultant embedment
would contain a fragile and poorly cohesive
sample. Some particles may fall out of the
sample during polishing, and microtoming the
sample will be difficult and time consuming.
The advantage of an unadulterated sample is
that any analysis method used for examining the
sample is doing just that, examining the sample
and not any added component. Resin infiltration may particularly afFect the results of
photomicrography, fluorescence, staining,
colorirnetxy, or idared microspectroscopy.
The examination and detection of glazes and
other thin, organic layers may be very susceptible to resin infiltration.

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER

RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

In our experience, the porous, crumbling


sample is a rare, worst-case situation. Many
cohesive samples that were not expected to be
infiltrated were found to contain polyester resin
after embedding. Thus, it is important to recognize that infiltration can occur and make a
determination whether it is necessary to prevent
the infiltration.

5. C O N C L U S I O N S
In a comparison of several types of polymers,
polyester resins met the requirements for an
ideal embedding media for most paint cross
sections much better than did epoxies or acrylics.
Polyester resins set rapidly without heat, are
clear, polish readily, and microtome easily.
However, embedding resins, such as
polyester, can dissolve some waxes, colorants,
and resins. In addition, during the embedding
process, porous, low-binder paints are
penetrated by most types of polymer solutions,
including polyester. Infiltration can occur with
matte or porous paints that are often found in
wall paintings, polychrome sculptures, ethnographic objects, and with glue gessos. This infiltration is visually detected by examining the
cross section for poorly defined edges, darkening or discoloration, and blotchy stain results.
Infiltration may be codinned by the analysis of
the sample with infrared microspectroscopy,
where the presence of the embedding resin in
the sample will produce a spectrum containing
absorption bands characteristic of the resin.
It is important to recognize that infiltration
can and has occurred in embedded paint cross
sections. Infiltration has advantages and disadvantages, because it consolidates and supports
the sample but can also hinder the analysis of
the sample's components. Thus, potential infiltration should be considered when samples
are examined, and a decision should be made
whether it is necessary to prevent the infiltration based on the type of sample and the type of
analyses.

In the cases where embedding without infiltration is chosen as the best option, several
barrier methods have been tested for coating
the sample with materials before embedding the
sample in polyester resin. A method using
Rhoplex AC-33 thickened with fumed silica
worked best, forming a uniform coating around
the sample that, when dry, did not allow the
polyester resin to infiltrate into the sample.
Many other types of high viscosity or
thixotropic materials would probably work as
well for precoating the sample.
6. EXPERIMENTAL
6.1 SAMPLES
Five types of samples were embedded in this
study. The first type was a concentration series
consisting of known mixtures of glue and
gypsum to test the effects of binder
concentration (figs. 5, 6). The second set of
samples was obtained fiom a facsimile painting
that had a glue-calcium carbonate ground layer
with a glue content of 15 wt?/o. This set was
used to evaluate the various kinds of embedding
media shown in table 1. This set of samples
along with samples of plaster (no binder) also
were used to test all of the barrier methods
shown in table 2. The fourth set of samples
consisted of small portions obtained fiom a
larger sample (CA042) that had f d e n off a
polychrome sculpture from the church of Catas
Altas, Minas Gerais, Brazil (figs. 2, 3).
Quantitative analysis of the protein content of
the sculpture sample by gas chromatography
showed that it contained 12% by weight of glue
in gypsum (Schilling 1994). After the
acrylic-silica barrier layer was found to work on
the test samples, it was then tried on pomons of
another polychromy sample (CA039) from the
church. This last set of samples, shown in
figures 13 and 14, contain a gesso sottile layer
(analyzed glue content of 5%) on the bottom
and a gesso grosso layer in the middle (analyzed

glue content of 10%).

JAIC 33 (1994):227-45

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

6.2 MICROTOMING
An R M C Model 7000 microtome configured with a glass knife was used to produce
5 pm thin sections of the embedded samples.
Tungsten knives may also be used to prepare
thin sections in this range; stainless knives usually are used to produce thicker sections (20 pm)
and diamond knives for thinner sections (1
pm), Glass knives are made by scoring and
breaking a 1 in. square of glass to give 2 triangular pieces, each with a sharp edge. This procedure produces a 45' angle on the blade. This
angle may be increased for cutting harder
materials and decreased for softer materials
(Malis and Steele 1990).
Small samples are easier to microtome.
Larger samples may be cut into a pie shape and
positioned in a mold so that the point is cut
first. An embedded sample should have all excess medium trimmed fibm the embedment,
leaving only a facet with a few mm of medium
outside of the sample at the cutting surface.
Too large a cutting surface can cause the section
to curl and the sample to debond from the
medium.
Orientation of the sample to the knife edge
can affect the quality of the section. In this
description, a multilayer sample is considered as
a series of parallel lines that can be placed either
vertically or horizontally in a rotatable vise of a
microtome with a horizontal knife edge. For
most samples, the initial cut is best made with
the sample rotated 10' from vertical with the
most important layer closest to the knife. Exact
vertical orientation of the layers can increase
section curling and particle loss, while direct
horizontal orientation can result in the compression of the sample. Depending on the sample
and how it behaves during cutting, the orientation may need to be changed. In all cases, the
sample and the knife should be fastened securely and checked often for tightness.
The optimum thickness of a sample for infrared transmission analysis is 1-10 pm (Derrick
et al. 1991). Sections over 15 ym can absorb

JAIC 33(1994):227-45

IR radiation too strongly. Cutting thick sections can also result in particle loss, chattering of
the knife, and damaged knife edges. Whenever
a problem occurs, it can ofien be solved by slicing thinner sections (1 pn) and then returning
to slice a thicker section (5-10 pm). AU cuts
should be smooth and slow, using a motorized
microtome, if available, set at speeds of 0.1-3.0
rnm/sec.
Vibrations, drafts, temperature, and humidity
can all adversely d e c t microtorning results, as
can variations due to lighting, hand temperature, and human breath. When problems
occur, all factors should be considered and
modified when possible.
As the section is being cut, it should be encouraged to cling to the knife. With a small,
stifTartist's brush (size 2 or 3) the initial cut
edge of the section can be held to the knife surface without touching the sample region. Static
charges should keep the section on the knife.
Afier the section is cut, it can also easily and
delicately be picked up fiom the glass surface
using the brush. For infrared analysis, our sections were taken directly from the microtome,
placed on a BaFz window, and transferred to
the sample stage of the inbred microspectrophotometer.
6.3 INFRARED
MICROSPECTROSCOPY
A Spectra-Tech IRpS organic microprobe
was used for the infrared analysis of the thin sections of each sample. It is equipped with a narrow-band, cryogenically cooled mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) detector. The spectra
are the sum of 200 scans collected fiom 4000800 cm-1 at a resolution of 4 cm-1. The IRpS
is continually purged with dry, CO2-fiee air.
Once microtomed, the thin section slices
were placed on a BaFz window and transferred
to the sample stage of the infiared microspectrophotometer for analysis. An incandescent light
is used to locate and focus on the sample. A
small rectangular region of the sample, typically

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

30 x 60 pm, is isolated using dual adjustable


knife-edge apertures located above and below
the sample stage. The radiation source is then
changed to an i h r e d beam for analysis of the
imaged area.
6.4 FLUORESCENT STAINING
Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) was used
as the reagent for staining the proteinaceous
media. Autofluorescence and other stains, such
as amido black and rhodamine, may also be affected by infiltration of the resin. Our method
used an aqueous solution; FITC in acetone also
exhibited nonuniform intensities related to the
resin infiltration.
FITC reacts with fiee amino end groups in
the proteins to give a characteristic bright yellow fluorescence that is most visible in light
color pigment areas. FITC and all "arnine
reagents" react best above pH 8 where the fraction of the fiee-base form of amines is higher
(Haugland 1992). Following the procedure of
Vera and Rivas (1988), an FITC solution was
prepared by first dissolving FITC in acetone
(5mg/rnl) and then diluting it to 0.25% with a
0.1M phosphate buffer solution at pH 8.0 that
additionally contains 0.1% nonionic detergent
(Triton X-100) for better surface wetting. In
comparison tests using glue, gelatin, whole egg,
and casein, the aqueous FITC in phosphate
buffer gave a much brighter yellow fluorescence
color than a corresponding amount of FITC
(0.25%) in acetone solvent. FITC is quite
stable in water but will experience some
degradation at increasing pH's. Therefore, the
supplier, Molecular Probes, recommends pH
8.5-9.5 as optimum for reactions (Haugland
1992). We found that a pH 8.0 solution had
good sensitivity (detection limit of 0.2% glue in
a white pigment) and good stability.
Two photos were taken for each sample: (1)
incandescent, incident light and (2) FITCstained, fluorescent incident light using a mercury
light source and a Leitz D filter cube. The
Leitz D filter cube has a band pass excitation fil-

243

ter of 355-425 nm and a long pass bamer filter


at 460 nm. For FITC staining, Leitz recommends a Leitz I2/3 filter cube (band pass filter:
450-490 nrn,long pass filter: 515 nm) (Becker
1989). However, our studies showed that some
proteins autofluoresced when we used a similar
Leitz H filter cube, and that made it less effective
for determining positive protein tests than the
Leitz D filter cube. Also, the broader range of
the Leitz D filter cube provides a brighter though
less wavelength-specific fluorescent image.
For staining, a drop of the FITC solution
was placed on the sample and allowed to set for
30-60 seconds. The excess solution was wicked
off with a nonfluorescent, absorbent towel,
since leaving the solution on the sample for
longer periods, 5-15 minutes, may cause some
of the proteins to swell.
REFERENCES
Baker, C. A. 1984. Methylcellulose and sodium carboxymethylcellulose: An evaluation for use in paper
conservation through accelerated aging. In Adhesives
and consolidants, ed. N. S. Brommelle, et al. London:
International Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. 55-59.
Baker, M., D. van der Reyden, and N. Ravenel.
1989. FTIR analysis of coated papers. Book and Paper
Group Annual 8:l-12.
Becker, E. 1989. Fluorescent microscopy. Germany:
Wild Leitz GmbH.
BischofT, J. 1994. Penonal communication. Detroit
Institute of Arts, Detroit, Mich.
Byrne, G.S. 1984. Adhesive formulations manipulated by the addition of fumed colloidal silica. In Adhesives and Consolidants. ed. N . S. Brommelle, et d .
London: International Institute for the Conservation
of Historic and Artistic Works. 78-80.
Cartwright, L. J., N . S. Cartwright, and P. G.
Rodgers. 1977. A microtome technique for sectioning multilayer paint samples for microanalysis.
Canadian Society ofForensic ScienceJournal 10:7-12.
Demmler, K. 1980. The determination of residual active oxygen in parts of unsaturated polyester resins

JAIC 33 (1994):227-45

MICHELE DERRICK, LUIS SOUZA, TANYA KIESLICH,

HENRY FLORSHEIM, AND DUSAN STULIK

and its influence on post curing and yellowing by


light. Kunstoffe 70:786-92.
Derrick, M. R., D. C. Stulik, andJ. M. Landry.
1991. Scient$c examination ofworks of art: Injured
microspectroscopy. Marina del Rey, Calif: Getty Conservation Institute.
Derrick, M. R., D. C. Stulik, J. M. Landry, and S. P.
Boufhd. 1992. Furniture finish layer identification
by i h r e d linear mapping microspectroscopy. Journal
ofthe American Institutefor Consewation 31(2):225-36.
Godla,J. 1990. The use of wax finishes on pre-industrial American furniture. M.A. thesis, Antioch
University, West Townsend, Mass.
Hansen, E. F., R. Lowinger, and E. Sadoff.1993.
Consolidation of porous paint in a vapor-saturated atmosphere: A technique for minimizing changes in
the appearance of powdering, matte paint.Journal of
the American Institutefor Consewation 32:l-14.
Haugland, R. P. 1992. Handbook offluorescentprobes
and research chemicals. 5th ed. Eugene, Oreg.:
Molecular Probes.
Hone, C. V. 1987. Maten'alfor conservation. London:
Butterworths. 161-65.
Keyser B. 1981. Use of acrylic emulsions as nonpenetrating lining materials for paintings at the National Gallery of Canada. International Institute for
Conservation-Canadian Group 6(3):9-10.
Malis, T. F., and D. Steele. 1990. Ultramicrotomy
for materials science. Workshop on specimen preparation
for T E M materials 2, ed. R. Anderson. Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings 199. Pittsburgh: Materials Research Society. 3-43.

Reedy, C. 1994. Thin section petrography in studies


of cultural materials.Jouma1 ofthe American Institute for
Consewation 33:115-29.
Schilling, M. 1994. A fast, sensitive, reproducible
method for the analysis of amino acids using ethyl formate derivitization. Getty Conservation Institute internal report.
Souza, L.A.C., and M. R. Derrick. 1994. The use of
FT-IR spectrometry for the identification and chancterization of gesso-glue grounds in wooden
polychromed sculptures and panel paintings. In
Materials issues in art and archaeology 4, Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings. Pittsburgh:
Materials Research Society.
Tsang, J., and R. Cunningham. 1991. Some improvements in the study of cross sections.Journal ofthe
American Institutefor Consewation 30:16577.
Vera, J. C., and C. Rivas. 1988. Fluorescent labeling
of nitrocellulose-bound proteins at the nanogram
level without changes in immunoreactivity. Analytical
Biochemistry 173:399-404.
Waentig, F. 1993. Casting resin systems for embedding specimens. Restauro 3:195-99.
Ward's Natural Science. 1990. Ward's curriculum
aid: Embedding in bio-plastic, 6th ed. No. 246-0005.
Rochester: Ward's Natural Science.
Wilkinson, J. M., J. Locke and D. K. Laing. 1988.
The e~cuninationof paints as thin sections using visible
microspectrophotometryand Fourier transform inkred
microscopy. Forensic Science International 38:4>52.

Mehra, V. R. 1984. Dispersion as lining adhesive and


its scope. In Adhesives and consolidants. ed. N. S.
Brommelle, a al. London: International Imtitute for the
Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. 44-45.

Wolbers, R. and G. Landrey. 1987. The use of direct


reactive fluorescent dyes for the characterization of
binding media in cross sectional examinations. A I C
preprints, American Institute for Conservation. 15th
Annual Meeting, Vancouver. Washington D.C.:
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Meurgues, G. 1982. Synthetic resins can be


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SUPPLIERS

Purves, P. E., and R.S.J. Martin. 1950. Some


developments in the use of plastics in museum technology. MuseumsJournal49:184-95.

Materials tested in this study were obtained fiom the


suppliers listed below. These products are also available from other suppliers that specialize in general
laboratory and microscopy products.

JAIC 33(1994):227-45

EMBEDDING PAINT CROSS-SECTION SAMPLES IN POLYESTER


RESINS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS

Butylmethyl methacrylate (acrylic)


Ladd Research Industries, Inc., Burlington, Vt.
05402; (802) 658-4961
Bio-Plastic (polyester)
Ward's Natural Science, P.O. Box 92912,
Rochester, N.Y.; (800) 962-2660
Cab-O-Sil (coated fumed silica)
Conservation Materials Ltd., 1165 Marietta Way,
P.O. Box 2884, Sparks, Nev. 89431;
(702) 3314582
Caroplastic (polyester)
Carolina Biological Supply Company, 2700 York
Road, Burlington, N.C. 27215; (800) 334-5551
Buehler, 41 Waukegan Road, Lake Bid, Ill.
60044; (800) 283-4537
Castolite (polyester)
The Castolite Company, Woodstock, Ill. 60098;
(815) 338-4670
Epon 812 (epoxy)
Ted Pella, Inc., P.O. Box 2318, Redding, Calif.
96099; (916) 243-2200
Fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)
Molecular Probes, Inc., 4849 Pitchford Ave.,
Eugene, Oreg. 97402; (503) 465-8300.
Krazy Glue and Knzy Glue Gel (cyanoacrylate)
Distributed by Borden, Inc., HPPG, Columbus,
Ohio 43215
LR White (acrylic)
Ladd Research Industries, Inc.
LX-112 (epoxy),
Ladd Research Industries, Inc.
Maraglas 655 (acrylic)
Ladd Research Industries, Inc.
Paraplast (wax)
Ladd Research Industries, Inc.
Pelco, embedding molds
Ted Pella, Inc.
Rhoplex AC-33 (acrylic emulsion)
Rohrn and Haas Co., Philadelphia, Pa.
Distributed by Conservation Materials, Ltd.
Silica, fumed
Aldrich, 1001 W. Saint Paul Ave., Milwaukee,
Wisc. 53233; (800) 558-9160
Quetol523M (acrylic)
Ted Pella, Inc.
S P W (epoxy)
Ted Pella, Inc.
Vestopal W (polyester)
Ladd Research Industries, Inc.

245

MICHELE R. DERRICK graduated &om Oklahoma State University in 1979 with an M.S. in
analytical chemistry. In 1983 she joined the scientific
program of the Getty Conservation Institute, where
she is currently an associate scientist. Her research involves the development of new methods for the characterization and identification of organic materials in
cultural objects primarily using &red spectroscopy
and pyrolysis gas chromatography. Address: Getty
Conservation Institute, 4503 Glencoe Ave., Marina
del Rey, Calif. 90292.
LUIZ A. C. SOUZA received his B.S. (1986) and
M.Sc. (1991) in chemistry fiom the Federal University of Minas Gerais. The experimental work for his
M.Sc. was done at the Institut Royal du Patrimoine
Artistique, Brussels (1987-88). Since 1989 he has
been teaching and researching at the CECOR Center for Conservation and Restoriation of Movable
Cultural Properties of the Federal University of
Minas Gerais, Bradl. He is currently a research fellow at the Getty C o n ~ e ~ a d oInstitute.
n
Address:
CECOR, Escola de Belas Artes, Universidade
Federal de h4inas Gerais, Av. Antonio Carlos, 6627,
Belo Horizonte 31270, MG, Brazil.
TANYA L. KIESLICH received her B.S. fiom
Loyola Maryrnount University in 1992 with a major
in chemistry and a minor in art history. As part of
her undergraduate research, she used i k e d
microspectroscopy for the analysis of paint samples.
She is currently attending the Courtauld Institute of
Art for a postgraduate diploma in the conservation of
easel paintings. Address: Courtauld Institute of Art,
Dept. of Conservation and Technology, Somerset
House, Strand, London WC2R ORN, England.
DUSAN C. STULIK graduated &om Charles
University in Prague, Czechoslovakia, with B.S. and
M.S. degrees in chemistry. He subsequently obtained a Ph.D. in physics &om the Czechoslovakia
Academy of Sciences. He is currently acting head of
the scientific program at the Getty Conservation Institute. His current research is in the application of
modem scientific methods in conservation science.
Address: same as for Denick.
Received for review November 1, 1993. Revised
manuscript received May 4,1994. Accepted for publicationJune 15, 1994.

JAIC 33 (1994):22745

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Embedding Paint Cross-Section Samples in Polyester Resins: Problems and Solutions
Michele Derrick; Luiz Souza; Tanya Kieslich; Henry Florsheim; Dusan Stulik
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 33, No. 3. (Autumn - Winter, 1994), pp.
227-245.
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References
Furniture Finish Layer Identification by Infrared Linear Mapping Microspectroscopy
Michele R. Derrick; Dusan C. Stulik; James M. Landry; Steven P. Bouffard
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 31, No. 2. (Summer, 1992), pp. 225-236.
Stable URL:
http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0197-1360%28199222%2931%3A2%3C225%3AFFLIBI%3E2.0.CO%3B2-T

Cross-Sections and Chemical Analysis of Paint Samples


Joyce Plesters
Studies in Conservation, Vol. 2, No. 3. (Apr., 1956), pp. 110-157.
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Thin-Section Petrography in Studies of Cultural Materials


Chandra L. Reedy
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 33, No. 2, Papers from the Conservation
Research and Technical Studies Update Session and the General Session on Collections in Historic
Buildings of the 21st Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and
Artistic Works. Denver, Colorado, May 31-June 6, 1993. (Summer, 1994), pp. 115-129.
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LINKED CITATIONS
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Some Improvements in the Study of Cross Sections


Jia-Sun Tsang; Roland H. Cunningham
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, Vol. 30, No. 2. (Autumn, 1991), pp. 163-177.
Stable URL:
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