Creator: Andrew Pearce
Abstract: During 2003 the Australian War Memorial undertook conservation work on two large aircraft, a DAP Beaufort and an Avro Lancaster. This work included the repair and re-covering of control surfaces with doped fabric. Physical evidence present in the Memorial’s aircraft collection and the written and verbal testimony from a number of individuals involved in the operation and re-covering of vintage, fabric-covered aircraft has strongly indicated that cellulose butyrate (a doping compound used since the mid 1950s) continues to contract over the long term, resulting in the damage and destruction of doped fabric surfaces and their underlying framework. This paper discusses the use of cellulose nitrate based doping compound which, while considered by many to be unstable, is present on a number of the Memorial’s First and Second World War aircraft in extremely good condition. Discussion of the fabric-covering process deals with the processes involved and the training of members of the large technology conservation team in what is a largely forgotten skill.
Reference: Andrew Pearce 2004, ‘Avoiding that shrinking feeling: adopting a chemically unstable material for conservation’, Big Stuff 2004
DOI Link (Paper):
|Pearce, Andrew. (2004). Avoiding that shrinking feeling: adopting a chemically unstable material for conservation. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4084784|
DOI Link (Q&A):
|Pearce, Andrew. (2004, September 29). Avoiding that shrinking feeling: adopting a chemically unstable material for conservation Q&A. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4116571|