Cultural Heritage

Aside from work on advanced materials and modern production technology, IMSL is active in a number projects to examine the impact of microbiological activity on items of cultural heritage. In the past this has included a study on the premature failure of thatch on historic buildings in the Netherlands due to fungal growth and the impact of severe water ingress on the fungal populations in an historic building in London, UK. A similar study was performed to assess the effect of a change in air filtration technology on the number of airborne fungal spores and their settlement on surfaces in an historic document collection in a major UK library. An investigation into an appropriate technique to prevent the deterioration of a 'living' museum display (mannequins dressed in authentic uniforms, equipment etc.), depicting conditions in an underground national defence installation during WWII, employed industrial material protection strategies to provide the protection required. In contrast, a biological control intervention strategy was designed to limit the degradation of 14th century wall carvings and paintings at a historic site in the UK.


EU Funded projects

IMSL has been a partner in a number of EU funded (Framework) projects including one aimed at the prevention of damage to items and areas of cultural heritage by flood events by way of policy change and preventative measures (see Cultural Heritage protection against Flood - CHEF). In a second study, part of the EU Framework 7 programme, IMSL looked at the effect of nano-particle-based remediation techniques for stone on both the removal of microbiological growth and its re-colonisation. (Stone conservation for the refurbishment of buildings - Stonecore. More information) IMSL continues to be active in this field, especially in partnership with Geoservice on monuments in Greece.