The 2020 Virtual Poster Session on Tuesday, July 21 featured nine authors presenting their research. Click on the title to read the corresponding abstracts before downloading.
Conservation of Waterlogged Rubber
Rubber is a relatively modern material which gained popularity in the 19th century with the development of vulcanized rubber. As museums expand their modern collections, rubber is finding a more common place in conservation labs, as is the study of rubber deterioration. The Mariners’ Museum and Park is the repository for the gun turret, engine, and condenser of USS Monitor, a 19th century iron-clad ship which sank in 1862. The steam engine and condenser used rubber and textile composite gaskets to secure valve connections. These gaskets are now part of Monitor’s waterlogged archaeological collection and are undergoing conservation. This poster will illustrate the cleaning, drying and storage processes that have been standardized for waterlogged rubber from USS Monitor.
The poster expands on previous experimentation and research concerning the treatment of waterlogged rubber undertaken at The Museum. Practical methods to prevent object distortion during both desalination and drying will be discussed. Mechanical and chemical methods of removing corrosion as dictated by the needs of the object will be examined. The development of an air-drying method will be specifically detailed, focusing on practicality and minimizing object distortion. The method uses materials that are commonly found in most conservation labs, and thus can be easily applied to other waterlogged rubber objects for treatment.