Conserving Waterlogged Rope: A Review of Traditional Methods and Experimental Research with Polyethylene Glycol

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Title: Conserving Waterlogged Rope: A Review of Traditional Methods and Experimental Research with Polyethylene Glycol
Author: McCaskill, Jennifer R.
Abstract: The excavation of Sieur de la Salle's ship , La Belle , yielded a large amount of waterlogged rope requiring conservation . A history of hemp and rope manufacture is reviewed to assist in the identification of the materials and rope -work recovered from the La Belle , as well as to assist in selecting an appropriate conservation treatment . A summary of several methods used to conserve cordage is presented . Time has shown that not all of these treatment methods have remained viable options , and that continued study and experimentation are needed so that the conservator has the tools to develop an appropriate conservation plan for each artifact . The majority of La Belle's cordage was conserved using the passivation polymers method developed by Dr . C . Wayne Smith and Dr . Donny L . Hamilton , both of Texas A &M University , in conjunction with Dow Corning Corporation , Midland , Michigan . An experiment applying knowledge gleaned from the passivation polymers process to polyethylene glycol (PEG ) impregnation was conducted in an attempt to stabilize the PEG within the rope . The results were good ; the rope retained some flexibility and appears stable with a slightly darker color than with silicone oil .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2009 -05 -571
Date: 2010-01-16

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Conserving Waterlogged Rope: A Review of Traditional Methods and Experimental Research with Polyethylene Glycol. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /ETD -TAMU -2009 -05 -571 .

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