Modern acrylic paints probed by optical coherence tomography and infrared reflectography

Year: 2018

Authors: Striova J., Dal Fovo A., Fontani V., Barucci M., Pampaloni E., Raffaelli M., Fontana R.

Autors Affiliation: CNR-INO, Sezione di Firenze, Largo Enrico Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy; Università degli Studi di Firenze, Via della Lastruccia 3, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy

Abstract: Contemporary art is particularly delicate as the synthetic materials used for their realization are of poorer quality and durability than the traditional materials. It follows that the contemporary artworks often require imminent restorations as well as in-depth analytical studies of the constituting materials. The non-invasiveness of the scientific methods is a key issue in the diagnostics of contemporary art because it minimizes the need of sampling. In this respect, the potential of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging to probe the internal structure of the commercial acrylic paint layers, as a function of their thickness, was investigated and compared with that of the near infrared (NIR) reflectography. In support of these measurements, micro-profilometry, an interferometric technique with micrometric depth resolution, was used to measure the paint layer thicknesses. We show that for some painted materials there is a limited possibility to visualize the underdrawings, when investigated by both OCT and NIR reflectography. This is owed to either the absorption of the illumination wavelength by the paint layer (Cobalt-based paints) or the multiple photon scattering effect (presence of TiO2).


Volume: 138      Pages from: 65  to: 71

More Information: The research leading to the prototype of confocal microscope was funded by the EU Community\’s FP7 Research Infrastructures Programme under the CHARISMA Project (GA 228330). In the framework of the project, the instrument was modified and transformed in a confocal OCT device. The research leading to these results was funded by the EU Community\’s H2020 Research Infrastructure program under the IPERION CH Project (GA 654028).
KeyWords: Acrylic paints; Infrared imaging; Non-invasive stratigraphy; Oct; Phthalocyanine; Underdrawing visualization
DOI: 10.1016/j.microc.2017.12.027

Citations: 4
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