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Research topics and methods

  • Development of the on-line HERIe software for quantitative assessment of risk of physical damage to cultural objects due to relative humidity variations. The tool is freely available to conservation and museum professionals who do not have specialized competence in modelling risk of damage to objects, as a support in the decision-making process for the control of indoor environmental conditions in historical buildings and museums.

  • Determining experimentally properties of the materials contained in heritage objects – wood, gessoes, paints, parchment, paper – necessary for modelling objects’ temperature and moisture response, and determining their vulnerability to physical damage: sorption of water vapour, moisture related swelling and shrinkage, water vapour diffusion and surface emission, stress‑strain relationships, resistance to cracking and fatigue failure.

  • Time-dependent analysis of the response of cultural objects to variations in microclimate parameters, with the use of the finite element method to model water vapour movement and the resulting strain and stress fields across objects, as a tool for quantitative assessment of risk of physical damage.

  • Direct tracing of the development of climate-induced physical damage to support the objective assessment of safety of objects of art in their real-world environments, with the use of acoustic and optical methods.

Observations of the oil painting layers with a X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) by Patrick Kékicheff, Research Director, Institut Charles Sadron, University of Strasbourg, cooperating with the Cultural Heritage Research Group
  • Monitoring suspended particulate matter inside historical buildings and museums, analysis of air-tightness of building envelopes, their particle filtering capacity, and deposition velocity of airborne particles. Development of methods to measure local particle deposition velocities which lead to soiling of interior surfaces and works of art.

  • Developing climate control strategies in museums and historical buildings combining the optimal protection of interior furnishings and collections with saving of energy used by climate control systems.