Cambridge 2008




Alteration of a façon de Venise glass:
The role of humidity and organic pollutants

Sarah Fearn
 Imperial College London 

It is well known that glass composition determines the materials’ stability and durability to environmental conditions. The safe display and storage, therefore, of many historic glasses is made particularly hard due to the compositions used to fabricate these pieces: In order to obtain the desirable aesthetic qualities, improved workability of a glass was often achieved by adding more soda or potash to a melt. However, the chemical durability of the glass was unwittingly compromised. In order to preserve vulnerable glass objects it is essential to understand want environments are most detrimental to the glass and what chemical changes are happening. In this work the effects of humidity and organic pollutants on a façon de Venise glass will be presented, highlighting in particular the role of formic acid, acetic acid and formaldehyde on this high soda – low lime glass.



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