We integrate our assessments of the paintings with environment and fracture models using mechanical and numerical approaches to understand environmentally-induced fatigue. Laboratory test samples help us to validate our understanding.
Models form an important means of both explaining and potentially predicting the types of damage induced in painted wooden artefacts by environmental impact. Our approach draws, in particular, on finite element models to explore multiple scenarios concerning how cracks are initiated and propagated. In particular, we consider scenarios that are characteristic of average and extreme static conditions expected during prolonged periods of low/high moisture content – these reflect the types of change in environmental conditions identified for the Brown Gallery.
Analysing and comparing the response of laboratory test samples helps us to validate our understanding. Tensile testing and double cantilever beam (DCB) tests are common experiments in the field of adhesive fracture mechanics, and we use these to investigate the initiation and propagation of cracks in different scenarios. A bespoke environmental chamber, design and built by the project, enables us to perform our laboratory tests in controlled environmental conditions of temperature and relative humidity.
Learn about the mechanical modelling that we use.