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Subject: Renaissance Wax

Renaissance Wax

From: David Hallam <david.hallam>
Date: Monday, May 8, 1995
On 28 Apr 95 David Harvey <toptendave [at] aol__com> wrote:

>   To: Multiple recipients of list MUSEUM-L
>   Subject: Re: Renaissance Wax, British Museum. Legit?
>    Vance,

>    Renaissance wax is a formulated  blend of several microcrystalline
>    waxes in white spirits to form a soft paste.  It has been used by
>    the conservation & curatorial communities for some time now and it
>    is carried in the Conservation Materials catalogue.

>    I have used this wax for some years now in metals & arms
>    conservation and I have been pleased with it's performance - I have
>    never had  any trouble either applying or removing it.

David (and others)

We have done quite a bit of research on waxes for the coating of
metals in our collections. By combining our original (1983) and
recent electrochemical studies with those of P Maxwell we can state
the following:

There is no point in useing a mixed wax such as BM Wax from a
corrosion protection piont of view. I would go further and say that
their is no point in useing blended MC/PE waxes the properties you
need can be found in a "pure" wax.

If a wax can be applied as a melt use a high melting point
microcrystaline wax such as 2095, Be Sq 185 or Be Sq 195.

This approach can be used well with blued and browned arms parts or
an outdoor sculpture.

Use PE waxes only in low light situations and where they are to be
maintained and renewed. Only use PE waxes when it is to be applied
as a buff.

Choose a PE wax that is soluble in petrolium spirit. Its solubility
should not change in the short to medium term if it is not exposed
to excessive light.

Our results show that Wax over Laquer is no better than the laquer
so forget the wax and use only a laquer or use only a wax. Do not
mix there is no point.

We have found interesting changes in wax structure as they are
artificially aged in NaCl solutions. This will have affects on the
affectiveness of waxes in wet/dry exposure like outdoor sculpture.

The affects of inhibitor additions on wax effectiveness are marked.

I hope our results will be presented at Metals 95, organisers

David Hallam
Senior Conservator of Objects
John Treloar Centre for Conservation Science
Australian War Memorial
PO Box 345 Canberra City
ACT 2601 Australia
+61 6 243 4534
Fax: +61 6 241 7998

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:90
                  Distributed: Wednesday, May 10, 1995
                        Message Id: cdl-8-90-002
Received on Monday, 8 May, 1995

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