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Subject: Identifying wax and tar

Identifying wax and tar

From: Mary Striegel <mary_striegel>
Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2002
Leslie Weber < [at] gmx__de> writes

>I am looking for tests to identify beeswax or tar. Analytical
>possibilities at the lab are restricted to spot tests. Tests so far
>included solubility tests, melting point assessment, UV light
>investigation, tests on unsaturated bonds, cellulose, and protein
>(all negative).

"Thin-layer Chromatography for Binding Media Analysis," a book
published by the Getty Conservation Institute and available on-line
from <URL:> or <URL:>, has
chapters devoted to the analysis of waxes and resins. While these
tests are slightly more difficult than chemical spot tests, the
creative conservator can substitute large jars for developing
chambers, etc. The handbook serves as a primer for the basic
application of thin-layer chromatography to the analysis of
coatings, binders, and adhesives found on cultural objects; the
protocols provide step-by-step instructions for procedures involved
in typical analyses; and the guide aids in the understanding of the
types of materials and documentation needed.

    Mary F. Striegel, Jo Hill
    Thin-Layer Chromatography for Binding Media Analysis (Scientific
    Tools for Conservation)
    The Getty Conservation Institute, Los Angeles, CA, 1996, 174 pp.
    ISBN 0-89236-390-8

Dr. Mary F. Striegel
Environmental and Materials Research Program Director
National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 College Avenue
Natchitoches LA 71457
Fax: 318-356-9119

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:7
                   Distributed: Friday, July 19, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-7-003
Received on Wednesday, 17 July, 2002

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