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Subject: Cleaning Lego bricks

Cleaning Lego bricks

From: Yvonne Shashoua <yvonne.shashoua>
Date: Monday, June 11, 2007
Amanda Pagliarino <amanda.pagliarino [at] qag__qld__gov__au> writes

>Is anyone aware of other museums that have acquired similar Eliasson
>artworks that could be contacted for advice on how they manage their
>artwork?  Does anyone have any advice on how to regularly and
>efficiently clean 2 cubic metres of Lego bricks?

Modern Lego bricks are constructed from
acrylonitrile-styrene-butadiene (ABS) copolymers. ABS is a stiff
plastic with high impact and chemical resistance.  However, it
should not be exposed to water or air hotter than  65C if
dimensional changes are to be avoided (Pedersen, L.B. Plasic and the
environment (in Danish), 1999, Teknisk Forlag).  ABS is poorly
resistant to weathering, so is unlikely to tolerate repeated
mechanical  action as part of the cleaning process. In short,
washing should be carried out in cool water and infrequently. To
reduce the need for frequent washing, couldn't visitors be persuaded
to wear fine cotton or latex gloves before manipulating the Lego?
If this is not practical, what about providing hand washing
facilities in the Lego area? Such measures would help to prolong the
useful lifetime of the artwork and satisfy the hygiene requirements
associated with many people handling the same materials.

Yvonne Shashoua
Senior Researcher
Dept. of Conservation
National Museum of Denmark

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:10
                  Distributed: Tuesday, June 12, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-10-001
Received on Monday, 11 June, 2007

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