Fine Art Restoration/Foamcore off-gassing


I work for a Museum in Finland and recently saw a 1997 question you posed about VOCs and foamcore.
I was wondering if you had had any answers to your question and if there are any current papers on the use of archival foamcore for packing and storage in collections?
Many thanks

Check in Pamela Hatchfield's book on pollutants in museums as she discusses materials.  The polystyrene used in the foam core products can sometimes contain unreacted styrene monomer that can volatize out into objects.
Artcare foamcore products are sold as archival by distributors such as University Products.  You can check further into their literature as to what their specifications are, e.g. the IPI PAT, etc.
There's also the AIC website that has JAIC and other publications on-line and searchable.  A quick search didn't show much on this subject other than a 2000 book review of the CCI mount making publication where polystyrene foam was mentioned as possibly containing monomers.
The GCI materials testing database which is also on the AIC Wiki does not have foamcore listed as a material that they tested.
You can also contact David Thickett at the British Museum and see if he has any current research.

Good Luck.

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Paul S. Storch


I'm happy to answer questions concerning the preservation and conservation of three-dimensional archaeological, ethnographic, historic, technological, and decorative arts objects. My materials expertise includes leather, wood, metals, and composite materials.


I have close to thirty years experience as a conservator at three different museums and in private practice. I currently work as a collections manager overseeing 40,000 historic objects at over 20 sites around the state, as well as having a private treatment and consultation practice in the Midwest.

American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works Minnesota Association of Museums The Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections Professional Picture Framers Association

Journal of the American Institute For Conservation Texas Archaeology University of Texas Conservation Notes Caring for American Indian Objects/Minnesota Historical Society Press The Interpreter/Minnesota Historical Society Journal of Field Archaeology

B.A. in Anthropology/Archaeology; M.A. in Anthropology/Museum Studies with a concentration in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation.

Awards and Honors
Recognition certificate from the Institute of Museum Services

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