Academic thesis

Viktoria Jung: Investigations about steam jet cleaning on wall paintings. Back
Language: Original   -   Translation
Abstract: For several years steam jet is used in the preservation of monuments and historical buildings to clean mural paintings and ceiling frescos. According to the fact that paint layers are exposed to a momentary and localized extreme stress by this mechanical wet cleaning procedure, it has been speculated that by this the layer of paint and of the sintering respectively is reduced or that elements of the coating might be loosened by the hot steam. The analyses undertaken as part of this thesis were aimed .at- addressing-these questions.
For that purpose extensive observations have been made on the ceiling paintings in the Cathedral of Freising and in the Parish Church of Seeg while performing steam blasting. The findings have been mated by comparing photographs of selected areas before and after this treatment on selected areas of the paint layer.
Parallel to the observations made in situ, multiple tests were carried out to clean a sample surface with defined composition and layering of paint. The surface was then analysed macroscopically as well as under the microscope. The results of investigation demonstrate that steam blasting used in a appropriate manner does not cause damage to the paint surface.
However, as already suggested by the analysis before cleaning was carried out, the mechanical stress caused a partial thinning of the paint layer in some areas. Surprisingly, the thinning of the paint surface was almost exclusively noted in sections where the surface of the painting had already been reduced before.


  • academic institution: HAWK Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaft und Kunst Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen
  • kind of theses:  Diplomarbeit
  • main Tutor:  Prof. Dr. Ivo Hammer
  • assistant Tutor:  Jürgen Pursche
  • date:  2006
  • Language:  German
  • pages:  125
  • pictures:  57

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