In this book, the development and manufacture of plastics, since the nineteenth century, is discussed within their economical and cultural context. Various plastic materials are characterised, their ageing Behaviour described and conservation examples given. Finally the issue of storage is addressed.
The main focus lies in recent experiences in the conservation of plastics in art. Plastic objects are ubiquitous in our daily life, and are found in a myriad of types and forms in design and art works. However, their 'modern' appearance when compared to traditional materials like stone, wood or ceramics can lead to an erroneous perception of permanence, with no special need for care or conservation. The reality is different. Plastics age faster than traditional materials, and therefore it is imperative to understand. Their ageing mechanisms and conservation requirements.
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