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  3. Cultural Materials Conservation Science

Cultural Materials Conservation Science (CUMC90033)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCUMC90033
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject aims to provide students, who have an assumed knowledge of chemistry, with an introductory understanding of the chemistry and science that influences the properties and behaviour of a range of original and added materials, associated with cultural heritage materials. Within a conservation intervention hierarchy framework, students will apply their fundamental understanding of the relationship between materials (organic, inorganic and metal), their bonds, chemical structure, solubility and other properties to an understanding of the:

  • Material composition of cultural heritage objects and their susceptibility to chemical, physical and biological paths of degradation.
  • Application of intervention materials (like solvents, polymers and paints), which can be manipulated using auxiliary materials (solvents and poultices) to achieve the desired aesthetic or stabilisation conservation outcome, such as the removal of non-original materials, adhesion and consolidation.
  • Interaction of intervention materials with cultural heritage objects and the surrounding environment.

Students who do not have a background in Chemistry, can obtain this by doing the Chemistry Bridging Course, which will be offered by the Grimwade Centre prior to the delivery of this subject.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of this subject students are expected to:

  • Understand the behaviour of organic and inorganic materials in response to physical, chemical and biological factors; and the suitability and compatibility of treatment approaches on the basis of their underlying chemistry.
  • Apply their understanding of the relationship between the chemical structure properties of solvents, detergents, ligands, adhesives, consolidants, poultices, paints, plastics, fibres, stabilisers, emulsifiers and their interaction with cultural heritage objects.
  • Synthesize the identification of material types; symptoms of deterioration; and test, analyse and evaluate various intervention materials and treatment approaches, via the creation of 'Scientific' reports.

Last updated: 1 June 2019