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A comparison of cleaning methods for graffiti removal compressed

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Presentation at the Annual APT meeting in Victoria Canada, 2011.

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A comparison of cleaning methods for graffiti removal compressed

  1. 1. A comparison of cleaning methods for graffiti removal from masonry materials B Y M A R Y F. S T R I E G E L , E R I C G U I D R Y, M O L LY M C G AT H , A N D C AT H E R I N E A R C E N E A U X N AT I O N A L C E N T E R F O R P R E S E R VAT I O N TECHNOLOGY AND TRAINING
  2. 2. What are important factors to consider before removing graffiti?
  3. 3. Graffiti or Art?The Polish city of Lodz is making huge waves in the street art world. Under thepatronage of Mayor Hanna Zdanowska … In MyModern Met website 9/29/2011
  4. 4. Gentlest Means Possible: Do no harm
  5. 5. Type of graffiti materials Markers Spray paints Others
  6. 6. Weathering factors Sunlight = UV cross- linking or fading Temperature Humidity“Graffiti peeling – yellow” by Greig Christie, August 12, 2005. Flickr. Accessed 10/09/2011.
  7. 7. How do we evaluate graffiti removal methods? NCPTT study
  8. 8. What are people using to remove graffiti? Survey of Professionals: requests to conservators and preservation professionals in the field 20 responses received  Most used chemical cleaners  Organic Solvents: Acetone, MEK, Xylene  Solvent poultices  Solvent Gels  Commercial Products  Solvent based  Hydroxide based  Peel Away products
  9. 9. Selection of masonry types Marble Red, Low Fired Brick Beige, Modern Brick
  10. 10. Selection of Graffiti materials Type: Rust-oleum Enamel Color: Red, Black
  11. 11. Choice of cleaning systems Peel Away 1® Wipe Out Porous Surface Graffiti Remover® Sure Klean® Fast Acting Stripper Laser Cleaning
  12. 12. Peel Away 1® A poultice like paste containing caustic cleaners Active Ingredients  Calcium Hydroxide  Magnesium Hydroxide  Sodium Hydroxide pH = 13 Requires a separate neutralizing solution
  13. 13. Wipe Out Porous Surface Graffiti Remover® Basic gel Active Ingredients  75% proprietary ingredient  1-5% Monoethanolamine  1-10 % Potassium Hydroxide  1-5% Nonylphenol Ethoxylate pH = 11-12
  14. 14. Sure Klean® Fast Acting Stripper Solvent-based gel Active Ingredients:  Dichloromethane  Amine  Methyl Alcohol  Xylene  Alcohol pH = NA Major handling and environmental issues
  15. 15. Laser Cleaning Remove material from a solid surface in a controlled fashion Active Ingredients = NA pH = NA Expensive equipment Time intensive
  16. 16. Sample Preparation . .Cutting andcoring samples. .
  17. 17. . . .Painting samples with redand black stars. . .
  18. 18. . . .Artificial weather exposure chamber. . .
  19. 19. Testing Methods. . .Colorimetry. . .
  20. 20. Laser profilometry
  21. 21. Visual appearance ranking
  22. 22. Results: Color change Percent Change in L Value0.6000.5000.400 Peel Away0.300 Laser Stripper Wipeout0.2000.1000.000 H-B Red H-B Black L-B Black M Red M Black
  23. 23. Laser Profilometry: Texture change
  24. 24. Improvement of Visual Appearance Percent Ranked #1 in Visual Appearance Survey1009080 Poultice7060 Laser5040 Stripper3020 Gel 10 0 H-F Brick Red H-F Brick Black L-F Brick Red L-F Brick Black Marble Red Marble Black
  25. 25. What have we learned?Of the products tested: Peel Away was most efficient for removing paint and the least physical damage to the surface, but it was difficult to remove from some surfaces Sure Klean Fast Acting Stripper was a gel that limited penetration into the material. It was a poor performer overall. Wipe Out was difficult to control during application and caused the relocation of pigment. It performed well on the high fired yellow brick. Laser ablation required a great deal of pre-experimental examination to be effective.
  26. 26. Where do we go from here? Limited study established methods for evaluating graffiti removers A greater range of products must be tested, with an emphasis on cleaners that are:  Environmentally friendly  Effective at removing a range of materials  Safe for the cultural resource, the environment, and the user

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