Carolien Coon, 2nd-year SEAHA student at UCL Institute for Sustainable Heritage talks about her research in the April 2016 issue of Scientific American, on degradation of plastics in collections. Carolien’s research focuses specifically on photostability of rapid prototypes, some of which are known to discolour in a matter of months. These materials are difficult to study as their composition is so diverse, but Carolien is assessing the suitability of the technique of microfading (assessment of colour stability in a micro-spot on the actual object) for rapid prototyping materials. Having this at hand would enable collections to assess the light stability of objects in minutes.
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