Open Access Research Article

Study on the Impregnation of Archaeological Wood with an Automated Equipment

Zhang shaozhi1, Li Yang1, Liu Dongpo2, Zheng Youming2 and Lu Heng2*

1Refrigeration and Cryogenic Engineering Institute, China

2Museum of Zhejiang Province, China

Corresponding Author

Received Date: March 12, 2019;  Published Date: March 22, 2019


Heated impregnation is a routine dealing operation for unearthed archaeological wooden artifacts. Most of the water can be replaced and the voids can be filled with stabilizing chemical agents by putting the artifacts in the solutions at elevated temperatures. The impregnation process usually lasts for days, even for months. Traditionally the concentration and temperature of the soaking solution are regulated manually, which leads to high labor intensity and low efficiency of impregnation. In this paper special equipment was developed for the heated impregnation of archaeological wood with polyethylene glycol (PEG). The temperature of the solution was controlled, and the weight was monitored to give hints for changing the PEG concentration. The solution in the soaking tank was periodically circulated to enhance the mass transfer. Numerical simulations were carried out for the flow in the tank and the diffusion of PEG in the artifact. Compared with static soaking, the periodical stirring could effectively reduce the impregnation time. The equipment was put into use for handling several archaeological wooden artifacts with PEG4000. Good results had been obtained. The shapes and appearances of the artifacts were well kept.

Keywords: Archaeological wood; Impregnation; Numerical simulation; Mass transfer; Polyethylene glycol

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