PUR Facts

Conservation of Polyurethane Foam in Art and Design

Thea van Oosten

PUR Facts

Thea van Oosten

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

128 pages | 50 color plates | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 | © 2011
Paper $39.00 ISBN: 9789089642103 Published November 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Flexible Polyurethane (PUR) foams have been used since the 1950s in textiles and furniture upholsteries, and in art and design objects that can now be found in museum collections. Composed from “short-life” consumer materials, these objects present severe conservation problems as they age. This book presents an in-depth examination of the challenges presented by PUR foams; the case studies of preservation of two works by the artist Piero Gilardi; and a manual on preparing and applying a light stabilizing system that can protect new PUR foams from degrading and restore the flexibility of old foams.


1. Polyurethanes, manufacture and applications
2. Chemistry, properties and degradation
3. History of polyurethane foam conservation
4 Ageing behavior of polyurethane foam
    Materials and methods
    Consolidation of polyurethane foam
    Sun Block for polyurethane ether foam
5. Assessing the condition of polyurethane foam
    Condition of polyurethane ester and ether foam
    Condition of polyurethane foam of works of art and design objects
    Instruction for the consolidation of new and aged polyurethane ether foam
6. Case studies
    Zuccaia (1991) by Piero Gilardi: The adventurous consolidation of a polyurethane ether foam Nature Carpet by Aleth Lorne
    Sassi (1972) by Piero Gilardi: Restoration project carried out by the Barbara Ferriani Conservation Studio, Milan

General information
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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