The use of the airabrasive process for cleaning ethnological materials

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Gibson, Bethune M.;


Studies in conservation, Volume 14, Number 4, p.155-164 (1969)


abrasive cleaning, cleaning compound, corrosion, ethnographic objects


Ethnological specimens of many different materials can be dry cleaned mechanically by means of a grit-spraying unit. Plain and painted leather, corroded metal, beadwork, metallic embroidery, wood, ivory, bone, basketry, some paper, pottery, shell, some textiles, and stone are items which can be cleaned with less disturbance to the surface than is often occasioned by the use of other methods. A specimen constructed of several materials may be cleaned by this one method rather than by several, thereby also avoiding the use of water, solvents, or other chemicals. The powdered abrasives used are calcium magnesium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, glass beads, and several grades of aluminum oxide. Silicone carbide powder is used occasionally for very hard corrosion products on metal.