Decision making based on hybrid modeling approach applied to cellulose acetate based historical films conservation

Abeer Al Mohtar, Moisés L. Pinto, Artur Neves, Sofia Nunes, Daniele Zappi, Gabriele Varani, Ana Maria Ramos, Maria João Melo, Nadja Wallaszkovits, Juan Ignacio Lahoz Rodrigo, Kerstin Herlt, João Lopes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Preserving culture heritage cellulose acetate-based historical films is a challenge due to the long-term instability of these complex materials and a lack of prediction models that can guide conservation strategies for each particular film. In this work, a cellulose acetate degradation model is proposed as the basis for the selection of appropriate strategies for storage and conservation for each specimen, considering its specific information. Due to the formulation complexity and diversity of cellulose acetate-based films produced over the decades, we hereby propose a hybrid modeling approach to describe the films degradation process. The problem is addressed by a hybrid model that uses as a backbone a first-principles based model to describe the degradation kinetics of the pure cellulose diacetate polymer. The mechanistic model was successfully adapted to fit experimental data from accelerated aging of plasticized films. The hybrid model considers then the specificity of each historical film via the development of two chemometric models. These models resource on gas release data, namely acetic acid, and descriptors of the films (manufacturing date, AD-strip value and film type) to assess the current polymer degradation state and estimate the increase in the degradation rate. These estimations are then conjugated with storage conditions (e.g., temperature and relative humidity, presence of adsorbent in the film’s box) and used to feed the mechanistic model to provide the required time degradation simulations. The developed chemometric models provided predictions with accuracy more than 87%. We have found that the storage archive as well as the manufacturing company are not determining factors for conservation but rather the manufacturing date, off gas data as well as the film type. In summary, this hybrid modeling was able to develop a practical tool for conservators to assess films conservation state and to design storage and conservation policies that are best suited for each cultural heritage film.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16074
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


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