Sodium dodecyl sulfate micro-emulsion as a smart cleaning agent for archeological manuscripts: surface investigations
Restoration and Conservation Department, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, 12613, Giza, Egypt
Accepted: 28 November 2020
Published online: 4 January 2021
The study discusses a new smart cleaner for archeological paper based on a sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) micro-emulsion. Archeological paper samples from different manuscripts from three Egyptian museums were collected. The samples were cleaned with SDS to remove the stains, the dust, and the yellowing. The treated surfaces were investigated using the visual assessment by video microscope, pH measurement, SEM with EDX, and infrared spectroscopy. The results revealed that SDS micro-emulsion cleaned the paper surface deeply, without any harmful effect on its chemical structure. The video microscope confirmed that SDS can be an effective agent for removing the stains and disfiguring from paper fibers with an observed reduction of the yellowing. Moreover, SEM confirmed that SDS can be acted as an inhibitor to some species of fungi which disappeared completely after cleaning; the action depends on the fact that the active agent in SDS can rupture the covalent bonding between the protein structures in organism cells. Furthermore, no fading or flaking was observed in the ink particles after cleaning; on the contrary, the brightness retention of inks particles increased. No changes in the typical vibrations of paper were detected after cleaning except a significant increase in (O–H) stretching intensity which proves the efficacy of the current cleaning agent in enhancing the chemical structure of treated paper via the hydration process which can increase the physical strength for the cellulosic manuscripts.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2021