Sep 16

Cork or not?

2 comments

Hello Everyone,

I am in charge of the collection management and I'm currently working on a project of conditioning a reserve of platres. The museum would like to use durable and as natural materials as possible (so no foam) cause the reserve will be visible and it's located in a historic home without any non-natural material. So there is a compromise to be made between suitable conservation choices and an aesthetic dimension and respect for the existing place. We thought about using cork in combination with polyethylene foam. Have you ever heard of cork packaging? Are the risks of VOCs the same as those of wood? Do you know any materials that could help me in this project? Many thanks for your help,

Allison

Hi Allison,

 

I've also been looking into cork as a potential packing material and came to the conclusion that because it contains some lignin, it will also inevitably emit VOCs. I don't have the capability to run an oddy test on cork, and am not sure how much lignin is actually present (can anyone chime in here?), but it would be interesting to see the results in comparison to low lignin woods. It's important to also note that most cork composites additionally contain various adhesives and binders that should be avoided anyhow.

 

Yeah, the issue of "natural" materials for use in collections care is a difficult one considering the fact that natural materials deteriorate, producing VOCs, which is the opposite of what we want.

OK, I've just read that cork consists of 25% lignin, just to clarify.

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