The consolidation of a pictorial surface or the removal of undesired
material from the surface of an artifact, are the most important and
delicate operations in the conservation of cultural heritage. In this
contribution we report on the synthesis and characterization of two
innovative systems for the cleaning of works of art: i) highly viscous
polymeric dispersions (HVPDs) of poly(vinyl
alcohol-co-vinyl acetate) random copolymer (PVAc), and ii)
chemical gels from acrylamide - N,N’-methylene bisacrylamide, loaded with
innovative aqueous cleaning systems. These systems were prepared,
characterized and tested over artistic surfaces, such as wood and canvas.
Rheology and FTIR spectroscopy allowed the characterization of the
materials, and provided evidence that the systems allow an efficient
cleaning of the substrates, without leaving residues.