Time to Get Cleaning

It’s been another exciting two weeks working in the lab. Among some great bonding activities such as cheering for the US soccer team in the world cup and experimenting with liquid nitrogen ice cream flavors, work has finally begun on making new comparisons of the solvent cleaning methods. As a recap, we are comparing the effects of solvent treatment using a free solvent versus gel-solvent form on 10 year old paint samples. We had previously treated samples with methoxypropanol, and we are continuing to treat those samples on a weekly basis. This past week we began treating new samples with isopropanol. A 2% isopropanol gel was made and applied to one sample using a tissue method while another sample was swabbed with plain isopropanol. The results of the first test runs showed that the gel-solvent only penetrated to a depth of roughly 150 um, which is less than even the methoxypropanol gel. The plain isopropanol sample produced interesting results with two peaks of signal reaching further into the paint. At this time, we have not been able to explain the appearance of the two peaks, but the reason for them may become more clear as the treatment is repeated. The plan moving forward is to continue repeating the treatments on both samples on a weekly basis. Readings of the samples will be made while they are dry and wet which allows us to see the signal that results from the solvent alone once the difference of the data is taken; essentially removing any signal pertaining to the paint. Though at first glance it appears that the gel-solvent is indeed showing less signal at a more shallow depth, the repeated trials will tell us if this trend holds.

[Read more…]

It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The past two weeks of research for me have been all about paint. Not yet the cleaning of, but rather the initial drying process that oil paint undergoes immediately after being created. Oil paint has two distinct drying phases the first being within a week or so of being laid on a surface in which a rapid change in its T2 values can be observed. This was the main focus of my work this week, making paint and then running a series of CPMG pulse sequence measurements at 20 um increment depths to create a profile of the paint and its signal decay and t2 values.

[Read more…]