The Influence of Iron Gall Ink on Paper Ageing

Linda Csefalvayová 1 , Bohuslava Havlínová 1 , Michal Čeppan 1  and Zuzana Jakubíková 1
  • 1 Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology, Slovak University of Technology Bratislava, Radlinského 9, Sk-812 37 Bratislava, Slovak Republic. E-Mail:


Our aim was to investigate the behaviour of iron species (Fe(II), Fe(III) in prepared iron-gall inks deposited on the Whatman paper and their destructive effects on cellulose chains during accelerated ageing at 60°C and 65% relative humidity, constant. The attention was focused to examine the changes of optical, chemical and mechanical properties of paper. Different testing methods, such ascellulose degree of polymerisation, colorimetric tests, bursting strength, pH of aqueous cold extract and techniques (FTIR spectroscopy) were compared in terms of their suitability for monitoring the degradation processes. The catalytic activity of iron ions in cellulose degradation mechanisms was experimentally verified and the relationship between the acid-catalysed hydrolysis and metal-catalysed oxidation of cellulose was demonstrated.

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Restaurator is the only international periodical specializing exclusively in the conservation of library and archive materials. Articles examine the many important aspects of this subject area, such as technology, practical experience, and organization. They also address scientific fundamentals, including the development of new preservation techniques and improvements to established methods.