Packing systems for paintings: Damping capacity in relation to transport-induced shock and vibration

Matthias Läuchli, Nathalie Bäschlin, Anita Hoess, Thomas Fankhauser, Cornelius Palmbach and Marcel Ryser

In ICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference Preprints, Melbourne, 15–19 September 2014,
ed. J. Bridgland, art. 1307, 9 pp. Paris: International Council of Museums.
(ISBN 978-92-9012-410-8)


The demands on current packing systems for the transport of paintings on textile supports are mani- fold. These must protect against various types of external impacts such as climate and mechani- cal stress, as well as transport-induced shock and vibration. A selection of packing systems and materials was tested in field and lab sequences with respect to their damping effects within the context of a research project on the transport of fragile paintings. The systematic quantification of various materials and combinations thereof delivered a direct comparison of the systems and uncovered an unexpected need for action with respect to the damping capacity of vibration immissions. Field tests of commonly used packing systems revealed resonance behaviour leading to the amplification of vibrations on test paintings. The results of field and laboratory experiments clearly show that vibration damping with the usual damping materials is difficult to achieve. Low controllability of the per- formance in the workflow aggravates the situation. This may change the predicted vibration behaviour. The movement of the sidewall of the truck may induce increased vibration.


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