arrow8 Comments
  1. John Spevacek
    May 23 - 12:14 pm

    ” And: If museum goers are allowed to rub the puck used by Sidney Crosby to win the gold for Canada at Vancouver’s 2010 Olympic men’s hockey final, will the rubber degrade with time?”

    It’s rubber. It’s going to degrade no matter what. Touching will only accelerate it, but it’s a goner sooner or later.

  2. Sarah Everts
    May 24 - 10:53 am

    Too true. Turns out silicone implants don’t have much of a shelf-life either.

  3. E. Sternberg
    May 25 - 3:21 pm

    The puck should be kept under argon. Degradation mostly comes from oxidative stress.

  4. Sarah Everts
    May 25 - 3:27 pm

    You raise an interesting point. Museum staff do discuss whether to keep certain artifacts under argon or nitrogen… However I’m told the idea gets nixed for a couple of reasons: 1. It would be crazy expensive. 2. They are not sure it would be wise to have gas tanks hanging around. 3. Simply controlling humidity can curb alot of damage to art and artifacts.
    But perhaps you may consider donating a large sum of money to your favorite museum in order to keep your favorite piece of art or artifact under argon…

  5. Cliff Cook
    May 25 - 9:09 pm

    Sarah, you are correct that humidity control can be extremely beneficial. I would also suggest for rubber and plastics there are oxygen barrier films and bags as well as oxygen scavengers that provide an economical alternative to storage in an inert gas environment.

  6. Sarah Everts
    May 26 - 6:30 am

    Cliff, Thanks for chiming in! Out of curiosity, would you also suggest such an oxygen barrier for wood artifacts? I’ve heard that they can release acids that can corrode nearby metal objects.

  7. Cliff Cook
    May 26 - 10:46 pm

    It is possible to seal anything in a bag with enough barrier film and the right heat sealer. However, in many cases metal and wood objects, such as those made from lead and oak, can be displayed or stored separately. Bagging objects in display or storage can be a contentious issue due to reduced access especially if an opaque barrier film is used and the object is not visible.

    The problem with wood producing volatile organic acids is more of an issue with display case materials than with objects. For case construction the materials of choice are metal, glass and acrylic sheet. In those far to common instances where wood or wood products (oak, MDF or particle board) have to be used there are some coating options when applied to the wood surface can inhibit the release of volatile compounds within the interior of the display case and reduce the risk to susceptible metals like lead.

  8. shepard fairrey
    Oct 30 - 9:39 pm

    Its very important for the history to let the art be reserved for everyone.

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