Swelling test

Study on the swelling of archaeological wet wood with drying damage (Karina Länger 2015)

Archaeological wet wood finds can suffer drying damage during excavation or in the period up to conservation. This manifests itself in shrinkage, cracking and deformation caused by cell collapse occurring in the wood structure.

Once wood has collapsed, it cannot be reshaped, i.e. swollen, by placing it in water baths again, so that drying damage is irreversible and surface information and the shape of the object are, in the worst case, lost forever.

The sample material is a sample series from the KUR project that was not used due to its previous damage.

As part of a seminar paper on the scientific evaluation of findings, archaeological wet woods with radial drying cracks were treated with ethylenediamine. The volume increase after a three-week treatment in EDA was on average approx. 11%.

The seminar paper can be downloaded as PDF here (in german).