Determination and Monitoring of Potentially Corrosive Volatile Compounds from Museum Storage Materials – Alternative Analytical Approach to the Oddy Test

Martin Perkins

4th October 2018


Conservators charged with the care and preservation of museum collections are additionally challenged by the potential risk to their specimens from materials associated with storage or display, usually from degassed VOCs. A simple and user friendly accelerated corrosion screening method called the Oddy Test was developed in the early 70’s and is still widely in use today. However, it is time-consuming and not always accurate. This application note illustrates the use of two complimentary techniques, SPME-GC-MS and SIFT-MS which could be used to gain more information than the standard Oddy test and could reduce the testing time for some materials. GC-MS gave a simple way to identify and separate chemicals enabling unknowns to be identified simply. SIFT-MS gave a rapid targeted approach which could be used to screen for standard chemicals linked closely to Oddy test failures.

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