Investigation into deterioration and storage of carpet samples in the Australian Parliament House Archive

Project: Research

Project Details


The building of the Australian Parliament House (APH) included the installation of a range of carpets exclusively designed and manufactured for APH. Design features included bespoke colours,patterns, and fibre and weave specifications. An archive of samples of these carpets was created, and when carpet manufacturers are asked to remake or repair one of the carpets, it is this archive they use as their reference. This archive is therefore both highly culturally significant and in constant active use.
Given this context the Archive staff wish to be sure that they are storing the samples in optimal conditions. They are particularly concerned about potential deterioration in the polymer backings on the samples, as this could both cause disintegration of the backings themselves, and also off-gas volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) that might cause changes in the colours and fibre characteristics of the samples. The Archive staff has therefore requested research into the likely deterioration pathways for the backing materials, and into optimum storage conditions given the dual need to prevent deterioration and provide hands-on access to the samples. To achieve this UC will analyse samples of the backings to identify the materials present, collect and analyse samples of VOCs given off by the backings, and research and test appropriate protective enclosure designs for the archive.
Short titleCarpet Archive Analysis
Effective start/end date26/03/1930/11/19


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