Microclimate for Cultural Heritage

Microclimate for Cultural Heritage

Measurement, Risk Assessment, Conservation, Restoration, and Maintenance of Indoor and Outdoor Monuments

3rd Edition - June 18, 2019

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  • Author: Dario Camuffo
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444641076
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780444641069

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Microclimate for Cultural Heritage: Measurement, Risk Assessment, Conservation, Restoration, and Maintenance of Indoor and Outdoor Monuments, Third Edition, presents the latest on microclimates, environmental issues and the conservation of cultural heritage. It is a useful treatise on microphysics, acting as a practical handbook for conservators and specialists in physics, chemistry, architecture, engineering, geology and biology who focus on environmental issues and the conservation of works of art. It fills a gap between the application of atmospheric sciences, like the thermodynamic processes of clouds and dynamics of planetary boundary layer, and their application to a monument surface or a room within a museum. Sections covers applied theory, environmental issues and conservation, practical utilization, along with suggestions, examples, common issues and errors.

Key Features

  • Connects theory to practice with clear illustrations, useful examples, and case studies
  • Covers practical issues, e.g. rising damp, moulds, and pests, indoor heating, thermal comfort, green lighting technology, performing field surveys
  • Presents the latest standards for measuring cultural assets and their environment
  • Discusses climate change and indoor - outdoor potential scenarios, including sea-level rise


Professionals, researchers and students in the field of conservation and restoration of monuments; architects, engineers, and museum and church conservators; cultural heritage conservationists, conservation scientists, restorers, environmental scientists, atmospheric scientists, chemists, physicists

Table of Contents

  • 1. Microclimate and Atmospheric Variables
    1.1 Microclimate
    1.2 Air, Water Vapour, Perfect and Real Gases
    1.3 The Internal Boundary Layer and the Viscous Layer
    1.4 Coanda Effect
    1.5 Atmospheric Variables and Parameters

    2. Temperature: A Key Variable in Conservation
    and Thermal Comfort
    2.1 Temperature: One Variable, Four Popular
    2.2 Mechanisms of Temperature-Induced Deterioration
    2.3 The Urban Heat Island
    2.4 Temperature in a Building, a Room
    2.5 Temperature in a Showcase
    2.6 People’s Thermal Comfort and Discomfort
    2.7 Is It Possible to Combine People’s Comfort, Conservation
    Needs, and Sustainability?
    2.8 Planning Air Temperature Monitoring to
    Study Air–Surface Interactions and for Environmental

    3. Theoretical Grounds for Humidity
    3.1 Partial Pressure of Water Vapour
    3.2 Derivation of the Latent Heat
    3.3 Mixing Ratio of Water Vapour and Dry Air
    3.4 Specific Humidity
    3.5 Absolute Humidity
    3.6 Relative Humidity
    3.7 Dew Point: The Temperature of Condensation
    3.8 Frost Point: The Temperature of Freezing
    3.9 Wet Bulb Temperature: The Temperature of Evaporation
    3.10 The Psychrometric Chart
    3.11 Humidity When It Rains or Snows

    4. Consequences of the Maxwell–Boltzmann
    4.1 The Maxwell–Boltzmann Equation and the Distribution
    of Molecules by Velocities
    4.2 Thermal Emission of Bodies
    4.3 The Arrhenius Equation
    4.4 Saturation Pressure of Water Vapour in Air
    4.5 Relative Humidity and Mutual Distance Between
    H2O Molecules
    4.6 The Liquid State and the Free H2O Molecules in It
    4.7 The Raoult Law for Ideal Solutions
    4.8 Ebullition and Freezing
    4.9 An Additional Aspect of Relative Humidity
    4.10 The Three Classes of Water Vapour
    4.11 Conclusions

    5. Physics of Drop Formation and Micropore
    5.1 How a Curved Water Meniscus Changes
    the Equilibrium Vapour Tension
    5.2 Derivation of the Kelvin Equation for Droplet
    Formation and Micropore Condensation
    5.3 The Formation of Droplets in the Atmosphere:
    Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Nucleation
    5.4 Bubbles
    5.5 Micropore Condensation and Stone Weathering
    5.6 Adsorption Isotherms
    5.7 Freeze–Thaw Cycles

    6. Humidity and Deterioration Mechanisms
    6.1 Air–Surface Interactions and Environmental Diagnostics
    6.2 The Equilibrium Moisture Content and Dimensional
    Changes in Wood
    6.3 Mechanisms of Humidity Degradation in Paper and
    6.4 Biological Habitat and Vacuum Cleaners
    6.5 Molecular Layers of Water on the Surface of Metals
    and Glass
    6.6 Chemical Forms of Decay
    6.7 A Complex Structure: The Organ Pipe
    6.8 What Is the Best Microclimate for Conservation?
    6.9 Keeping Constant Relative Humidity in Rooms and
    6.10 Condensation on Cold Surfaces
    6.11 People as a Moisture Source
    7. Atmospheric Water, Capillary Rise, and Stone
    7.1 Atmospheric Pollution, Acid Rain, Rainfall, and Crusts
    7.2 Mechanisms of Penetration of Rainwater and Evaporation
    7.3 Evaporation From Damp Monuments
    7.4 Capillary Suction
    7.5 The Equilibrium Vapour Tension Over a Solution
    7.6 Climate Cycles, Sea Spray, and Salt Damage
    7.7 Deliquescence–Crystallization Cycles
    7.8 Some Common Errors That Should Be Avoided
    8. Rising Damp Treatment and Prevention
    8.1 Measures to Counteract Rising Damp
    8.2 Removing Causes
    8.3 Hiding Effects
    8.4 Damp-Proof Course With Physical Barrier
    8.5 Damp-Proof Course With Chemical Barrier
    8.6 Increasing Wall Temperature
    8.7 Ventilation Within the Wall
    8.8 Ventilating Outside the Wall
    8.9 Dehumidifying Plasters
    8.10 Active Electro-Osmosis
    8.11 Passive Electro-Osmosis
    8.12 Parapsychological Devices
    8.13 Drying Damp Murals

    9. Parameters to Describe Air Masses and
    Vertical Air Motions
    9.1 Equivalent Temperature
    9.2 Adiabatic Gradients in Troposphere
    9.3 Potential Temperature
    9.4 Equivalent-Potential Temperature
    9.5 Virtual Temperature

    10. Atmospheric Stability and Pollutant Dispersion
    10.1 Introduction
    10.2 Vertical Temperature Gradients and Plume Behaviour
    10.3 Effects Due to Topographic Horizontal Inhomogeneity
    10.4 Urban Climate: Heat Island and Aerodynamic
    10.5 Dispersion and Transportation of Pollutants
    in a City
    10.6 Wind Friction Near a Surface
    10.7 Vertical Fluxes of Heat, Moisture and Momentum
    10.8 Heat Balance at the Soil or the Monument Surface
    10.9 Main Parameters Used in Measuring Atmospheric
    Stability and Turbulence
    10.10 Plume Dispersion
    10.11 Stability Classes to Evaluate Atmospheric Stability

    11. Dry Deposition of Airborne Particulate
    Matter—Mechanisms and Effects
    11.1 Introduction
    11.2 Random Walk and Brownian Diffusivity
    11.3 Brownian Deposition
    11.4 Thermophoresis
    11.5 Diffusiophoresis
    11.6 Stefan Flow
    11.7 Gravitational Settling
    11.8 Electrophoresis
    11.9 Photophoresis
    11.10 Aerodynamic Deposition: Inertial Impaction and
    11.11 Adhesion of Particles to Paintings or Other Surfaces
    11.12 Vertical Distribution of Particles in Still Air and Their
    Resuspension by Turbulence
    11.13 How Soiling Develops
    11.14 What Is the Most Appropriate Heating
    and Air Conditioning System to Avoid Soiling?
    11.15 Inappropriate Positioning of Paintings
    11.16 Uplifting of Giant Particles and Wind Erosion
    11.17 Kinetic Energy and Sand Blasting

    12. Radiometric Aspects of Solar Radiation, Blackbody,
    and Lamp Radiation
    12.1 Radiation Emitted by Bodies and Effects
    of the Absorbed Energy
    12.2 Radiometric Temperature
    12.3 Angular Distribution of Radiant Emission of Bodies
    12.4 Attenuation of Light in the Atmosphere
    12.5 Daily and Seasonal Cycles of Solar Radiation on
    12.6 Length of Shadow
    12.7 Electric Lamps for Cultural Heritage
    12.8 Problems Encountered in Exhibition Lighting
    12.9 Optical Filters and Optical Fibres
    12.10 Degradation of Works of Art Caused by Light
    12.11 Photographic Flash Light
    12.12 Phototrophic Organisms

Product details

  • No. of pages: 582
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Elsevier Science 2019
  • Published: June 18, 2019
  • Imprint: Elsevier Science
  • eBook ISBN: 9780444641076
  • Paperback ISBN: 9780444641069

About the Author

Dario Camuffo

Dario Camuffo
Physicist. From 1969 at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, where his last position was Research Director. He retired in 2008, he now continues research and teaching as emeritus Associate. Since 1979, he has been lecturer of Environmental Physics and Physics for Conservation at the University of Padua, the Cignaroli Academy of Fine Arts, Verona, the Polytechnic of Milan. For ten years, he was the Co- Director of the European Doctoral Course “Sciences and Materials of the Cultural Heritage”, of the European University Centre for Cultural Heritage, Ravello. His activities are mainly devoted to atmospheric physics applied to the conservation of the cultural heritage and to climate change. He has recovered and studied the earliest regular observations of the Medici Network (1654-1670) and a number of long-term instrumental series starting from the early 17th century. Similarly with written documentary proxies (e.g. chronicles, annals) over the last millennium: he reads fluent Latin, the official language of the Middle Ages and the language of scientific literature up to the French Revolution, Italian, French, English, Spanish, and ancient Greek. The possibility of reading original documents and books is very helpful in recovering data, but also in the interpretation of old recipes or scientific writings. He analyzed the sea level rise in Venice, over the last 500 years after the algae belt marked on the paintings by Canaletto, Bellotto and Veronese, who reproduced precise details with the help of a camera obscura. He was requested by the Holy Father John Paul II to improve the microclimate of Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, and appointed by UNESCO for the Great Sphinx and Pyramid Plateau, Egypt, Thracian Tombs, the city of Nassebur and the Madara Rider, Bulgaria, all included in the World List of Cultural Heritage (WLCH). He also studied the Leonardo's Last Supper, Milan; the Uffizi Gallery, Florence; the Louvre and the Orangerie Museum, Paris; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the Orvieto Cathedral, and many other monuments. Active in standardization for cultural heritage, convenor of two working teams of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) Technical Committee for Cultural Heritage, and vice-president of UNI-Normal (Italian Standardization Body). Member of various international scientific committees (e.g. European Commission, UNESCO, U.S. NAPAP) on the conservation of works of art, environment and climate. He wrote over 300 scientific papers and some books. He leaded many research projects, some fifteen of them funded by the European Commission Directorate General Research and Innovation, and the European Science Foundation (COST).

Affiliations and Expertise

National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Padua, Italy

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