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Chemical characterisation of graffiti materials


Spray paints and pen markers are frequently used to blot or damage various kinds of objects and buildings, but may also be employed for contemporary murals and paintings by famous artists such as Keith Haring and Bansky. Identification of the different materials may be helpful for dating and authenticity testing and the study of the chemical composition and degradation mechanisms may be important for planning conservation strategies and restoration treatments. A selection of numerous spray paints and pen markers from Italy and Spain was analysed with Py/GC-MS, FT-IR and micro-Raman spectroscopy. Binders, pigments and additives could be successfully identified.
Moreover, a systematic study of blue and green phthalocyanine pigments was performed in order to compare the potential of the different analytical techniques for identification purposes. In particular, a thorough Py/GC-MS study was carried out on PG7 and PG36.


Pen markers characterized with FTIR spectroscopy, Py/GC-MS and micro-Raman spectroscopy


Published papers
• Germinario G., Characterisation and biocleaning of graffiti materials, PhD thesis, 2015, University of Bari Aldo Moro
• Germinario G., van der Werf I.D., Sabbatini L., “Chemical characterization of spray paints by a multitechnique (Py/GC-MS, FT-IR, μ-Raman) approach”, to be submitted to Microchemical J.
• Germinario G., van der Werf I.D., Garappa S., Sabbatini L., "Pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry of two green phthalocyanine pigments", submitted to J. Anal. Appl. Pyrolysis
• Garrappa S., Metodologie analitiche per la caratterizzazione di ftalocianine, BSc thesis, 2013-2014, University of Bari Aldo Moro
• D’Augenti R., Metodologie analitiche per la caratterizzazione di materiali pittorici sintetici, MSc thesis, 2013-2014, University of Bari Aldo Moro


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