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Scientia Silvae Sinicae ›› 2022, Vol. 58 ›› Issue (2): 182-195.doi: 10.11707/j.1001-7488.20220218

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The State of Art of the Archaeological Wood Ships Finishing and Nanocellulose Related Applications

Yun Lu1,Huiqing Wang3,Li Luo1,5,Yue Chen4,Zhiguo Zhang2,*,Xingxia Ma1   

  1. 1. Research Institute of Wood Industry, Chinese Academy of Forestry Beijing 100091
    2. National Center of Archaeology Beijing 100013
    3. Department of Polymer, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hefei University of Technology Hefei 230009
    4. Guangzhou Baiyun Cultural Relics Protection Engineering Co., Ltd Guangzhou 510540
    5. College of Material Science and Technology, Beijing Forestry University Beijing 100083
  • Received:2020-10-27 Online:2022-02-25 Published:2022-04-26
  • Contact: Zhiguo Zhang


With the continuous development of archaeological technology in modern society, the number of ancient ships excavated is increasing gradually. It is important and necessary to conserve these archaeological wood artifacts timely and effectively, which are precious records of human civilization. To promote proactively the development of ancient ship conservation technology, there is a growing trend to constantly seek excellent wood finishing materials, and explore more effective and efficient wood finishing method in the practice, thereby trying to protect the important information like runes or artistic ornamentation carried by ancient ships and to avoid damaging human historical resources. At present, many wood finishing materials or method have been applied to the reinforcement and conservation of ancient ships. Under this situation, by sorting out the relevant literature of traditional and conventional method, the main aim of this study is to summarize the merits and demerits of various wood finishing method, after comparing with finishing effect. Nanocellulose, a unique and promising natural material extracted from native cellulose, has gained much attention for its utilization as an archaeological wood finishing material. At present, nanocellulose has been applied in the restoration and conservation of archaeological wood artifacts. Furthermore, there have been some exploratory studies on the finishing and reinforcement of ancient ships. Nanocellulose is a good candidate for finishing and strengthening materials of ancient ships, because of its remarkable physical properties, special surface chemistry and excellent biodegradability. Particularly, owing to working wonderfully on the wood surface, the effects of nanocellulose remaining the original appearances of ancient ships are extremely prominent. Thus, using nanocellulose to strengthen and conserve ancient ships can not only improve their stability but also remain the original appearances as much as possible, which provide a new approach to strengthen ancient ships. Nowadays, with the rapid technological development of heritage conservation, there are many research aspects about ancient ships finishing needing to be developed in the future: 1) In-depth study of the anti-oxidation, anti-corrosion and moth-proof mechanisms of the traditional treatments such as tung oil coating and lacquer coating to reveal the interactions between tung oil and urushiol polymer and the chemical components of the cell wall, and further explore the modification and technological innovation of traditional natural finishing materials. 2) The development of the anti-bacterial and anti-mildew protection of ancient wooden ships, to enhance the adaptation of ancient ships to exhibition environments. The water-soluble protective agent is urgently needed to improve the biological resistance of the ancient ships. 3) The cutting-edge research result of nanocellulose are highly inspired to ancient wood finishing. The systematical study on the sealing performances and the long-term stability of nanocellulose on different reinforced wooden substrates is needed to comprehensively evaluate the role of nanocellulose in wood coating. Especially the performance improvement of nanocellulose-modified traditional materials, such as tung oil and raw lacquer, on mechanical properties, weather resistance and pollution resistance should be focused on, and the novel necessary function of nanocellulose-based wood finishing materials, like capturing the abundant Fe3+ in ancient wooden ships might be futher developed. Thus, the development of nanocellulose in wood cultural relics protection should be expanded.

Key words: archaeological wood, ancient ships, wood finishing, waterlogged wood, wood preservation, nanocellulose

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