Zinc Oxalate in Oil Paintings

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Zinc oxalate is an oxide ion of zinc. It is a free soluble substance in water and most organic solvents. Several nineteenth and twentieth century oil paintings have been found to contain zinc oxalate.

The origin and reactivity of zinc oxalate was investigated in a number of oil binding media. Samples were prepared by applying paint films in different media to a substrate, and measurements were performed after treatment.

Zinc oxalate was detected on the surface of the oil film as well as on the backside. An amorphous phase was found to be predominant in the bulk PXRD analysis. In addition, ZnO reflected mainly in a close-up diffractogram.

The absorption band at 1700-1500 cm-1 was noted. This may indicate that a zinc soap has formed.

ZnO was also detected on the surface of the oil film. However, the relative amount of ZnOx was highest on the dammar-containing paint film.

The presence of zinc oxalate on the surface of the paint film was not confirmed by FTIR measurement. Further studies were performed on the samples by non-isothermal DSC and UV. XRD was carried out with a Philips X’Pert diffractometer.

Metal oxalates formed when different pigments were mixed together in linseed oil paint films. This study was conducted at various temperatures and artificial humidity levels to examine the formation process of zinc oxalate.

Zinc oxalate dihydrate has been synthesized via a precipitation method. This chemical synthesis intermediate is used as a precursor to other metal oxides.

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