Saving Your Treasures: Other Organic and Inorganic

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Types of Materials

OTHER ORGANIC AND INORGANIC

 

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Organic Materials

Organic materials are associated with the chemistry of compounds of carbons. Often organic materials are thought of as the byproducts living things — plants or animals. While carbon compounds are generally thought to be produced in living things, it was discovered in the nineteenth century that carbon compounds could be synthesized in the laboratory. This discovery opened a whole new door to the discovery of useful products, such as vulcanized rubber and plastic.


Plant Materials and Plastics

Organic materials include those products from plants and animals, as well as various plastics.

Plant Materials:
Structure
Plant Materials:
Chemistry
Plant Materials:
Technology
Plant Materials:
Integrated Pest Management
Plant Materials: Deterioration -
Environmental & Mechanical
Plant Materials: Deterioration -
Chemical & Biological
Plant Materials:
Preventative
Care
Plastics in
Museum Collections
Plastics:
Chemistry
Plastics: Properties
& Technology
Plastics:
History
Plastics:
Deterioration

Plastics:
Preventative Care



Animal Materials

Animal products may be divided into four types of materials: dermal, keratinous, skeletal, and other. Dermal materials are the most common animal products used and are identified as leather or skin. Keratinous materials include silk, wool, hair, feathers, and horn. Bone, ivory, teeth, and shell are categorized as skeletal materials. Other animal products include albumins and caseins.

Leather or skin, derived from the dermal layers of animals, is a relatively strong, flexible material used for a variety of purposes. Animal hides have been used for clothing, book bindings, parchment, belts, and shoes.

Animal products that are primarily keratinous are outgrowths of the dermal (skin) layer. These materials are strong and flexible, easily shaped by heat and pressure. Included are horn, baleen, quill, hooves, hair, and claws. Items made of keratinous materials include clothing decoration, adornments, combs, and baskets.

Bone, antler, ivory, teeth, and shell are skeletal materials and are highly inorganic with some organic elements like hydroxyapatite and collagen. These products are anisotropic (respond differently in different directions to the same stimulus) and very strong. In order to fabricate something from bone, antler, ivory, or teeth, the material must be carved, sawed, turned, or pierced.

Preserving Native
American Artifacts

Animal Materials:
Deterioration

Animal Materials:
Preventative Care

Animal Materials:
Skin & Leather
Animal Materials:
Hair, Hooves, Etc.
Animal Materials:
Bones, Shells, Etc.

 


Inorganic Materials

Stone

Stone is a purely inorganic material found in nature. Stone is a crystalline mineral or a range of compositions and is used to make jewelry, utensils, weapons, sculpture, and architectural elements.

Stone:
Origins & Properties
Stone: Fabrication & TechnologyStone:
Deterioration
Stone:
Preventative Care

TYPES OF MATERIALS

CeramicsGlassMetalsWoodTextilesPaperPaintingsOther