Researcher develops coating to protect bronze statues
29. September 2011
Dante Battocchi holds the first statue coated with BronzeShield: a bison to represent North Dakota State University, where the coating was developed. The test panels on the wall show the effects of weathering on coated and uncoated bronze samples.
The North Dakota State University Research Foundation has reached a license agreement with Elinor Specialty Coatings, (Fargo, N.D.) for removable protective coatings for outdoor bronze monuments and statues.
The agreement gives Elinor exclusive rights to further develop and market the technology developed at North Dakota State University, Fargo.
From the statue of Sakakawea near North Dakota’s Heritage Center in Bismarck to Rodin’s Burghers of Calais in France, thousands of bronze monuments worldwide endure exposure to pollutants, temperature extremes and all types of weather, from hurricanes to blizzards, says Dr. Dante Battocchi, research and technical officer of Elinor. Left uncoated or improperly coated, statues can deteriorate, which may result in huge costs to restore them properly.
The unique polymer technology licensed to Elinor Specialty Coatings and marketed as BronzeShield,™ allows the original patina of the bronze to remain, while protecting monuments, art and architecture from salt, UV radiation, moisture and vandalism. “We believe it is a durable, yet maintenance-friendly option for municipalities, museums and historical societies to protect history,” says Battocchi.
“Monuments are meant to last forever, but budget constraints often cause public art to go unprotected,” said Holly Anderson Battocchi, president of Elinor. “It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore a piece of public art. Bronzeshield’s durability, and easy application and removal, allow for a more economical way for curators to manage the maintenance schedule and yet retain the integrity of the art as the artist intended.”
BronzeShield provides shiny or matte protection similar to that of clear-coats on automobiles, yet is removable using an uncomplicated and safe liquid coating remover, which eliminates the damage caused by traditional mechancal removal methods, according to Dr. Battocchi. Samples of BronzeShield are now being sent to potential clients around the country, including one of the largest bronze workshops in the U.S.
“We are thrilled to see this specialty coatings technology reach the market through Elinor Specialty Coatings,” said Dale Zetocha, executive director of the NDSU Research Foundation, which licenses technologies developed at North Dakota State University. “It represents a great opportunity to commercialize this research.”