Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Research Commitment To Save Sweden's Famous Royal Warship, The Vasa

Date:
November 19, 2008
Source:
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)
Summary:
How should the humidity, temperature, and light be set to preserve Sweden's famous royal warship Vasa for posterity? How much and how quickly are the ship's wood and preservative breaking down, and how is the ship's stability being affected by this?

The royal warship Vasa today at the museum in Stockholm.
Credit: Image courtesy of Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)

How should the humidity, temperature, and light be set to preserve Sweden's famous royal warship Vasa for posterity? How much and how quickly are the ship's wood and preservative breaking down, and how is the ship's stability being affected by this?

Researchers are now going to study the degradation processes and test new methods for determine their speed, including the monitoring of how much oxygen is consumed. They will also trying out new methods for removing iron and neutralizing acids to stop the degradation. A major co-financed project will provide SEK 18 million.

The royal warship Vasa is one of Sweden's best known and most frequently visited tourist attractions. The ship and the objects it carried are a source of knowledge about the living conditions, culture, and technology of the 17th century.

"It is urgent and important to contribute to research that can enable us to preserve the ship for posterity," says Rolf Annerberg, director general of the Swedish Research Council Formas, one of the financiers behind the new research project.

A total of SEK 18 million will be committed to the project. Formas will provide SEK 1.6 million, the Foundation for Strategic Research SEK 2 million, VINNOVA SEK 2 million, and the Swedish Research Council SEK 0.9 million. The bulk of the funding, SEK 11.6 million, will come from the Swedish National Maritime Museums, SMM.

The ship which weighs about 1,000 tons, contains some 2 tons of sulfur, 2 tons of iron, and 50 tons of preservative. To a depth of 5-10 millimeters the wood is depleted of cellulose, which bacteria on the bottom of the bay consumed over the 333 years the ship lay there. Sulfur compounds from the brackish water and from the sewage of the city were absorbed by the wood and now exists in various chemical forms, either free or bound to iron or to components of the wood. Iron compounds come from iron bolts that have rusted away and from cannonballs, and they are widely diffused in the wood.

The project will address the issues that remain unanswered: To what extent and how quickly are the various components of the wood and preservative breaking down. How is this degradation affected by access to atmospheric oxygen, the moisture of the wood, the presence of iron compounds and sulfur compounds, and temperature? How can these processes be stopped? How are the properties of the wood and thereby the entire ship's stability impacted by these processes? Among other things, the project will test new methods for analyzing wood, metering gas diffusion, and monitoring oxygen consumption. This is a comprehensive project, and the several thousand objects sometimes require other methods for preservation than those used for the hull.

The project will be carried out in 2009-2011 under the direction of SMM, with the participation of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, STFI-Packforsk, the National Museum of Denmark, and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "New Research Commitment To Save Sweden's Famous Royal Warship, The Vasa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081119142106.htm>.
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). (2008, November 19). New Research Commitment To Save Sweden's Famous Royal Warship, The Vasa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081119142106.htm
Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council). "New Research Commitment To Save Sweden's Famous Royal Warship, The Vasa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081119142106.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Fossils & Ruins News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) — A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Couple Finds Love Letters From WWI In Attic

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A couple found love letters from World War I in their attic. They were able to deliver them to relatives of the writer of those letters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

Erotic Art Offers Glimpse of China's 'lost' Sexual Philosophy

AFP (Apr. 16, 2014) — Explicit Chinese art works dating back centuries go on display in Hong Kong, revealing China's ancient relationship with sex. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

French Historians Fight to Save Iconic La Samaritaine Buildings

AFP (Apr. 15, 2014) — Parisians and local historians are fighting to save one of the French capital's iconic buildings, the La Samaritaine department store. Duration: 01:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins