Conservation

Preservation

From the beginning of the project the expected time to complete conservation for the Ship was around 10 years as, fortunately for us, in contrast to other more well known ships such as the Mary Rose or the Vasa the Newport Ship could have all  of its three thousand individual timbers treated at the same time in large tanks rather than having to spray the ship continuously with a mist of chemicals.

timbers-in-tank

Timbers awaiting further treatment

Originally this was intended to be a two stage process where the timbers would be impregnated with a solution of polyethylene glycol (PEG)that would act as a bulking agent within the wood cells replacing the water present and preventsing those cells from collapsing as they were dried out. 

However it was discovered in 2006 due to the work of the Vasa Project in Stockholm that PEG reacted with the iron salts in the timbers, therefore we had to add an additional step during conservation with the ship timbers being soaked in an ammonium citrate solution prior to receiving their PEG bath.