Subliming Surfaces: Volatile Binding Media in Heritage Conservation

Conference - 15 and 16 April 2015

Since their introduction to the conservation world two decades ago, a multitude of applications have been found for volatile binding media (VBM) that is, cyclododecane and similar materials. This conference will be the first opportunity for the profession to gather and discuss these materials. Through a mix of invited and submitted papers and posters, the conference will provide critical reviews of use together with current research and case studies from a broad spectrum of conservation disciplines. Questions of health and safety and environmental impact will also be addressed.

Guest Lecture 6pm 15 April 2015

20 years of Volatile Binding Media
Hans Hangleiter and Leonie Saltzmann

Hans Hangleiter was part of the original German group which first developed the use of volatile binding media in conservation in the early 1990's.  Since then he has devised numerous ingenious uses for these materials and used them widely in his conservation practice.  This lecture is a rare opportunity to hear Hangleiter and his colleague Leonie Saltzmann speaking publicly in the UK.  Among other things they will talk about how the idea for using subliming media in conservation first started, and will share their experiences using the less well-known alternatives to cyclododecane.  They will also discuss their most recent work using cyclododecane as a separating layer when replastering and painting over original wall paintings.  There will a chance to ask questions at the end.

The lecture will be followed by a reception in the Fitzwilliam Museum and private view of the exhibition Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.

Tickets: £10.00. Please book through the University of Cambridge Online Store.

This event is free for conference delegates, who are automatically allocated a place as part of the conference registration process.

Draft Conference Programme

Poster Presentations Programme

University of Cambridge Department of Engineering
Trumpington Street

Conference fee:
Early Bird rate (until end February 2015) - £130
Full rate after February 2015 - £150
Concessions (registered student, unwaged, retired) - £90
One author per poster - £90
One author per paper - Free

The fee covers 2 full days of conference papers, poster presentations and discussion, the special evening lecture and reception in the Fitzwilliam Museum on Wednesday 15 April, lunch, tea and coffee at morning and afternoon breaks on both days.

Booking: University of Cambridge Online Store


Cyclododcdecane Workshop - 17 April 2015
A half-day practical workshop on the use of cyclododecane. This session will run in the morning and will be repeated in the afternoon.
Workshop fee (half day) - £30

Conservation studio visits - 17 April 2015
A choice of visits will be available in the morning and repeated in the afternoon.
Studio visits fee - Free

Online Map - Venue, accommodation and public transport locations

For any questions regarding the conference, please email