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02-09-2018

Plastics Heritage European Association Founded

Research on ‘Historic Polymeric Materials’

Coming from 10 European countries, 18 representatives from different organisations (universities, museums, national societies) decided to establish PHEA, the Plastics Heritage European Association. The official founding took place in Brussels, Belgium, on January 8 and 9, 2018, at the Design Museum Adam. Chairman is Dr. Dr. h.c. Günter Lattermann, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kunststoffgeschichte e.V. (German Society for Plastics History), Bayreuth, Germany.

Since their emergence, polymeric materials and their precursors have generated quite different feelings and opinions. On the one hand, especially during World War I, they were often recognized as cheap mass products, partially replacing valuable or rare materials. On the other hand, they established from the beginning their fundamental role as developers of many important technical advances in all kinds of industries.

After at least 150 years, many HIPOM artefacts have been found in various collections of technical, design, art and architecture museums, requiring research on the contextual knowledge of their material, technology and cultural history, scientific investigations on the material properties, analytical characterization and knowledge of their preventive and practical conservation.

The goal of PHEA is to disseminate new findings and to make aware not only of the waste challenges of plastics but also the cultural heritage role of ‘historic polymeric materials’.

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