View Full Version : Wrapping Polished Stainless Steel

Susan Taaffe
02-13-2018, 12:00 PM
Is Dartek a safe material to use as wrapping on a polished stainless steel sculpture to keep its crate foam from abrading it during days of travel? Is there a better material?

Chris Barber
02-16-2018, 01:31 PM
It is smooth enough to be feasible in that way, but I rarely use Dartek for wrapping sculpture because it is a little stiff and does not stretch noticeably, so it does not conform to irregular shapes as well as other films. Gathering around corners or curves can also create sharp points where creases meet. It is pretty tough with resisting tension along its surface, but also prone to puncturing, and once it breaks the tear will really run. It is hygroscopic (up to 10% absorption), but I once saw it stick to a large sculpture painted with acrylic, and suspect that the paint was either not fully cured or else wrapped in humid conditions. When I use Dartek, it is typically to line the rectilinear shapes of foam cushions in certain scenarios, or as a flat interleaving material. Since they tend to have more regular overall shapes, I also use it as the primary contact for wrapping framed 2D artworks fairly often.

Other options for primary contact you might consider include HDPE (http://www.paccin.org/content.php?108-Poly-Sheeting-High-Density-Polyethylene-%28HDPE%29). A couple layers of HDPE can help prevent abrasion further as the slick material moves against itself to some extent before friction is applied to the object's surface.