Innovation in cleaning

Innovation in cleaning


At the beginning of 2021, 'Operation Zwammerdam ships' shifted its focus from Zwammerdam 2 to Zwammerdam 6. A ship measuring more than 20 meters in length and approximately 3.40 meters wide, which has had a replica on display in Museum Park Archeon for years. This flat-bottomed boat is the odd duck of the Zwammerdam ships fleet. It looks so much like the freighter Woerden 7, which was found thirty years later, that they can be considered sister ships. The cross beams, the sapwood with mast foot, the spindle cheek and the shape of the hull all match. That fuels speculation about where the ships may have been built. Was it the same shipyard perhaps? Yardeni Vorst knows both ships well and includes the subject in her PhD research. For the time being, cleaning had to be done first, and that required enormous adjustments.

In the winter of 2020, a large green hall was erected on the grounds of Museum Park Archeon, directly behind the existing restoration yard annex exhibition space. Here the cleaned wood of Zwammerdam 6 is stored, this is where Team Restoration is working on canoe number 3 and a 'cleaning street' has been built here. In contrast to Zwammerdam 2, the wood of Zwammerdam 6 was generously covered with PEG and had not been cleaned before. The co-preserved supporting wood also had to be replaced by new, sturdy supporting wood. That meant a more intensive cleaning process and a different approach.

The 'cleaning street' that saw the light is the result of joint input from the entire team, including Laura Koehler from Batavialand. In addition to recycled materials, an advanced steam cleaner called the Greensteamer was introduced, provided free of charge by Hilco Knol of Knol Cleaning Solutions. The cleaning street consists of a roller track, on which the wood is placed. This is then passes under a UV radiant heater, which liquefies the preservative PEG. The majority of this is removed with the help of scrapers. This is followed by steam cleaning and finally the drying of the wood.

Unfortunately, research and experiments show that it is not possible to reuse the Poly Ethylene Glycol (PEG). That is why the PEG is stored outside the hall, for responsible disposal at a later time.

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