Polyurethane (PU) 2

Spectroscopy chart PU

Platform shoes, 1970s





The shoes show signs of heavy wear before they entered the collection.


The shoe upper is made of the featured material, polyurethane, the black edging of polyvinyl chloride and the heel protector of polypropylene. There is a metal buckle.


The plasticiser, adipic acid, has migrated to the surface. The fact that the metal is not corroded is a sign that the acid is weak. The straps have lost flexibility and are a bit stiff. There are signs of possible water damage.


Degradation typical of the material not visible in this example



The plasticiser could be cleaned off from the surface with a soft brush and museum vacuum. Use a dust mask when doing this.

Display and storage

A support of soft tissue should be provided to hold the shoes in shape. Follow standard practice: keep in a stable environment and, when not on display, in the dark.

Polyurethane 3 >