Academics from Bournemouth University have been working on a project to research the preservation of historic vehicles.
The researchers have been working with The Tank Museum in Bovington on a range of military vehicles from the First World War.
Researchers Adil Saeed, Dr Zulfiqar Khan, and Professor Mark Hadfield from BU’s Sustainable Design Research Centre have published widely on these particular vehicles.
Vehicles surveyed as a part of the project include Mark I (1916), Mark II (1917), Char Renault FT 17 (1917), Medium Mark A Whippet (1917), Mark V (1918) and Mark VII (1918), which were all deployed during the First World War.
More specifically, the research investigated the causes of structural deterioration within large vehicles in the Museum environment. The findings of the research has gone on to inform the current practices of storage in the Tank Museum, which will help decelerate the deterioration process in these vehicles so that they can be enjoyed by future generations of museum visitors.
Dr Zulfiqar Khan said, “This has been an excellent opportunity to see physical examples of human ingenuity in the form of engineering to specific needs at various times during history.
“The study and research of these artefacts were a window to the past engineering practices. It is great to see the difference we have made since our ancestors in the field of engineering and technology through the foundations they laid.”
There are plans to continue the research through a second project, in collaboration with DSTL Ministry of Defence, looking into the structural integrity of large vehicles.
Dr Khan concluded, “There is still significant amount of research needed to develop sustainable methodology to conserve all artefacts in varied environmental conditions for future generations to come. This plan needs greater community, stakeholder and government support.”
Pictures courtesy of The Tank Museum, Bovington.