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MFA Acc. #: 72.4417


The irreversible loss of scales, flakes, or layers from a surface. Exfoliation may occur on exterior stones due to weathering, deterioration from salts, or freeze-thaw action. Exfoliation also occurs in audio and video media when the surface coating flakes from the supporting tape or disc.

See also efflorescence, scaling, subflorescence.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Exfoliation (Deut.); esfoliação (Port.)

Additional Images

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Pam Hatchfield, Pollutants in the Museum Environment, Archetype Press, London, 2002
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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