Contemporary sculptors continue to work in traditional materials such as marble and bronze; however, they also explore the possibilities of everyday and exotic materials. Corrugated iron sheeting and South American tapioca are just two examples found in sculptures recently acquired by Tate.
Whatever the materials, sculpture conservators need to understand their properties and how they behave, in order to preserve sculptures in good condition. Whenever possible this involves working closely with the artists.
Read more about it on the Tate website. This page also includes information about degradation of materials and outdoor sculptures.