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Corrosion and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Metallic Artefacts - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9781782421542, 9781782421573

Corrosion and Conservation of Cultural Heritage Metallic Artefacts

1st Edition

Editors: P Dillmann D Watkinson E Angelini A Adriaens
Hardcover ISBN: 9781782421542
eBook ISBN: 9781782421573
Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
Published Date: 31st July 2013
Page Count: 640
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Table of Contents

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Series introduction

Volumes in the EFC series

Chapter 1: Introduction: conservation versus laboratory investigation in the preservation of metallic heritage artefacts

Part I: Conservation issues: past, present, future

Chapter 2: Conservation, corrosion science and evidence-based preservation strategies for metallic heritage artefacts


2.1 Introduction

2.2 The structure of conservation research and practice

2.3 Conservation in practice

2.4 Corrosion control for conservation practice

2.5 Conservation and corrosion science in partnership

2.6 Preservation of heritage metals

2.7 Conclusion

Chapter 3: Atmospheric corrosion of heritage metallic artefacts: processes and prevention


3.1 Introduction

3.2 Historical perspectives on corrosion

3.3 Air pollution effects in the twentieth century

3.4 Current effects of air pollution on corrosion

3.5 Indoor environments and recent developments in standardisation

3.6 Future trends

3.7 Conclusion

Part II: Analytical techniques for the study of cultural heritage corrosion

Chapter 4: Analytical techniques for the study of corrosion of metallic heritage artefacts: from micrometer to nanometer scales


4.1 Introduction

4.2 Methodology

4.3 Morphology observation

4.4 Composition analyses

4.5 Structural characterisation

4.6 Nanoscale investigations

4.7 Conclusion

Chapter 5: The use of metallographic and metallurgical investigation methods in the preservation of metallic heritage artefacts


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Methods for sampling artefacts

5.3 Metallographic examination of microstructure features

5.4 Successful uses of metallography and metallurgy to aid preservation

5.5 Conclusion

Chapter 6: Analysis of corroded metallic heritage artefacts using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS)


6.1 Introduction

6.2 Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) fundamentals

6.3 Applications of laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on the analysis of corroded archaeological artefacts: corroded metal threads

6.4 Depth profiling of copper-based decorative artefact

6.5 Analysis of corroded Punic coins

6.6 Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis of Roman silver denarii

6.7 Conclusion

Chapter 7: Electrochemical measurements in the conservation of metallic heritage artefacts: an overview


7.1 Introduction

7.2 Equipment for electrochemical techniques

7.3 Potential measurements

7.4 DC techniques

7.5 AC techniques

7.6 Conclusion

Chapter 8: Electrochemical analysis of metallic heritage artefacts: time-lapse spectroelectrochemical techniques


8.1 Introduction

8.2 The electrochemical cell (eCell)

8.3 Monitoring the stabilization process of cupreous artefacts

8.4 Monitoring the formation of a protective lead coating

8.5 Conclusion

8.6 Acknowledgements

Chapter 9: Electrochemical analysis of metallic heritage artefacts: voltammetry of microparticles (VMP)


9.1 Introduction

9.2 Electrode configuration

9.3 Electrochemical processes

9.4 Voltammetry of microparticles (VMP) and metal corrosion

9.5 Studies on corrosion processes

9.6 Applications for archaeometry, conservation and restoration

9.7 Conclusion

Part III: Specific alteration processes

Chapter 10: Artistic patinas on ancient bronze statues


10.1 Introduction

10.2 Studying and characterizing patinas

10.3 Case studies: the Giambologna statues of the University of Genoa, and the Angel of Calcagno family grave from the Monumental Cemetery of Staglieno (Genoa, Italy)

10.4 Conclusion

10.5 Acknowledgements

Chapter 11: Ancient silver artefacts: corrosion processes and preservation strategies


11.1 Introduction

11.2 History of ancient silver

11.3 Corrosion of Silver

11.4 Morphology of atmospheric corrosion layers on silver

11.5 Silver embrittlement

11.6 Cleaning, anti-tarnishing and protection

11.7 Conclusion

Chapter 12: Underwater corrosion of metallic heritage artefacts


12.1 Introduction

12.2 Degradation processes and conservation strategies

12.3 In-situ preservation of artefacts

12.4 Conclusion

Chapter 13: Long-term anoxic corrosion of iron


13.1 Introduction

13.2 General methodology

13.3 Characterisation of the corrosion system: from the environment to the archaeological remains

13.4 Thermodynamic modelling

13.5 Corrosion behaviour: understanding the mechanisms

13.6 Estimation of the corrosion rate

13.7 Conclusion

Chapter 14: Reactivity studies of atmospheric corrosion of heritage iron artefacts


14.1 Introduction

14.2 Previous studies of corrosion diagnosis

14.3 Studying atmospheric corrosion mechanisms

14.4 Studying electrochemical reactivity

14.5 Stability indexes based on rust layer composition and electrochemical reactivity

14.6 Electrochemical study of ancient artefacts

14.7 Degradation diagnosis

14.8 Conclusion

Chapter 15: Atmospheric corrosion of historical industrial structures


15.1 Introduction

15.2 Industrial cultural heritage objects

15.3 Specific atmospheric conditions

15.4 Industrial culture heritage material specification

15.5 Atmospheric corrosion of industrial structures of cultural heritage

15.6 Degradation of surface treatment of industrial cultural heritage

15.7 Conclusion

Part IV: On-site monitoring

Chapter 16: Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) for the in-situ analysis of metallic heritage artefacts


16.1 Introduction

16.2 Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) fundamentals

16.3 In-situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements

16.4 In-situ electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measuring campaigns

16.5 Conclusion

Chapter 17: Oxygen monitoring in the corrosion and preservation of metallic heritage artefacts


17.1 Introduction

17.2 Equipment for oxygen monitoring

17.3 Measurement of oxygen consumption

17.4 Measurement of oxygen in the burial environment

17.5 Conclusion

17.6 Acknowledgements

Chapter 18: Issues in environmental monitoring of metallic heritage artefacts


18.1 Introduction

18.2 Metrological design of a monitoring system

18.3 Analogue and digital architectures for monitoring systems

18.4 Designing a monitoring system based on smart sensors

18.5 A case study of monitoring system deployment

18.6 Conclusion

18.7 Acknowledgements

Part V: Protection mediums, methods and strategies

Chapter 19: Alkaline desalination techniques for archaeological iron


19.1 Introduction

19.2 Archaeological iron: chloride-induced corrosion

19.3 Conservation of archaeological iron

19.4 Desalination

19.5 The influence of chloride-bearing species on corrosion of iron

19.6 Deoxygenated alkaline desalination techniques: assessing action and effectiveness

19.7 Post-treatment corrosion risk

19.8 Deoxygenated alkali washing in conservation practice

19.9 Conclusion

Chapter 20: The use of subcritical fluids for the stabilisation of archaeological iron: an overview


20.1 Introduction

20.2 Determining treatment parameters

20.3 Equipment, process and operation

20.4 Conservation objectives, treatment rationale and risk management

20.5 Case studies

20.6 Conclusion

20.7 Acknowledgements

Chapter 21: Monitoring, modelling and prediction of corrosion rates of historical iron shipwrecks


21.1 Introduction

21.2 Coralline concretions, corrosion potentials and dissolved oxygen

21.3 Monitoring

21.4 Modelling

21.5 Prediction

21.6 Conclusion

21.7 Acknowledgements

Chapter 22: The role of standards in conservation methods for metals in cultural heritage


22.1 Introduction

22.2 Standards commonly used in conservation testing of metals: a survey in metal conservation publications

22.3 The need to develop or adopt existing standards for coatings testing for cultural heritage metals: the case study of testing Poligen® ES 91009

22.4 Conclusion and future trends

Chapter 23: Coatings including carboxylates for the preservation of metallic heritage artefacts


23.1 Introduction

23.2 Ultrathin organic films for corrosion protection of metals

23.3 Self-assembled monolayers of carboxylic acids

23.4 Conclusion

23.5 Acknowledgements

Chapter 24: Sol-gel coatings for the preservation of metallic heritage artefacts


24.1 Introduction

24.2 The sol-gel coating process

24.3 Techniques for sol-gel coating – electrodeposition

24.4 Case studies on new conservation treatments

24.5 Conclusion

Chapter 25: Plasma treatments for the cleaning and protection of metallic heritage artefacts


25.1 Introduction: requirements of conservators/restorers

25.2 Plasma treatments for cleaning and protection of artefacts

25.3 Low pressure plasma

25.4 Plasma enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) in plasmas containing organosilicon compounds

25.5 Case studies of use of plasma treatments in cleaning and protection of silver-based artefacts

25.6 Conclusion

Chapter 26: Corrosion inhibitors for the preservation of metallic heritage artefacts


26.1 Introduction

26.2 Types and mechanisms of corrosion inhibitors

26.3 Evaluation of inhibitors

26.4 Corrosion inhibitors used in conservation treatments

26.5 Conclusion



The conservation of metallic archaeological and historic artefacts is a major challenge whether they are ancient bronzes or relics of our more recent industrial past. Based on the work of Working Party 21 Corrosion of Archaeological and Historical Artefacts within the European Federation of Corrosion (EFC), this important book summarises key recent research on analytical techniques, understanding corrosion processes and preventing the corrosion of cultural heritage metallic artefacts.

After an introductory part on some of the key issues in this area, part two reviews the range of analytical techniques for measuring and analysing corrosion processes, including time resolved spectroelectrochemistry, voltammetry and laser induced breakdown spectroscopy. Part three reviews different types of corrosion processes for a range of artefacts, whilst part four discusses on-site monitoring techniques. The final part of the book summaries a range of conservation techniques and strategies to conserve cultural heritage metallic artefacts.

Corrosion and conservation of cultural heritage metallic artefacts is an important reference for all those involved in archaeology and conservation, including governments, museums as well as those undertaking research in archaeology and corrosion science.

Key Features

  • Summarises key research on analytical techniques for measuring and analysing corrosion processes
  • Provides detailed understanding of corrosion processes and corrosion prevention
  • Discusses on-site monitoring techniques


All those involved in archaeology and conservation, including governments and museums, as well as those undertaking research in archaeology and corrosion science


No. of pages:
© Woodhead Publishing 2013
31st July 2013
Woodhead Publishing
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

P Dillmann

Dr Philippe Dillmann is Head of the Archaeological Materials Laboratory at the Institut de Recherche sur les Archéomatériaux within the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique (CNRS/CEA).

Affiliations and Expertise

CNRS/CEA, France

D Watkinson

David Watkinson is Professor of Conservation at Cardiff University, UK.

Affiliations and Expertise

Cardiff University, UK

E Angelini

Emma Angelini is Professor of Applied Physical Chemistry at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy.

Affiliations and Expertise

Politecnico di Torino, Italy

A Adriaens

Professor Annemie Adriaens works within the Department of Analytical Chemistry at Ghent University, Belgium.

Affiliations and Expertise

Ghent University, Belgium