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

Table of Contents

Contributor contact details

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


No. of pages:
© 2013
Woodhead Publishing
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

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