09-Nov-2012 - RSC Publishing

450-year-old metal analysed at the nanometre level for finer detail of corrosion mechanism

Corrosion products of a 450-year-old archaeological metal were investigated at the nanometre level using scanning transmission x-ray microscopy by scientists in France and Canada. The work is on a much finer scale than others, which usually analyse the microscale with methods like transmission electron microscopy. The study of long term corrosion mechanisms of iron and ferrous alloys can be very useful in the area of conservation and cultural heritage artefacts. It can help set up in situ conservation at archaeological sites. It is also important for designing nuclear waste storage containers, as studying archaeological iron artefacts can be considered analogous to steel containers exposed to the environment for long periods of time.

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