Monitoring the impact of the indoor air quality on silver cultural heritage objects using passive and continuous corrosion rate assessments
Faculty of Sciences. Chemistry
Faculty of Design Sciences
Engineering sciences. Technology
Applied physics A: materials science & processing. - Heidelberg
, 10 p.
University of Antwerp
There is a long tradition in evaluating industrial atmospheres by measuring the corrosion rate of exposed metal coupons. The heritage community also uses this method, but the interpretation of the corrosion rate often lacks clarity due to the low corrosivity in indoor museum environments. This investigation explores the possibilities and drawbacks of different silver corrosion rate assessments. The corrosion rate is determined by three approaches: (1) chemical characterization of metal coupons using analytical techniques such as electrochemical measurements, SEM-EDX, XRD, and µ-Raman spectroscopy, (2) continuous corrosion monitoring methods based on electrical resistivity loss of a corroding nm-sized metal wire and weight gain of a corroding silver coated quartz crystal, and (3) characterization of the visual degradation of the metal coupons. This study confirms that subtle differences in corrosivity between locations inside a museum can be determined on condition that the same corrosion rate assessment is used. However, the impact of the coupon orientation with respect to the prevailing direction of air circulation can be substantially larger than the impact of the coupon location.