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Institute/Center: CSIC - Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Metalúrgicas (CENIM)

Author: Emilio Cano, Diana Lafuente

The main cause of deterioration of metallic cultural heritage is corrosion, that is, the reaction of the metal with its environment. In almost all the cases, it is an electrochemical phenomenon, and therefore the application of the so-called "electrochemical techniques" might be a valuable instrument to study the deterioration, carry out conservation-restoration treatments and evaluate the effectiveness of the protection systems applied. These techniques, used mostly for studying the corrosion and protection of metals for industrial applications, are not spread in the metallic heritage conservation because its application needs the adaptation of methodologies and instrumentation to the specially characteristics and needs of cultural heritage. CREMEL project (Conservation-restoration of metallic Cultural Heritage by means of electrochemical techniques: development of an specific methodology adapted to the diagnosis and treatment)tries to tackle these challenges from an interdisciplinary approach, both in the research team (with the participation of materials scientists, physicists and chemists, conservators-restorers) and the institutions involved. We aim to an integral approach to the problem, from its study in the laboratory to its real application in conservation-restoration of metallic cultural heritage.

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Setup used for the electrochemical treatment of silver coupons