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Tailored strategies for the conservation and restoration of archaeological value Cu-based artefacts from Mediterranean countries

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Newly developed 'ancient' copper alloys

Within the context of the EFESTUS project a set of new copper alloys with a micro-chemical structure similar to that of ancient alloys was produced.

Industrial Technologies

Conservation and restoration of copper-based (Cu-based) archaeological artefacts relies heavily on understanding the mechanisms of their degradation. For this purpose, part of the EFESTUS project work was dedicated to the systematic identification of causes degradation of artefacts. Based on this knowledge, innovative techniques for restoration and conservation of Cu-based archaeological artefacts were developed. In order to validate these techniques researchers generated 13 reference Cu-based alloys that are not commercially available. They feature a chemical composition and metallurgical characteristics that are similar to ancient alloys used. Their chemical composition distinguishes five material classes, namely copper-tin, copper-lead, copper-tin-lead, copper-iron and copper-zinc-tin-lead. These classes cover more or less most of the families of the copper based alloys used in ancient years. The 13 reference alloys replaced standard materials in tests carried out for optimisation of the analytical performance of portable and laboratory diagnostic equipments. For further information click at the project site:

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