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Subject: Metal abrasion

Metal abrasion

From: Bonnie Baskin <bonnieasia<-at->
Date: Saturday, April 18, 2009
Laura Maria Jimenez <laura5s [at] hotmail__com> writes

>For my MA project I want to study the abrasive potential of a plant
>on metal surfaces. I would like to hear suggestions on the
>methodology I could use to quantify and evaluate how abrasive is
>this material on metal samples. ...

Usually, the most sensitive and productive measurements for
assessing change derive from researchers' own consistent, systematic
observation of the real-life phenomena.  You may find yourself
dealing with an enormous number of variables, including the type and
condition of metals, type and maturity (and pH?) of plants, and a
range of environmental and interventionary factors, plus the
interactions of all variables.  You have probably already selected
which of these variables you wish to study.  So my suggestion is to
make careful descriptions of the damage you observe in a large
number of real-life examples within the scope of your study,
examining your samples under a variety of lighting conditions and
degrees of magnification.  From these descriptions, you will be able
to develop a list of outcome measures that, combined, account fully
for the damage you find.

Certainly the scratching patterns and depths that Wharton et al.
analyzed may be a useful part of this list, but you may also find
that corrosion, accretions, or other results are also important.  In
short, like Darwin, start from your own systematic observations of
(a) the features of each example you study and (b) the precise type
of damage or deterioration you find. Hope this is helpful,

Bonnie Baskin
Objects conservator
Oakland, CA USA


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Received on Saturday, 18 April, 2009

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