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Subject: Survey on stabilization of marine iron-organic composite artifacts

Survey on stabilization of marine iron-organic composite artifacts

From: Virginie Ternisien <virginie.ternisien<-at->
Date: Monday, November 19, 2012
I am currently pursuing a Research Masters degree in "Heritage and
Conservation-Restoration" at Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University,
in preparation for a PhD. My research focuses on desalination
(removal of chlorides) from archaeological iron-organic composite
artifacts recovered from a marine environment, which cannot be
separated into their component parts.

My MA thesis will be based on a literature review as well as on
testimonials from conservators dealing with similar composite
artifacts. My objective is to try and define the issues I will
address in my PhD research by testing different stabilization
treatments and evaluating their efficiency.

Would you have time to assist my research by answering the following
questions? These questions are largely inspired by an open letter
from Janet Hawley that was published in the WOAM Newsletter no. 11
(March 1984) to record suggestions from conservators about the
treatment of inseparable composite waterlogged wood-metal artifacts.

Based on current research, the use of cathodic polarization in a non
buffered neutral electrolyte solution appears to be the most favored
method of removing chlorides from composite iron-organic marine
artifacts, while maintaining the object's integrity.

If you have undertaken desalination (removal of chloride) of similar
composite artifacts, I would be grateful if you would consider
answering these questions:

   Could you provide details of the desalination treatment you
   applied and their effects on the artifact (organic and iron
   parts)?

   Would you consider the treatment successful? If not, what would
   you suggest are the reasons for the failure? What were your
   expectations? What would you have changed in the treatment
   protocol?

   What is your recommended research focus for effective
   desalination of these kinds of composite artifacts?

   What are your thoughts and comments on electrolytic
   stabilization?

   If you know someone who has, or is currently, undertaking similar
   research, would you be willing to provide their contact
   information?

Thank you for completing the survey, I would be happy to share the
results with you by email. Your assistance is greatly appreciated to
help direct the focus of my future PhD research. If you are
interested in being a part of this project, please feel free to
contact me, since at this time, I am in the process of identifying a
suitable research facility where I can undertake my PhD research.

Virginie Ternisien
Conservator
Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory (MAC Lab)
Maryland, USA.


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Received on Monday, 19 November, 2012

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