Silver Corrosion in a Museum Collection Storage Facility: A Preliminary Study
The impact of indoor atmospheric corrosion on Ag-based cultural heritage objects stored in the basement of the Egyptian Museum was assessed in the framework of a 2-year pilot study. In this project, temperature and relative humidity data logging and sterling silver coupons, as microclimate indicators, have been employed. The environmental conditions, the indoor sources of atmospheric pollutants, and the aerosol species from Cairo city, as well as the transportation of species by the winds, are responsible for silver tarnishing and deposition of both inorganic particulates and organic carbon. Sulfides and chlorides are the main corrosive agents detected on the coupon surfaces. Different corrosion patterns were reported for each monitored location of the museum. These preliminary results contribute to the investigation of silver corrosion and provide useful guidelines for future actions regarding metal artifacts safekeeping and environmental control.
KeywordsSilver artifacts Indoor atmospheric corrosion Tarnishing Museum environment Pollutants
The authors would like to thank doctoral candidate Yannis Papantoniou, Mechanical Engineer from the Laboratory of Manufacturing Technology (School of Mechanical Engineering/ National Technical University of Athens) for his assistance with the AFM measurements.
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