The paper studies corrosion of selected Pb-Sn-Sb alloys
in soil. Corrosion tests were proposed and performed based
on the survey of the mechanism of corrosion of archaeological
objects – letter types. The composition of tested lead alloys
corresponds to the phases in structures of alloys the original
types were made from. Three types of soil with different pH
were selected as the corrosion environment and one of the set
of specimens was exposed additionally to acetic acid vapours
to monitor the impact of volatile organic compounds. The results
were compared with similar corrosion tests performed at
the University of Antwerp. The results implied that it was predominantly
the character of the microstructure the lead alloys
form that affects corrosion of Pb–Sn–Sb alloys. Intermetallic
phases SnSb are formed within the lead matrix, the average
composition of which corresponds to 55 % of Sn and 45 %
of Sb. The SnSb phase is very hard and resistant; a corrosion
microcell is formed when in contact with the matrix, with the
lead matrix being preferentially susceptible to corrosion. The
content of antimony and tin in the alloy affects formation and
the quantity of the SnSb phase.
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