Protection of historical lead against acetic acid vapour

Open access

Abstract

Historical lead artefacts (small figurines, appliques, bull (metal seal) can be stored in depository and archives in inconvenient storage conditions. The wooden show-case or paper packagings release volatile organic compound to the air during their degradation. These acids, mainly acetic acid are very corrosive for lead. The thin layer of corrosion products which slows atmospheric corrosion is formed on lead surface in atmospheric condition. In presence of acetic acid vapour the voluminous corrosion products are formed and fall off the surface. These corrosion products do not have any protection ability. The lead could be protected against acid environment by layer of “metal soup” which is formed on surface after immersion in solution of salt of carboxylic acid for 24 hours. The solutions of acids (with vary long of carbon chain) and their salts are examined. Longer carbon chain provides better efficiency convers layer. The disadvantages are low solubility of carboxylic acids in water and bad abrasion resistance of formed layer.

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