Conservation in Practice
When an object arrives in the Conservation Department it will have its condition assessed. Photographs are taken and a written record made. Scientific analysis may be carried out to investigate the object before any treatment is undertaken.
Hands-on treatments will take various forms depending on the object’s condition. The main aim is to stabilise the object and reduce further deterioration. Harmful corrosion products and dirt are removed and a surface coating may be applied to help prolong the objects life.
The purpose of an x-ray is to look beneath the surface at the underlying structure. A major advantage of this technique for use on objects is that it is entirely non-destructive.
Optical Microscopy is technique which uses allows the Royal Armouries Science officer the opportunity to examine the metallurgy of an object.
X-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis provides a means of finding the chemical composition of artefacts (or parts of artefacts) without removing samples. Which means it is non-destructive.