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THE EFFECTS OF CORROSION AND CONSERVATION TREATMENTS ON NON-DESTRUCTIVE NEUTRON DIFFRACTION ANALYSIS OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL COPPER ALLOYS: PRELIMINARY RESULTS*

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email lesleydf@alum.mit.edu

Abstract

Analysis of residual stress in archaeological copper alloy artefacts by neutron diffraction has considerable potential for the investigation of early fabrication processes. However, residual stresses in metals are known to relax due to conditions similar to those encountered during burial, corrosion and conservation. In this pilot study, we investigate the effects of corrosion and conservation on a small group of replica copper ingots. Although corrosion and light cleaning do indeed cause some relaxation of stresses in the metal, corrosion having the most significant effect, the basic patterns and major features of the stress profiles may still be seen.

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