Why Non-Destructive Analysis is Important in Monument Restoration

October 5, 2010

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Restorers of iconic landmarks find the task a challenge because of the absence of documentations of the original methods and materials used in the monument’s construction. Historic and incredibly old monuments do not always come with their formula for construction, nor any records of maintenance work done through time. When it comes to corrosion repairs, knowing how corrosion advanced and damaged the monument is necessary to identify the most appropriate corrosion resistant coatings product to use for restoration.

Tracking the progress of corrosion is only possible with a careful non-destructive analysis of the monument’s surface condition. A non-destructive analysis will not endanger the structural integrity of the monument but will obtain the needed data to come up with an appropriate restoration solution.

Before corrosion resistant coatings can be applied, there is a need to characterize the scope and nature of corrosion in the monument. Analysis can be conducted in a series of on-site evaluations using portable equipments that can measure the presence of various chemicals such as superficial chlorine and tin, which can indicate the way moisture intruded into the monument and the extent of corrosion.

Restorers may also conduct an extensive materials testing in a research laboratory. It also involves in-depth research to study how the materials aged through time. Old photos are used to compare the structural condition and help identify any oxidation or corrosion in the monument due to the natural aging process. When corrosion is estimated correctly, the most effective corrosion resistant coatings can then be applied to restore the monument back to its original condition.

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