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Stavroula Rapti

Published date
27 Jun 2018

Chelating agents for the removal of iron corrosion products from dry composite objects

College: Camberwell College of Arts
Supervisor: Dr Athanasios Velios


Ethnographic objects often consist of more than two materials (e.g. wood, textile and iron fastenings). Uncontrolled environment conditions for these objects contribute to the formation of iron corrosion products, which migrate to all neighbouring materials, stain them and catalyse various oxidation processes. Chelating agents used for the removal of iron corrosion products are commonly applied via aqueous baths. However, for materials like wood, immersion is not feasible and therefore dismantling is required, which may not always be an option.

Aims and objectives

A suitable cleaning method without immersion is required for dry composite substrates. This research aims to investigate the following:

  • Innovative chelating agents, such as the siderophores, in comparison to conventional chelators
  • An application methodology by testing poultices, gels and volatile solvents as carriers for avoiding absorbance of the cleaning solutions by the substrate.