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Conservation and restoration of metals

Conservation and restoration of metals is the activity devoted to the protection and preservation of historical (religious, artistic, technical and ethnographic) and archaeological objects made partly or entirely of metal. In it are included all activities aimed at preventing or slowing deterioration of items, as well as improving accessibility and readability of them as objects of cultural heritage. Despite the fact that metals are generally considered as the relatively permanent and stable materials, in contact with the environment they deteriorate gradually, some faster and some much slower. This applies especially to archaeological finds.
An essential cause of deterioration is corrosion of metal objects or object deterioration by interaction with the environment. As the most influential factors of deterioration of historical objects should be pointed out as the relative humidity and air pollution while in archaeological objects a crucial role has composition, depth, humidity and amount of gasses in the soil. In cases of marine or fresh water finds the most important factors of decay are the amount and composition of soluble salts, water depth, amount of dissolved gases, the direction of water currents and the role of both microscopic and macroscopic living organisms.
As with the conservation and restoration works on any other material, here are the basic tenets of conservation-restoration based on the quality of execution and the best possible preservation of cultural, historical and technological identity and integrity of objects. Minimal intervention, reversibility and repeatability of preferred treatment are essential, as well as the possibility of easy identification of restored parts. Recently non-toxic nature of used materials and procedures becomes important too, both in relation to objects and conservator-restorer as a performer, but also in relation to the environment.
Systematic and well-managed documentation is today an essential prerequisite for quality executed conservation and restoration treatments, including documentation of the state of objects before, during and after treatment. Identification of materials and procedures used to produce object and the results of any scientific research must be part of documentation too. Last but not least- an integral part of the documentation must be a recommendation for further care of object.
Preventive conservation, also known as collections care, is an important element of museum policy. It is an essential responsibility of members of the museum profession to create and maintain a protective environment for the collections in their care, whether in store, on display, or in transit. A museum should carefully monitor the condition of collections to determine when an artifact requires conservation work and the services of a qualified conservator.
Do not clean with solvents, do not use ultrasound, you can use only distilled water, or a mixture of water and ethanol (add up to 0.5% crosslinker). Variety of waxy resin mixtures can be used as glue, depending on the color of amber. You can use 10% solution of Canada balsam in toluene Archaeological material can be cleaned only mechanically. Soaking in liquid paraffin can be used to consolidate and improve color of amber. According to one Korean article for consolidation can be used Paraloid B 67 dissolved in xylene (proved more stable than white spirit, usual solvent for B 67) According to one American article as ideal consolidant and adhesive can be used Regalrez 1126 Artifacts must be Protected from strong light and high temperatures, low humidity and oscillations in humidity, in the case of metal/amber objects do not to use corrosion inhibitors.

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