Conserving the cultural heritage is a general concern and the use of non-destructive techniques to characterize ancient materials is important Serious deterioration effects in environmentally exposed ancient glazed ceramic tiles arise from the development of micro-organisms (algae/fungi) within the pore system. Subsequent biodegradation processes are particularly harmful once the decorated glaze is damaged by exfoliation/detachment
Three case studies will be addressed: Portuguese polychrome decorated tiles from the interior of two churches (16th-17th century) and from the outdoor of a Palace (18th century). Small tile fragments were directly irradiated in a wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer for glaze chemical characterization and subsequently irradiated in a powder diffractometer to assess the phase constitution of both glaze and ceramic body.
Cleaning and conserving these ancient cultural artifacts involve a decontamination process applying innovative non-destructive techniques. The present work is intended as a contribution to diagnose the actual degradation state of ancient tiles in view of future decontamination actions using gamma radiation. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Ceramic tiles
- 16th-18th century polychrome glazes
- Non-destructive characterization
- X-ray techniques