Sustainable Design Research Centre: Research Seminar

Title – Understanding the corrosion of archaeological iron to better manage its conservation

Date:  Wednesday   12-03-2014

Start: 12:00 Finish: 12:30

Venue: PG 22 (Poole House)

Abstract – Worldwide there are millions of archaeological iron objects stored in museums. Most are inherently unstable, with their chloride content being cited as being the main corrosion driver in conjunction with relative humidity. Attempts to prevent their corrosion are time consuming and costly, with limited numbers of evidence-based conservation options available to managers. The talk reports work examining relationships between chloride and relative humidity for archaeological iron. The outcomes of the study are discussed in relation to their potential for developing new approaches to managing preservation of the archaeological iron heritage.

The above seminar will be delivered by Professor David Watkinson. He is Head of Conservation at Cardiff University, where he teaches undergraduate and post-graduate conservation students and directs conservation research. The Cardiff University ferrous metals research group is quantifying the corrosion rate of archaeological iron and evaluating desalination treatments, as well as carrying out studies to quantify the performance of protective coatings for heritage wrought iron and steels. David’s corrosion research underpinned the design for the desiccated storage of Brunel’s iconic steamship ss Great Britain and in 2010 he was awarded the Plowden Medal for innovative research and services to conservation.

All BU staff and students, who have interest in this area in terms of research and education, are invited to this research seminar. Please feel free to forward this invitation to your external contacts who might have interest in corrosion, conservation, structural integrity and related area.

These seminars are organised by the University Sustainable Design Research Centre in the Faculty of Science & Technology to provide a platform for disseminating latest research activities and results. These seminars are good opportunity of networking for both BU staff and students.

If you would like further information on research activities in corrosion, corrosion simulation and corrosion monitoring please visit SDRC webpage. For any specific inquiries please contact

Dr Zulfiqar Khan (Associate Professor)

Director Sustainable Design Research Centre