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Surface Analysis of the Tarnishing Layer in Silver Alloys

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 December 2017

Janette Ortíz-Corona
Affiliation:
Facultad de Química, Depto. Ingeniería Metalúrgica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, C.P. 04510, México.
José L. Ruvalcaba-Sil
Affiliation:
Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias para la Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural LANCIC, Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, C.P. 04510, México.
Edgar Casanova-González
Affiliation:
CONACyT - Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias para la Investigación y Conservación del Patrimonio Cultural LANCIC, Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, C.P. 04510, México.
Francisco J. Rodríguez-Gómez*
Affiliation:
Facultad de Química, Depto. Ingeniería Metalúrgica, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, México City, C.P. 04510, México.
*
*(Email: fxavier@unam.mx)
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Abstract

Ancient silver artifacts, when exposed to environments that contain sulfides (H2S), become tarnished and a black film is formed on the surface. The current study deals with the role of copper content and oxygen in the formation of tarnishing in the silver alloys 0.925, 0.800 and 0.720. An ammonium sulfide solution was used as an accelerator of the tarnishing process for different immersion conditions. The analysis of the tarnishing layer in silver alloys was performed by Raman Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy - Energy Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF). The formation of the tarnishing layer was found to be influenced by copper and oxygen contents. The corrosion products under the conditions studied were found to be mainly acanthite and jalpaite.

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2017 

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