Have emailed Rob offline but the following url is quite helpful:
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Claughton" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 20, 2005 8:50 PM
Subject: Re: Underground artefact conservation
> The following from Robert Waterhouse <[log in to unmask]>
> Dear list,
> I'm currently trying to decontaminate, clean and hopefully conserve an
> object found on a mine dig I am involved with. It is a leather flap
> possibly from a water pump or a ventilating machine, but is reinforced and
> weighted with riveted wrought iron plates. The mine is a sulphide one
> (copper and arsenopyrite), meaning that it has been impregnated with mine
> water which from a chemical point of view is dilute sulphuric acid.
> I have been soaking it in tapwater, in a plastic bowl, in the hope that
> acid will be drawn out, and this seems to be working. However, the red
> corrosion product on the surface of the iron is dissolving away, leaving a
> black surface to the metal. I am concerned that the acid may be acting on
> the metal still.
> Am I doing the right thing? If not, what should I be doing, and how can I
> stabilise both the iron and the leather, especially when it is removed
> the water permanently?
> Although I have the CBA First Aid For Finds manual, it does not mention
> such situations.
> Dr Peter Claughton,
> Blaenpant Morfil, nr. Rosebush, Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire, Wales SA66
> Tel. +44 (0)1437 532578; Fax. +44 (0)1437 532921; Mobile +44 (0)7831
> Hon. University Fellow
> School of Historical, Political and Sociological Studies (Centre for South
> Western Historical Studies)
> University of Exeter
> E-mail: [log in to unmask]
> Co-owner - mining-history e-mail discussion list.
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> Mining History Pages - http://www.exeter.ac.uk/~pfclaugh/mhinf/