, Volume 113, Issue 4, pp 923-931
Date: 04 May 2013

Evaluation of the inhibitive effect of benzotriazole on archeological bronze in acidic medium

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Abstract

An archaeological bronze artefact was a Punic coin excavated from the north east of Tunisia in 2001. The composition of the copper alloy revealed a content of 3.5 % of tin and 1.4 % of lead with the presence of some sulphur heterogeneity. The surface presents some roughnesses and cracks and is covered by a corrosion layer of 20–40 μm thickness. The use of benzotriazole (BTA) as an inhibitor has become a standard element for the preservation of cuprous-based metals. In order to investigate the behaviour of BTA in an acidic medium, an Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) investigation was performed to characterize the electrochemical behaviour of the interface of the archaeological bronze sample/acidic medium without and with BTA addition. Impedance diagrams obtained at different immersion times show that the presence of the inhibitor prevents the diffusional process observed in the absence of BTA. The inhibition of the pre-polarized bronze surface revealed that the mechanism of action of the benzotriazole molecule in an acidic medium is governed by the chemisorption process.