Depth-Resolved Analysis of Double-Layered Cultural Heritage Artifacts by Pulsed Thermography

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In this work, an experimental method based on the use of pulsed thermography is proposed for the depth-resolved characterization of double-layered structures of cultural heritage items. A quantitative evaluation of the inspected features was achieved by comparing thermographic data with theoretical predictions provided by specifically developed theoretical models for the analysis of the thermographic signal. In this respect, thermographic models for both optically opaque and semi-transparent materials were employed to analyze the results obtained in copper alloys and paper-based original artworks, respectively. Thermographic inspections aimed at establishing the procedure adopted for the application of insertions in ancient bronze statues are presented. Finally, the evaluation of the depth position of graphical features buried beneath leaves of historical books is proposed.

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The authors wish to thank Mirella Fidomanzo and Fiammetta Terlizzi, Biblioteca Angelica in Rome, and Rita Paris, Director of the Museo Nazionale Romano for granting the possibility to investigate the artworks and for their support.

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Correspondence to Noemi Orazi.

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Mercuri, F., Caruso, G., Orazi, N. et al. Depth-Resolved Analysis of Double-Layered Cultural Heritage Artifacts by Pulsed Thermography. Int J Thermophys 41, 6 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10765-019-2587-0

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  • Ancient books
  • Bronze statues
  • Infrared thermography
  • Opaque samples
  • Optically semi-transparent material