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Practical adhesion measurements of protective coatings on bronze by three-point bending test


When attempting to sufficiently protect outdoor bronze monuments from corrosion, searches for an effective solution are usually based on coating applications which have a high anticorrosive efficiency. In order to correctly assess the level of protection provided by such coatings, adherence (practical adhesion) measurements need to be performed for the proper evaluation of the deterioration of coating systems with aging. Although a coupled study of adherence with aging would be of great interest, very few such studies are available. In this work, a methodological approach is proposed for the evaluation of coatings applied to metallic cultural heritage monuments of, based on the use of a three-point bending test. Adherence characterization of different protective coatings has been performed both on bare and on traditionally black-patinated bronze coupons (Cu–Sn alloy with 5.9 wt% Sn), which were used as basic model substrates. The investigated coatings were Incralac®, silane, sol–gel oxysilane, and a silane-modified polymethacrylate (an adhesion promoter for fluoropolymer). The results of measurements which were obtained before and after accelerated aging in concentrated acid rain made it possible to more easily differentiate between the various adherence levels of different coating systems. Coupled with adherence measurements, the results of systematic optical and SEM observation of the different failure morphologies are also presented. In the case of the coated bare alloy, adhesive failures were mainly observed. The silane (PropS-SH) coating showed the best adherence. In the case of the patinated bronze test specimens, only cohesive failures occurred. Adherence is directly related to the cohesion of the black patina rather than that of the applied coating. It was observed that aging reduces the level of the adherence.

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This work was performed within the scope of the M-Era.Net European project BIMPACT, which was supported by national funding organizations (MIZS-Slovenia, MIUR-Italy, RMP-France). Special thanks are due to Nina Gartner for her constant administrative help during the implementation of this project.

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Correspondence to Maëlenn Aufray or Luc Robbiola.

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Aufray, M., Josse, C., Balbo, A. et al. Practical adhesion measurements of protective coatings on bronze by three-point bending test. J Coat Technol Res 16, 1465–1477 (2019).

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  • Adherence
  • Practical adhesion
  • Patina
  • Aging
  • Outdoor bronze
  • Conservation
  • Cultural heritage