X-ray tomography for in-situ characterization of crystallization damage in layered artworks
One of the most common deterioration problems affecting cultural heritage worldwide is crystallization damage caused by an interplay between salts, environmental changes and material properties. Especially porous materials are susceptible to salt crystallization. It threatens artworks such as sculptures, ceramics, frescoes, paintings, archeological objects and buildings in museums as well as outdoor environments. Most of these artworks are made of an assembly of layered materials with different physicochemical properties. Additional layers of material are sometimes added as conservation measures. The properties of all materials involved and the interfaces between these materials affect the artwork’s susceptibility to deterioration.
As a PhD student within the CRYSTINART consortium, you will focus on the use of high-resolution X-ray computed tomography to characterize salt damage across layered artwork systems. You will mimic salt weathering scenarios in a climatic chamber, and once realistic scenarios defined, you will translate them to the X-ray tomograph. Time-resolved high-resolution X-ray computed tomography allows to follow the changes in the internal structure of the layered porous materials in-situ, and to monitor brine and salt crystal distributions as a function of time in a non-destructive way. Subsequently, you will set up image analysis workflows to derive quantitative data from the X-ray scans that can then be employed as direct input for theoretical crystallization damage models and for numerical studies.
More details on the project and how to apply can be found in the attached pdf.