Electrochemical Noise Measurement (ENM) and DC electrolytic resistance measurement (ERM) can be used to assess the level of protectiveness provided by an organic coating (paint or varnish) to the underlying metal. These techniques also have applicability to the thinner, transparent type of coatings used to protect archaeological artefacts. Two studies are presented here demonstrating how ERM and ENM techniques can be applied in artefact preservation. The similarity of the techniques, both of which are a measure of resistance, means results can be considered to be analogous. The first study investigated the use of ERM to determine the protection levels provided by typical coatings in order to develop a database of coating type and application for objects, for specific environments. The second study used ENM to evaluate coatings which had been applied to historic artefacts recovered from shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea and displayed inside the museum or kept in the museum store area. The studies showed the usefulness of both techniques for determining the level of protection of a coating and how a better performing coating can be specified if a pre-existing coating on an artefact has been found to be unsuitable.
- electrochemical noise method (ENM)
- DC electrolytic resistance measurement (ERM)
- corrosion protection
- archaeological artefacts
- thin organic coatings