Art Conservation and XRF Technology

(Click here to request additional info or expert advice on how Bruker’s handheld XRF analyzers can serve a broad range of art conservation, preservation needs.)

Art conservation—the field that preserves, conserves, restores, and studies the materials of objects of art and cultural patrimony—is a field fraught with many technical challenges. Conservators must carefully study objects and artwork in order to understand the materials, method of manufacture, threats to physical integrity, environmental factors, and previous conservation treatments in order to properly attend to an object in their care. Over the last several decades, art conservation practitioners have quickly embraced new technologies that can assist them in understanding materials and structure of a work of art or object of historical significance. From computer software that can provide a 3D object map, to chemical analysis instruments that can provide complete materials analysis of an object, conservators can potentially garner useful information for the preservation of cultural objects from technology of all kinds.

One of the greatest challenges in the art conservation field is correctly identifying materials, whether for the purpose of studying and understanding an object, for the purpose of conserving an object for future generations, or for the purpose of restoring an object that has been damaged or degraded over time. Elemental composition—such as provided by XRF technology—is often used in the study of historical materials and works of art in order to ascertain provenance and fabrication technology; to distinguish between original and non-original materials (i.e. materials that are the product of a previous conservation effort); and to determine the course of treatment. Click here to contact our experts about your conservation needs.

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Tracer III-V analyzing a painting

XRF Analyzer Ideal for Art Conservation: The Bruker Tracer III

The Bruker Tracer family of XRF (X-ray fluorescence) analyzers has become the de facto standard for investigations in art conservation environments, thanks to its capacity for completely non-destructive elemental identification. The Bruker Tracer III offers the utmost in flexibility for the analysis of non-uniform materials, allowing those who know the most about objects of art to determine the analysis settings for those objects. Elemental composition can be determined reliably and sensitively, ensuring that an appropriate treatment plan can be determined.

Offering specialized software and training geared toward the specific needs of the art conservation community, the Bruker Tracer family of analyzers handles all the following materials with elegance and accuracy:

•    Pigments
•    Ceramics
•    Glazes
•    Alloys
•    Patinas
•    Varnishes
•    Lithic materials
•    Glass
•    Much more…

Click here to contact Bruker’s specialized art conservation applications scientists today to learn what Bruker XRF can do for you.