Plasma chemical reduction of model corrosion brass layers prepared in soil*
Faculty of Chemistry, Brno University of Technology, Purkynova 118, 612 00 Brno, Czech Republic
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Revised: 23 March 2016
Accepted: 6 April 2016
Published online: 8 August 2016
The brass plates of (50 × 10 × 1) mm3 were prepared with model corrosion layer because the real archaeological artifacts could be damaged during the method optimization. Samples corroded naturally more than 2 years in the soil. Excavated samples were treated in the low pressure (150 Pa) quartz glass plasma reactor (90 cm long and 9.5 cm in diameter) which was surrounded by two external copper electrodes supplied by radio-frequency generator (13.56 MHz). The experiments were carried out in a hydrogen-argon gas mixture at mass flows of 30 sccm for hydrogen and 20 sccm for argon for 90 min. The plasma power was 100, 200, 300 and 400 W in continuous and pulsed mode. Maximum sample temperature was set at 120 °C. The whole process was monitored by optical emission spectroscopy and the obtained data were used to calculate the relative intensity of OH radicals and rotational temperature. The results showed that the higher power had the greater maximum intensity of the OH radicals and rapidly degraded the corrosion layer. Corrosion layer was not completely removed during the reduction, but due to the reactions which occur in the plasma corrosion layer became brittle and after plasma chemical treatment can be removed easily. Finally, the SEM-EDX analysis of the surface composition confirmed removal of chlorine and oxygen from the corrosion products layers.
© EDP Sciences, 2016