Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Elzbieta Greiner-Wronowa

article posted 22 March 2016

Elzbieta Greiner-Wronowa
I graduated the AGH – Technical University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, Department of Glass Technology and Amorphous Coatings. Since 1990 I have been employing at the same department. I earned my PhD in the field of chemical technology in 1999. The main my professional interest is focused on identification of glass and glass-metal object corrosion processes. Testing deterioration has been based on some chosen methods, typical for materials science. Moreover the glass sensor method – patented by myself- has been found as a very useful non-destructive testing, especially appreciate in the case of analyzing historical objects. Obtained results are very helpful to the conservators, curators to estimate the most suitable sustainable conservation parameters. I work as a scientist in charge of student programs and supervising master’s and engineer’s thesis Moreover cooperate with many museums and supervisor foreign students, who visit our university according to Erasmus Programme. I am a member of the following organizations: AIHV, ICOM – CC, European Society of Glass, American Ceramic Society, Member of TC17, TC19 of International Commission of Glass. I completed the post-graduate study of mineralogy and petrography of ceramic raw materials, Pedagogical study, three month scholarship at Materials science – Glass division at the Alfred University in Alfred N.Y. USA. I wrote the book titled ”Archeometry of historical glasses”, edited in 2016 in Kraków.

Study of corroded glass-metal joints from archaeological excavation as well as from museum exposition

Elzbieta Greiner-Wronowa
AGH The Technical University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics, al. Mickiewicza 3, 30-059 Krakow, Poland

This paper contributes to the investigations into the history, technology and degradation of objects from different period of time [1].Glass corrosion has been discovered to be a very complicated process, consisting of many stages. Moreover historical materials are very much limited in term of quantity and their dimensions There are factors which have a strong influence on glass-metal objects deterioration [2]. They may cause variations in a glass, including their chemical composition. Local micro-climate like emission of carboxylic acid, aldehydes, humid are harmful for good glass-metal object stability [3]. The corrosion process of joined elements becomes very serious problem. Both materials must be tested separately, but their mutual reactions will be analysed too. Few elements discovered from excavated activity beneath the Market Square in Kraków (Poland) and fro Czermno (Poland) were analysed. The great affinity of metal to oxygen and stable flow of electrons into this material is an important factor in metal corrosion and formation of oxides. This process in dry environments is known as chemical corrosion. In wet environments, corrosion has an electrochemical character. In fact, in natural circumstances both processes can be observed. Chosen historical samples belong to narrow group of metallic rings with mounted glass beads, and XIV-th c. enamel on copper. The analyses of original glass and their sensors showed that glass alteration is not only due to surface reaction. Local humid, soil contamination, volatile organic compounds from the nearest surrounding corrosion could provoke differentiated corrosion [4]. The morphology created by SEM, EDS, confocal microscopy, RS, MS-ICP, SIMS, XRF, XRD. The achieved results pointed influence of local circumstances on the degradation of analysed historical object. The obtained data have been discussed with conservators in order to support their important and delicate activity. The investigation of excavated objects were carried out at long term experiments at the Faculty of Materials Science and Ceramics at AGH- The Technical University of Science and Technology and partly at the Metallurgy and Material laboratory of the Department of Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry of the University of Genova.
1) E.Greiner-Wronowa, D.Zabiegaj, P.Piccardo, Glass metal objects from archaeological excavation, corrosion study, Applied Physics A, 113 (2013) 999-1008.
2) E.Greiner-Wronowa, L.Stoch Influence of environment on surface of the ancient glasses, J. Non-Crystalline Solids 196, (1996),118-127.
3) D.Zabiegaj, B.Szala, E.Greiner-Wronowa, Corrosion Stratification on glass jewellery excavated beneath the market square in Kraków Poland, Geology, Geophysic, Environment, 40(2) (2014) 233-240.
4) E.Greiner-Wronowa and D. Thicket, Study of enamel degradation on copper relief, ed. ICOM CC Enamel Group of the glass&ceramics and metal working group, 4-th Biennial Expert’s Meeting on Enamel conservation Barcelona (2012), 91-96.