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Suzanne Graham, a graduate student in the M.A. in Heritage Resources Program at Northwestern State University, tries out a prototype Eddy Current Analyzer on a 18th century iron cross.

Have you ever wondered what kind of metal that object was made of?  Or perhaps you needed to read the inscription of a coin that was corroded.  Maybe you have a laboratory with a limited research budget and need to study a collection of firearms.  NCPTT is researching new applications for an old technology: Eddy Current Analysis.

The use of “eddy currents”—induced currents in metals produced by a coil—has been a valuable tool in the study of defects in metals for over 50 years.  NCPTT has focused its research efforts on developing an affordable, low cost eddy current analyzer to study metal cultural objects.  Test results indicate that metals with defects and marks can easily be detected. The recovery of serial numbers and hallmarks on corroded museum objects has been successful in the field and laboratory.

NCPTT in partnership with the American Institute for Conservation of Artistic and Historic Works (AIC) will hold a half-day workshop in conjunction with the 38th Annual meeting of the AIC in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The workshop will be held on Tuesday, May 11, 2010 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM.

The workshop will focus on the use of eddy currents for identification of metals (ferrous and non-ferrous), measuring the thickness of corrosion, and the recovery of serial numbers and/or images beneath corrosion. Attendees will learn the theory of eddy current analysis.  They will have an opportunity to test their own object using an eddy current analyzer.  The primary objective is to give the attendee the skills necessary for using eddy current analysis in the field of heritage preservation.

To register for workshop, see http://tinyurl.com/y8b79lw, Registration Fee: $79.00.  (Note:  You must be registered for the conference to sign up for the workshop.  If you do not plan to attend the full conference, you will need to “register” for the Annual Meeting for a special Tuesday, May 11 one-day rate of $100 for members and $195 for non-members.)

Instructors:

Curtis Desselles, lead instructor.   Curtis Desselles is retired from the U.S. Navy where he specialized in laboratory medicine. While in the Navy, Mr. Desselles acquired a B.S. in Physics, and became a Microsoft Software Engineer. Upon retirement, Mr. Desselles acquired a B.A. in Anthropology and a M.A. in Heritage Resources.  He currently serves as a research fellow at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training.

Jason Church, assistant lab instructor. Jason Church holds a M.S. in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  He has been the Materials Cosnervator at NCPTT for four years.  He specializes in the preservation of historic cemeteries including grave markers and ornamental fencing.

Mary F. Striegel, workshop coordinator. Mary Striegel is the chief of materials research at NCPTT, where she oversees research and leads in training development for new preservation technologies.  She holds a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Washington University, St. Louis.  She has 20 years experience in research pertaining to conservation of artwork and preservation of heritage resources.

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