In 2003, NCPTT supported research that studied  biodeterioration on metallic monuments.  Ralph Mitchell, Professor at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, employed electrochemical impedence spectroscopy to analyze the susceptibility of monument coatings to degradation by indigenous microflora activity.

Dr. Mitchell included the following in his final report’s introduction:

“Outdoor metals are highly susceptible to corrosion in many environments.  Consequently, organic coatings are widely used to protect the metals from the processes of corrosion” (citation 1; see final report download below for more information).

“The effect of microbial biofilms can frequently be seen on organically coated metals.”

“Many studies have examined the effectiveness of various coatings from the protection of metals, but few have addressed the microbial degradation of these coatings.  In this study, we have examined the susceptibility of two coatings, Inralac and Beeswax, to biodeterioration by microorganisms.”