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Aluminum:History, Technology & Conservation

April 7 - April 9, 2014

Washington, DC

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The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, in partnership with the Lunder Conservation Center, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, and the International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation Metal Working Group, is pleased to announce an inaugural conference on the history, technology and conservation of aluminum alloys. NCPTT is a proud sponsor of this event.

The conference will be held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium in Washington D.C. It will be followed by a day-and-a-half-long workshop hosted by the Emil Buehler Conservation Laboratory at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia (April 10-11, 2014).

The preservation of objects made from aluminum alloys is an issue of high priority in the materials conservation field. Artifacts as diverse as domestic objects, modern sculpture, scientific and technological objects, outdoor architectural structures, airplanes and spacecraft, constructed in whole or in part from this material, can suffer severe deterioration. Little technical information is readily available to the conservation community about how to effectively conserve these artifacts. The recent invention of many of these alloys and their ever-increasing prevalence in museum collections adds to the severity of the problem.


The conference will explore the following conservation and research themes:

  • History, production, fabrication and use of aluminum
  • Corrosion and deterioration studies
  • Conservation of archaeological objects – marine, terrestrial and industrial
  • Materials characterization and identification
  • Coatings, surface treatments and corrosion inhibition, particularly the latest developments in corrosion mitigation through development of innovative and environmentally friendly inhibitors and modern coating systems
  • Conservation and use of aluminum alloys in contemporary art
  • Conservation of architectural structures and elements
  • Preventive conservation


The symposium is open to participants from a wide range of disciplines including conservation, conservation science, chemistry, materials science, collections management, engineering, archaeology, art history and architecture. The conference encourages contributions from conservators dealing with aluminum alloys in a variety of contexts including, but not limited to, collections containing domestic, scientific and technological objects, contemporary art, architectural structures, archaeological materials, both marine and terrestrial, and large technological and industrial objects.


The three-day program (April 7-9) will feature 40-minute lectures by invited speakers, as well as 20-minute submitted presentations, with each session followed by a Q and A. The optional one-and-a-half-day workshop (April 10-11) on the identification of aluminum alloys and finishes will also be offered as a professional development opportunity.


$290 members of AIC or ICOM-CC
$375 non-members
Special student rate  $190

Register online >>

For more information, please email aluminum2014@gmail.com or visit http://www.conservation-us.org/education/education/current-courses/aluminum-history-technology-and-conservation-conference

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Smithsonian American Art Museum
Washington, DC United States
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National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]nps.gov
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119