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The MIFAC-Metal Online project: developing a Decision Support System for locally invasive diagnosis of heritage metals

Degrigny C., Gaspoz C., Rosselet A., Boissonnas V., Jeanneret R., Bertholon R. The MIFAC-Metal Online project: developing a Decision Support System for locally invasive diagnosis of heritage metals, In: R. Menon, C. Chemello, & A. Pandya (Eds.), METAL 2016, proceedings of the ICOM-CC Metal WG interim meeting (pp. 220.227), New Delhi, India, 26-30 September, 2016.

This paper was presented by Christian Degrigny at the METAL 2016 conference held at New Delhi, India, 26-30 September, 2016.



To help metal conservators search for corrosion forms and find treatment protocols, this paper describes the augmentation of the MIFAC-Metal project through its migration to the internet and the addition of the MiCorr Decision Support System (DSS). 

The new online version of MIFAC-Metal enables conservators to digitally construct stratigraphies they document during their visual observations and local probing of artefacts via Bertholon’s method (Bertholon 2000). Corrosion forms are first described according to the strata structure (metal, corroded metal, corrosion layers etc) and the characteristics of each stratum (morphology, microstructure, texture etc). A graphical user interface on a personal computer allows virtual construction of stratigraphies using encoded building blocks. Conservators then use the MiCorr Decision Support System to compare their observations with corrosion forms already stored in its database. The database entries were made from comprehensive investigations of historic and archaeological artefacts. They were probed physically and analysed for their composition. One search engine uses keywords describing corrosion forms, and another uses schematic representations. The search engines represented the lengthiest and most innovative part of the project. Conservators should be able to find case studies of fully investigated artefacts showing similar corrosion phenomena which can be useful for deciding conservation protocols, e.g. diagnosing the stability of metals or determining the location of the limit of the original surface in corrosion product crusts.