IAPH. Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Historico

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Applicant's personal data will be included in a IAPH's users file and will be treated in a confidential way as Organic Law 15/1999 sets, of personal character Data Protection. If you wish to make use of the access, rectification, cancellation and oposition rights you can go to Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico, placed in Isla de La Cartuja, Camino de los Descubrimientos s/n, 41092- SEVILLA.

Junta de Andalucía Instituto Andaluz del Patrimonio Histórico Consejería de Cultura y Patrimonio Histórico Logo del Instituto andaluz del Patrimonio histórico

Identification of materials

The Andalusian Historical Heritage Institute (IAPH) establishes the chemical and structural composition of the materials that are part of the cultural assets, both the original ones, as well as those resulting from restoration works carried out throughout their life or as a result of alterations.   

All this is done using different techniques: optical microscopy,scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis, Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, thin layer and gas chromatography, X-ray diffraction, X-ray fluorescence and laser techniques (LIF, LIBS). The following is established:

Pictorial materials

Most polychrome paintings and sculptures are made by different overlapping strata, of which only the most external one is visible. A stratigraphic examination allows accessing to all the layers that make up the paint. Preparing so requires microsample-taking (<1 mm2), of representative areas of the work. Stratigraphy studies the series of layers, their colour, thickness and form, whilst their different components are analysed.

There are curently other methods that allow findings directly on the work, without sample-taking. The information taken from such techniques has its limitations though, and is not generally used in those works where sample-taking is not possible or as a complementary technique to stratigraphy.

Toma de muestras de una pintura
Microscopia optica

The analytical study of a fabric consists of identifying the textile fibres, establishing which colourings were used and analysing other possible materials they may have (metals, decorations, adhesives…).

Fibre identification in fabrics, both those used as a support of paintings such as historical fabrics, is made through direct observation of them with an optical microscopy. In order to identify the dyes and colourings used in historical fabrics, thin layer chromatography is the technique used.  

Fibras lino
Fibras sem
Hilo metalico MO

The analysis of metallic pieces, either as parts of works made in other materials or actual works made of metal, and its corrosive products, is made using a combination of different techniques, such as optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis. 

Hilo metalico al SEM
Microscopio Electrónico
Metal atacado

Paper analysis consists of analysing the dyes and pigments used in works of the documentary heritage. A study of preservation processes is also carried out setting certain parameters such as the paper superficial pH.

Documento gráfico
Medicion pH documento
Espectro EDX de iluminacion
Espectro EDX preparacion rojiza
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Sede Central:
Camino de los Descubrimientos, s/n. 41092 Sevilla
Tel. 955037000 | Fax 955037001
Centro de Arqueología Subacuática:
Balneario de la Palma. Duque de Nájera, 3. 11004 Cádiz.
Tel.956203394 | Fax.956203417
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