A mobile instrument for joint X-ray fluorescence and diffraction measurements on complex-shape Cultural Heritage objects
CNRS, Grenoble INP, Institut Néel, Université Grenoble Alpes, 38000, Grenoble, France
2 ARC-Nucleart, CEA, 38000, Grenoble, France
Accepted: 18 February 2023
Published online: 13 March 2023
We present the performances of a new mobile instrument allowing X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) and fluorescence (XRF) measurements at the same point in reflection geometry. These two complementary techniques allow the identification of the chemical elements and crystalline phases without disrupting the Cultural Heritage (CH) objects’ integrity. Moreover, the joint use of a linear and 2D detector for XRPD allows to gain insight into the microstructure of the analyzed phases. After the description of the instrument, we report two examples of applications on CH objects with complex, non-planar shapes. First, we present the analysis of an unusual metallic cover found around the neck of a buried abbot recently discovered in the Saint-Médard-de-Soissons abbey (13th century). The complex-shape cover is made of several lead foils with areas showing evidences of soldered joints. 2D XRPD investigations revealed the surface carbonatation of the lead foils and two different microstructures of lead carbonate between the foils and the soldered joints with a brazing filler material made of Pb–Sn. In addition, we present the investigations of five late medieval polychrome sculptures with sophisticate relief decoration so-called “applied-brocade.” The instrument allowed to detect/confirm the presence of these multilayered decorations, to identify the associated phases and the main variations in stratigraphy between statues. These results show the benefits of the combined use of XRPD (1D-2D) and XRF and the importance of well-designed degrees of freedom of the instrument for in situ measurements of complex-shape objects.
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