Neutron scattering and neutron diffraction for cultural heritage

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Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Neutron reactor and spallation source facilities provide a wide range of neutron experimental techniques that can be employed in the characterization of cultural heritage objects. The main advantage of neutrons is their high penetration as they enable the non-destructive and non-invasive analysis of bulk objects deep into their interior. In the first part of the presentation a selection of the neutron scattering techniques, which can be traditionally offered at neutron facilities, will be covered. In the second part, an ongoing study of Carrara marble samples will be considered in greater detail. It is based on application of the neutron diffraction techniques such as powder diffraction for phase analysis, texture measurement and stress analysis. Original (residual) and temperature induced stresses distributions have been measured in the two main phases of marble (calcite and dolomite) to study the elastic response of the marble samples during temperature changes. This non-destructive stress analysis is intended to elucidate possible stress-induced mechanisms of marble deterioration caused by daily or seasonal temperature cycling. The link of stresses to other phenomena like micro-cracking and largescale bowing in will be also discussed. © ANSTO
Neutron diffraction, Scattering, Experiment design, Cultural objects, Preservation, Archaeological specimens, Age estimation, Calcite, Dolomite, Stress analysis
Luzin, V. (2011). Neutron scattering and neutron diffraction for cultural heritage. Paper presented at the Italian - Australian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Workshop. New scientific techniques in archaeology, palaeo-anthropology and cultural heritage, 14-17 March 2011, Rydges Hotel, Cronulla, Sydney.